Paul Fiddes

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The Reverend Professor
Paul Stuart Fiddes
MA, DPhil, DD (Oxon), Hon DD (Bucharest)
Born (1947-04-30) 30 April 1947 (age 67)
Nationality British
Education Drayton Manor Grammar School
Alma mater St Peter's College, Oxford
Regent's Park College, Oxford
Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen
Religion Baptist
Awards Honorary Doctor of Divinity University of Bucharest 2004
Honorary Fellow St Peter's College, Oxford 2004

Paul Stuart Fiddes (born 30 April 1947)[1] is a British Baptist theologian. He is Professor of Systematic Theology in the University of Oxford and was formerly Principal of Regent's Park College and Chairman of the Theology Faculty. He has been described as "one of the leading contemporary Baptist theologians",[2] "one of the leading scholars of theology and literature writing today",[3] and "one of Christianity's most distinguished scholars".[4] His book The Creative Suffering of God is "considered to be one of the major contributions to theology in the last decades of the 20th century".[5][6][7][8]

Education[edit]

Fiddes was educated at Drayton Manor Grammar School.[9] In 1965 he went up to St Peter's College, Oxford to read Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. He quickly changed his course and ended up with a Double First in English Language and Literature and Theology. The relationship between these disciplines has formed a major part of his subsequent scholarship. He then embarked on a doctoral thesis entitled The hiddenness of wisdom in the Old Testament and later Judaism, which he completed in 1976, before spending a year at the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen undertaking post-doctoral studies with Jürgen Moltmann and Eberhard Jüngel.

Meanwhile, Fiddes studied at Regent's Park College (the Baptist Permanent Private Hall at Oxford) for ordination as a minister in the Baptist Union of Great Britain. In 1977 he returned to Regent's Park as Fellow and Tutor in Christian Doctrine and from 1979-85 he was additionally Lecturer in Theology at St Peter's.

Career[edit]

Fiddes has been a member of the Oxford Theology Faculty Board since 1989, serving as Chairman 1996-98. He was appointed Principal of Regent's Park in 1989 and Professor of Systematic Theology in the University of Oxford in 2002. In 2007 he resigned the Principalship of Regent's Park and was appointed Principal Emeritus, Professorial Research Fellow, and Director of Research.

In 2004 Fiddes was elected an Honorary Fellow of St Peter's, on which occasion he was described as being "recognised internationally as one of the leading scholars in the fields of theology and literature".[10] Later in that year, he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Divinity, the highest that the University confers. In 2002 he was chosen to preach the University Sermon on the Grace of Humility, and in 2005 he was appointed to deliver the Oxford Bampton Lectures, choosing as his topic Seeing the world and knowing God: ancient wisdom and modern doctrine. In 2004 he became an Honorary Doctor of Divinity of the University of Bucharest.[9] He is also a Trustee Fellow of Georgetown College.[11]

Professional activities[edit]

Fiddes is a member of the editorial board of Ecclesiology: The Journal for Ministry, Mission and Unity, a consultant editor for Studies in Baptist History and Thought, published by Paternoster Press, and a series editor of New Critical Thinking in Religion, Theology and Biblical Studies (Ashgate). He is General Editor of the Regent's Study Guides series, published jointly by the college and the American publisher Smyth & Helwys.[12]

Fiddes has served as a member of ecumenical study commissions for the British Council of Churches and its successor Churches Together in Britain and Ireland,[13] Chairman of the Doctrine and Worship Committee of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, Convenor of the Division for Theology and Education of the European Baptist Federation, Vice Chair of the Baptist Doctrine and Inter-Church Cooperation Study Commission of the Baptist World Alliance. A committed ecumenist, Fiddes was Co-Chair of the Anglican Communion-Baptist World Alliance International Conversations from 2000 until 2005[14] and is, together with the Most Reverend Dr Arthur J. Serratelli, Co-Moderator of the second series of Roman Catholic-Baptist World Alliance International Conversations (Second Series 2006-10).[15][16] Finally, Fiddes is also an Ecumenical Representative to the General Synod of the Church of England.[17]

