BASR Letter to University of Gloucestershire

Re: Threat to jobs in the Religion, Philosophy and Ethics department at the University
of Gloucestershire
Dear Vice Chancellor Stephen Marston,

As the executive committee of the British Association for the Study of Religions, we
write to urge you to reconsider the very real threat of job losses in the Religion,
Philosophy and Ethics department, a department that is greatly valued nationally and
internationally. We recognise the pressures on the university in the current economic
climate but consider this to be precisely the wrong time to diminish scholarly debate
about religion and religions. The academic study of religion has a key role within
higher education institutions in its critical examination of the essential historical role
of religions in culture and society. Moreover; the study of contemporary religions in a
global perspective is a vital aspect of scholarly studies informing current geo-political
debates, issues of religious identity, sustainability, social justice and what it is to be
human.

The Religion, Philosophy and Ethics department at the University of Gloucestershire
is a vibrant and dynamic department and colleagues are at the cutting edge in terms
of research in such areas as contemporary Hinduism and Islam, continental
philosophy, social justice and sustainability. Their work in the wider debate
concerning BAMEs and issues of social justice is crucial and more important than
ever in the current situation. The intersection of the growing importance of
understanding religion and the quality of your Religion, Philosophy and Ethics
department encourage us to hope that you will find ways to support the continued
work of our esteemed colleagues.

Yours sincerely,

Prof Bettina Schmidt, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, President of the British
Association for Study of Religions

Dr Stephen Gregg, Wolverhampton University, Honorary Secretary of the British
Association for Study of Religions

Dr Chris Cotter, University of Edinburgh, Honorary Treasurer of the British
Association for Study of Religions

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s