15 Feb 2018 - 16 Feb 2018 All day Boys Smith Room, St John's College, Cambridge, CB2 1TP


This event is the second two-day seminar from the Andrew W Mellon Foundation-funded project Religious Diversity and the Secular University.

This second international workshop of the CRASSH-Mellon project, “Religious Diversity and the Secular University” revisits two of the central disciplines in the history of the modern research university: theology and biblical scholarship. It does so by devoting one day each to two of the most important figures in the history of each discipline: Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768-1834) and Julius Wellhausen (1844-1918). Because of the predominant role of their respective disciplines in European culture of the long 19th century, Schleiermacher and Wellhausen were not merely authorities in the domains for which they are best known — systematic theology and the textual criticism of the Old Testament; they were thinkers whose work and whose example reached across the humanistic disciplines and far beyond Germany, transforming what it meant to study religion, the Bible, and language itself, indeed changing what it meant to practice scholarship (Wissenschaft) überhaupt in an age of historicism and science. In this way, we intend to explore and better understand the apparent paradox of the primacy of religion(s) in a story long told in terms of secularisation: the emergence of the modern university.

If you have any questions about this event please email.

andrew w mellon foundation logo


‘Religious Diversity and the Secular University’ is funded by the Andrew W Mellon Foundation to support a multi-disciplinary examination of the interplay between religion, secularism, and the role of the university, reference #41600622.


Day One: Thursday 15 February 2018

09:45 - 10:15


Tea and Coffee available

10:15 - 11:45

Session One

Ruth Jackson (Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge)
Friedrich Schleiermacher’s Theology of Language or – How should we read Schleiermacher in the Modern Academy?

Respondent: Geoff Dumbreck (Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge),

11:45 - 13:00


13:00 - 14:30

Session Two

Zachary Purvis (University of Edinburgh)
Two Hearts in One Breast: Schleiermacher’s Academic Theology and Its Consequences

Respondent: Giles Waller (Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge)

14:30 - 15:00


15:00 - 16:30

Session Three

Alexandra Zirkle (University of Notre Dame)
Wissenschaft Revealed: Exegetical Theology and the Reinscription of Religious Particularity 

Respondent: Ayla Lepine (Westcott House/University of Essex​)

Day Two: Friday 16 February 2018

09:15 - 10:45

Session Four

Reinhard Kratz (University of Göttingen)
Myth and History in German Biblical Scholarship of the Nineteenth Century

Respondent: Nathan MacDonald (Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge)

10:45 - 11:15


11:15 - 12:45

Session Five

Ronald Hendel (University of California Berkeley)
Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible and the Problem of Judaism: Abraham Geiger, Julius Wellhausen, and the Failure of Academic Dialogue

Respondent: David Friedman (Faculty of Classics, University of Cambridge)

12:45 - 14:00


14:00 - 15:30

Session Six

Paul Michael Kurtz (Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge)
From Texts to Text: German Science & the Philological Apparatus

Respondent: Marieke Dhont (British Academy/Leuven/University of Cambridge)

Upcoming Events


Tel: +44 1223 766886
Email enquiries@crassh.cam.ac.uk