Lectures[edit]

In 2009, Fides delivered the Holley-Hull Lectures at Samford University on the subject Telling the Christian Story in Our World Today (for a full report see Sean Flynt, "Self and God: Elusive Subjects in Modern Literature: Fiddes", Samford University Seasons (Winter 2009), p. 20). In 2009 he delivered the Nordenhaug Lectures at the International Baptist Theological Seminary of the European Baptist Federation in Prague on the subject "Post Modernity and Wisdom". These lectures will be prepared for future publication.[18] (Previous Nordenhaug Lecturers include Miroslav Volf, Henry B. Wright Professor of Theology at Yale Divinity School, I. Howard Marshall, Professor of New Testament Exegesis in the University of Aberdeen, Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, Krister Stendahl Professor of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School, Jürgen Moltmann, Professor of Systematic Theology in the University of Tübingen.)[19] In 2010 (7–9 July) Fiddes was Main Speaker at the conference of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Theological Schools/Australian and New Zealand Society for Theological Studies, on "The Future of God", at Trinity College (University of Melbourne). At the same time he also spoke, as a keynote speaker, at the Melbourne College of Divinity Centenary Conference (5–7 July).[17][20] Fiddes was a keynote speaker at "The Power of the Word: Poetry, Theology and Life", a conference held jointly between Heythrop College and the Institute of English Studies.[21] Fiddes was also a keynote speaker at the 2010 Biennial Conference of the International Society for Religion, Literature and Culture, St Catherine's College, Oxford (23–26 September 2010) on the topic "Attending to the Other: Critical Theory and Spiritual Practice".[22]

Publications[edit]

Fiddes has written ten books, around eighty articles,[17][23] and just under thirty book chapters (in addition to five articles in reference books). He has edited six books, and he has jointly authored four books and jointly edited three. His work is published by some of the world's leading publishers, including Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, University of Wales Press, Mercer University Press, Sheffield Academic Press, Blackwell, Ashgate, Springer, Liturgical Press, Paternoster, Eerdmans, SPCK, SCM, DLT, and Marshall Pickering.

One of Fiddes's most important works, Past Event and Present Salvation: the Christian Idea of Atonement, was recently studied in Eamonn Mulcahy in The Cause of Our Salvation: Soteriological Causality According to Some Modern British Theologians, 1988-98 alongside works by Colin Gunton, Vernon White, and John McIntyre.

As sole author[edit]

Books[edit]

  • Charismatic Renewal: A Baptist View. London: Baptist Publications. 1980. 
  • A Leading Question: The Structure and Authority of Leadership in the Local Church. London: Baptist Publications. 1986. 
  • The Creative Suffering of God. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1988. 
  • Past Event and Present Salvation: The Christian Idea of Atonement. London: Darton, Longman, & Todd. 1989. 
  • The Trinity in Worship and Preaching. London: London Baptist Preachers' Association. 1991. 
  • Freedom and Limit: A Dialogue between Literature and Christian Doctrine. Basingstoke Macon: Macmillan. 1991.  (Also published by Mercer University Press, 1991)
  • Participating in God: A Pastoral Doctrine of the Trinity. London: Darton, Longman, & Todd. 2000. 
  • The Promised End: Eschatology in Theology and Literature. Oxford: Blackwell. 2000. 
  • Tracks and Traces: Baptist Identity in Church and Theology. Carlisle: Paternoster. 2003. 
  • Seeing the World and Knowing God: Hebrew Wisdom and Christian Doctrine in a Late-Modern Context. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2013. 

