Graduation Address 2008
Vocational Integrity: Utility, Plurality & Faith
Ever since I accepted the invitation to give this address I knew the theme I wished to pursue: vocation. Some years ago I published a paper that explored this theme in relation to theological education (Pratt, 1992). I shall revisit some of that, but I want to set my remarks in what I see as our contemporary context: the quest for robust faith in an age of economic utility and religious plurality.
I am in my 21st year as a fulltime University-employed academic; in effect a full generational span. The academic world of 2008 is nothing like the one I entered in 1988. Of course, wider developments in the tertiary sector in this country have made space for the Ecumenical Board and the operation of the Institute. Access to theological education by way of distance learning is to be celebrated - and that is what we doing are here tonight. There have been good things happening to theological education over the past couple of decades. But there is a wider context of the study of religion to take account of as well, one which is under pressure....