Chapters[edit]

  • "The Theology of the Charismatic Movement" in Martin, David; Mullen, Peter, eds. (1984). Strange Gifts? A Guide to Charismatic Renewal. Oxford: Blackwell. pp. 19–40. 
  • "Covenant - Old and New" in Clements, Keith; Paul Fiddes; Roger Hayden; Brian Haymes; Richard Kidd (1985). Bound to Love: The Covenant Basis of Baptist Life and Mission. London: Baptist Union. pp. 9–23. 
  • "The Understanding of Salvation in the Baptist Tradition" in Hollenweger, Walter J., ed. (1994). For Us and for Our Salvation: Seven Perspectives on Christian Soteriology. Utrecht: Interuniversitair Instituut voor Missiologie en Oecumenica. pp. 15–37. 
  • "C.S. Lewis the Myth-maker" in Walker, Andrew; James Patrick (1990). A Christian for All Christians: Essays in Honour of C.S. Lewis. London: Hodder & Stoughton. pp. 132–55.  (Reprinted as Rumours of Heaven: Essays in Celebration of C.S. Lewis Guildford: Eagle, 1998)
  • "The Status of Women in the Thought of Karl Barth" in Soskice, Janet Martin, ed. (1990). After Eve. London: Marshall Pickering. pp. 138–55. 
  • "'Where Shall Wisdom be Found?' Job 28 as a Riddle for Ancient and Modern Readers" in Barton, John; Reimer, David, eds. (1996). After the Exile, Essays in Honour of Rex Mason. Macon, Georgia: Mercer University Press. 
  • "Facing the End: The Apocalyptic Experience in Some Modern Novels" in Colwell, John, ed. (2000). Called to One Hope: Perspectives on the Life to Come. Carlisle: Paternoster. pp. 191–209. 
  • "Story and Possibility: Reflections on the Last Scenes of the Fourth Gospel and Shakespeare's The Tempest" in Sauter, Gerhard; Barton, John, eds. (2000). Revelation and Story: Narrative theology and the Centrality of Story. Aldershot: Ashgate. pp. 29–52. 
  • "The Story and the Stories: Revelation and the Challenge of Postmodern Culture" in Fiddes, Paul, ed. (2001). Faith in the Centre: Christianity and Culture. Oxford: Regent's Park College. pp. 75–96.  (also published by Smyth & Helwys, 2001)
  • "Creation out of Love" in Polkinghorne, John, ed. (2001). The Work of Love: Creation as Kenosis. Grand Rapids, Michigan and Cambridge: W.B. Eerdmans. pp. 167–91.  (also published by SPCK 2001)
  • "Millenium and Utopia: Images of a Fuller Presence" in Rowland, Christopher; Barton, John, eds. (2002). Apocalyptic in History and Tradition. Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha, Supplement Series. London: Sheffield Academic Press. pp. 7–25. 
  • "Baptism and the Process of Christian Initiation" in Porter, Stanley E.; Cross, Anthony R., eds. (2002). Dimensions of Baptism: Biblical and Theological Studies. London: Sheffield Academic Press. pp. 280–303. 
  • "The Quest for a Place Which Is 'Not-a-place': The Hiddenness of God and the Presence of God" in Davies, Oliver; Turner, Denys, eds. (2002). Silence and the Word: Negative Theology and Incarnation. Cambridge University Press. pp. 35–60. 
  • "The Canon as Space and Place" in Wolter, Michael, ed. (2003). Die Einheit der Schrift und die Vielfalt des Kanons (The Unity of Scripture and the Diversity of the Canon). Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft und die Kunde der älteren Kirche, Bd. 118. Berlin: W. de Gruyter. pp. 127–49. 
  • "Baptism and Membership of the Body of Christ: A Theological and Ecumenical Conundrum" in Lybæk, Lena; Geldbach, Erich; Raiser, Konrad et al., eds. (2004). Gemeinschaft der Kirchen und gesellschaftliche Verantwortung: die Würde des Anderen und das Recht anders zu denken: Festschrift für Professor Dr. Erich Geldbach. Ökumenische Studien 30. Münster: LIT Verlag. pp. 89–93. 
  • "On God the Incomparable: Thinking about God with John Macquarrie" in Morgan, Robert, ed. (2006). In Search of Humanity and Deity: A Celebration of John Macquarrie's Theology. London: SCM. pp. 179–99. 
  • "When Text Becomes Voice: 'You've Got Mail'" in Fiddes, Paul, ed. (2006). Flickering Images: Theology and Film in Dialogue. Oxford: Regent's Park College. pp. 97–112.  (Also published by Smyth & Helwys, Georgia, 2006.)
  • "Baptism of Believers" in Best, Thomas F., ed. (2008). Baptism Today: Understanding, Practice, Ecumenical Implications. Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical Press. pp. 73–80. 
  • "Ex Opere Operato: Rethinking a Historic Baptist Rejection" in Cross, Anthony R.; Thompson, Philip E., eds. (2008). Baptist Sacramentalism 2. Milton Keynes: Paternoster. pp. 219–238. 
  • "Spirituality as Attentiveness: Stillness and Journey" in Fiddes, Paul S., ed. (2008). Under the Rule of Christ: Dimensions of Baptist Spirituality'. Regent's study guides 14. Macon, Georgia: Smyth & Helwys. pp. 25–58. 
  • "Christianity, Culture and Education: A Baptist Perspective" in Ward, Roger; Gushee, David P., eds. (2008). The Scholarly Vocation and the Baptist Academy: Essays on the Future of Baptist Higher Education. Macon, Georgia: Mercer University Press. 
  • "Something Will Come of Nothing: On A Theology of the Dark Side" in Lalleman, Peter J., ed. (2009). Challenging to Change: Dialogues with a Radical Baptist Theologian: Essays Presented to Dr. Nigel G. Wright on His Sixtieth Birthday. London: Spurgeon's College. 
  • "Daniel Turner and a Theology of the Church Universal" in Briggs, John H. Y., ed. (2009). Pulpit and People: Studies in Eighteenth Century Baptist Life and Thought. Studies in Baptist History and Thought 28. Carlisle: Paternoster. pp. 112–27. 
  • "The Body as Site of Continuity and Change" in Anderson, Pamela Sue, ed. (2009). New Topics in Feminist Philosophy of Religion: Contestations and Transcendence Incarnate. New York: Springer. pp. 261–77.  (see Pamela Sue Anderson)
  • "Church and Sect: Cross-currents in Early Baptist Life" in Cross, A. R.; Woods, N. J., eds. (2010). Exploring Baptist Origins. Oxford: Regent's Park College. 
  • "On Theology" in MacSwain, Robert; Ward, Michael, eds. (2010). The Cambridge Companion to C. S. Lewis. Cambridge Companions to Religion. Cambridge University Press. 
  • "Dual Citizenship in Athens and Jerusalem: The Place of the Christian Scholar in the Life of the Church" in Cross, Anthony R.; Gouldbourne, Ruth M. B., eds. (2011). Questions of Identity: Essays in Honour of Brian Haymes. Centre for Baptist History and Heritage Studies 6. Oxford: Regent's Park College. 
  • "Prophecy, Corporate Personality, and Suffering: Some Themes and Methods in Baptist Old Testament Scholarship" in Dare, Helen; Woodman, Simon, eds. (2011). The "Plainly Revealed" Word of God?: Baptist Hermeneutics in Theory and Practice. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press. 
  • "Ecclesiology and Ethnography: Two Disciplines, Two Worlds?" in Ward, Pete, ed. (2012). Perspectives on Ecclesiology and Ethnography. Studies in Ecclesiology and Ethnography. Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans. 

Encyclopaedia, handbook, and companion articles[edit]

  • "Process Theology" in McGrath, A. E., ed. (1993). The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Modern Christian Thought. Oxford: Blackwell. pp. 471–6. 
  • "Suffering, Divine" in The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Modern Christian Thought. Oxford: Blackwell. 1993. pp. 633–6. 
  • "Salvation" in Webster, John; Tanner, Kathryn; Torrance, Iain, eds. (2007). The Oxford Handbook to Systematic Theology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 176–96. 
  • "The Passion Story in Literature" in Hass, Andrew; Jasper, David; Jay, Elizabeth, eds. (2007). The Oxford Handbook of English Literature and Theology. Oxford University Press. pp. 742–759. 
  • "G. M. Hopkins" in Lemon, Rebecca; Mason, Emma; Roberts, Jonathan et al., eds. (2009). The Blackwell Companion to the Bible in English Literature. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 563–76. 

Journal articles[edit]

Fiddes has published around a further seventy articles which are not yet included in this list.[17][23]
  • "God and History". Baptist Quarterly 30: 85–88. 1983. 
  • "'Woman's Head is Man': A Doctrinal Reflection upon a Pauline Text". Baptist Quarterly 31 (8): 370–383. 1986. 
  • "Baptism and the Process of Christian Initiation". The Ecumenical Review 54: 4–65. 2002. 
  • "Baptist Ecclesiology: A Response to David Carter's Article Review of Tracks and Traces". Ecclesiology 1 (2005): 87–100. doi:10.1177/1744136605052782. 
  • "Participating in the Trinity". Perspectives in Religious Studies 33 (3): 375–91. 2006. 
  • "The Place of Christian Theology in the Modern University". Baptist Quarterly 42 (2.1): 71–88. 2007. 
  • "Learning from Others: Baptists and Receptive Ecumenism". Louvain Studies 33 (1-2): 54–73. 2008. doi:10.2143/ls.33.1.2034336. 
  • "Concept, Image and Story in Systematic Theology". International Journal of Systematic Theology 11 (1): 3–23. 2009. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2400.2008.00420.x. 
  • "Ambiguities of the Future: Theological Hints in the Novels of Patrick White". Pacifica 23: 281–98. 2010. 
  • "Christian Doctrine and Free Church Ecclesiology: Recent Developments among Baptists in the Southern United States". Ecclesiology 7 (2): 195–219. 2011. doi:10.1163/174553111x559454. 

Book reviews[edit]

  • Review of Hans Urs von Balthasar, The Glory of the Lord, vol. vii, Theology: The New Covenant, trans. Brian McNeil, ed. John Riches (Edinburgh: T.&T. Clark, 1989), The Expository Times 102.11 (1991), 349-350

As joint author[edit]

Books[edit]

  • A Call to Mind: Baptist Essays towards a Theology of Commitment. London: Baptist Union. 1987.  (with Keith Clements, Roger Hayden, Brian Haymes, and Richard Kidd)
  • Something to Declare: A Study of the Declaration of Principle of the Baptist Union of Great Britain. Oxford: Whitley. 1996.  (with Brian Haymes, Richard Kidd (ed.), and Michael Quicke)
  • On the Way of Trust. Oxford: Whitley. 1997.  (with Brian Haymes, Richard Kidd, and Michael Quicke )
  • Doing Theology in a Baptist Way. Oxford: Whitley. 2000.  (with Richard Kidd, Brian Haymes, and Michael Quicke)

Chapter[edit]

  • "Baptists and Spirituality: A Rule of Life" in Fiddes, Paul S., ed. (2008). Under the Rule of Christ: Dimensions of Baptist Spirituality. Regent's Study Guides 14. Macon, Georgia: Smyth & Helwys. pp. 1–24.  (with Stephen Finamore)

As sole editor[edit]

  • Reflections on the Water: Understanding God and the World through the Baptism of Believers. Oxford: Regent's Park College. 1996. 
  • Doing Theology in a Baptist Way. Oxford: Whitley. 2000. 
  • The Novel, Spirituality and Modern Culture: Eight Novelists Write about Their Craft and Their Context. Cardiff: University of Wales Press. 2000. 
  • Faith in the Centre: Christianity and Culture. Oxford: Regent's Park College. 2001.  (also published by Smyth & Helwys, Macon, Georgia, 2001)
  • Flickering Images: Theology and Film in Dialogue. Oxford: Regent's Park College. 2006.  (also published by Smyth & Helwys, Macon, Georgia, 2006)
  • Under the Rule of Christ: Dimensions of Baptist Spirituality. Regent's Study Guides 14. Macon, Georgia: Smyth & Helwys. 2008. 

As joint editor[edit]

  • Gemeinschaft am Evangelium: Festschrift für Wiard Popkes zum 60. Geburtstag. Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt. 1996.  (with Edwin Brandt and Joachim Molthagen)
  • Pilgrim Pathways: Essays in Baptist History in Honour of B.R. White. Macon, Georgia: Mercer University Press. 1999.  (with William H. Brackney and John H.Y. Briggs)
  • The Spirit and the Letter: A Tradition and a Reversal. London: T.&T. Clark. 2013.  (with Günther Bader)

Further reading[edit]

  • Reviews of The Creative Suffering of God
    • Warren McWilliams, review in Journal of the American Academy of Religion 58.4 (1990), 705-7
    • Jeff B. Pool, review in The Journal of Religion 70.3 (1990), 471-472
    • Roger E. Olson, review in Scottish Journal of Theology 43 (1990), 114-115Book reviews

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Birthday's today". The Telegraph. 30 April 2012. Retrieved 23 April 2014. "the Rev Prof Paul Fiddes, Professorial Research Fellow, Regent's Park College, Oxford, 65" 
  2. ^ Jeff B. Pool, PhD, Special Assistant to the President, Director of Baptist Studies, and Professor of Theology, Brite Divinity School, Texas Christian University, "The Baptist Library: Notes of books, past and present, by and about Baptists", The Baptist Studies Bulletin vol. 1 no. 5 (May 2002)
  3. ^ "Scholars at Baylor Symposium to Examine Religion's Fate in Modern Times", Baylor University (28 September 2009). Accessed 3 March 2010.
  4. ^ Paul Fiddes, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Local Radio, Sunday Nights (11 July 2010). Accessed 29 March 2011.
  5. ^ Brookwood Baptist Church Sunday 6 September 2009. Accessed 2 March 2010
  6. ^ Brookwood Baptist Church Sunday 13 September 2009. Accessed 2 March 2010
  7. ^ "Theologian Paul Fiddes to Present Annual Holley-Hull Lectures", Samford News (20 August 2009). Accessed 2 March 2010
  8. ^ Biographical sketch on Global Baptist Peace Conference website. Accessed 2 March 2010
  9. ^ a b "FIDDES, Rev. Prof. Paul Stuart", Who's Who 2008, A & C Black, 2008; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2007 accessed 27 March 2008
  10. ^ "St Peter's College, Oxford, Old Members' Newsletter" (PDF). St Peter's College, Oxford. Spring 2004. p. 3. Archived from the original on 2006-08-21. Retrieved 2006-08-09. 
  11. ^ Georgetown College Trustees
  12. ^ Regent's Study Guides
  13. ^ Eamonn Mulcahy, The Cause of Our Salvation: Soteriological Causality according to some Modern British Theologians, 1988-98 (Tesi Gregoriana Serie Teologia 140, Roma: Editrice Pontificia Università Gregoriana, 2007), p. 117.
  14. ^ "Work with the Baptists" Episcopal News Service 24 June 2005, accessed 9 August 2009
  15. ^ Research Assessment Exercise 2008
  16. ^ Pro Unione
  17. ^ a b c d Australian and New Zealand Association of Theological Schools/Australian and New Zealand Society for Theological Studies Conference 2010. Accessed 29 June 2010.
  18. ^ International Baptist Theological Seminary of the European Baptist Federation: News 2009
  19. ^ Nordenhaug Lectures
  20. ^ Melbourne College of Divinity Conference. Accessed 29 June 2010.
  21. ^ The Power of the Word: Poetry, Theology and Life. Page updated 29 June 2010. Accessed 29 June 2010.
  22. ^ Program: 2010 ISRLC Conference (Oxford, 23-26 Sep. Updated 15 June 2010. Accessed 29 June 2010.
  23. ^ a b Regent's Park College website. Accessed 29 June 2010.