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The University of London BD (Bachelor of Divinity) is among the oldest degrees in London and was, for many years, the primary vehicle for undergraduate teaching of Theology in the University. This was the degree that King’s students pursued and many graduates the world over (including Archbishop Desmond Tutu) hold it with pride.
In due course, the BD became an online provision run by the University of London Worldwide and serving a global body of students from the Middle East, Africa, South East Asia, North America, and Europe.
It is particularly fitting that the Bachelor of Divinity is now a partnership initiative, hosted within the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at King’s.
Several of our academic staff, including Professor Edward Adams, Professor Kate Crosby, and Dr Jonathan Stökl, are involved in programme development and assessment, and/or producing new written and audio-visual study materials.
For further information, see the BD website.
Image: Archbishop Desmond Tutu received the Bachelor of Divinity as well as an MA in Theology from King’s College London. He is shown here at his 80th birthday celebration at King’s with Hannah Barlow, KCL staff, and Simisola Smith, Vice President of the KCL Students’ Union.
Inform – Information Network Focussed on Religious Movements – a UK government funded charity that provides information and consultancy on new religious movements worldwide. Most of Inform’s work involves engagement with minority religions in London.
As an educational charity affiliated with TRS, Inform is dedicated to collecting, assessing and disseminating knowledge about religious movements that is as reliable, balanced and contextualised as possible. Inform’s unique combination of experience and expertise helps UK government departments, public agencies and individuals make more informed decisions. Inform has unparalleled international connections with scholars of religious movements and enjoys the trust of many religions. Inform has published over twenty books on new religious movements in global perspective.
Head of Department Dr Marat Shterin is Inform’s Chair of the Board of Governors and is also linked to Inform through his partnerships with Monash University and Science-Po Paris, which focus on religion and radicalism in cross-cultural perspective. As part of that work, Dr Shterin consulted for Victoria State Police (Australia), French Ministry of External Affairs, and Russian Human Rights Lawyers and NGOs.
Inform’s highly trained staff is always willing to help TRS students and academics with data and research on contemporary religious movements, including public-facing parts of its database on over 5000 religious organisations. Inform also offers work placements for TRS students.
Working Group 5 of TD1308 Origins and evolution of life on Earth and in the Universe (ORIGINS). Funded by European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST). The aim of Working Group 5 was to cover the philosophical dimension of questions about the origins and concept of life. The activities of WG5 were the precursor for the European Astrobiology Institute (EAI) to be launched in 2019.
The Origins project brought together scientists and scholars from across Europe in order to address questions concerning the origin, evolution and future of life in the universe. Dr Tony Milligan from the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at King's was involved in the work on space ethics, planetary protection, and the religious implications of the possibility of life elsewhere for different denominations.
Working Group 5 was specifically charged with the production of a White Paper on ‘Astrobiology and Society in Europe’. This contains contributions from scholars from 28 countries, detailing with the challenges and public understanding of astrobiology and is a founding document for the European Astrobiology Institute (EAI). It is due to be presented at a meeting of Members of the European Parliament in November 2018, and launched in a book form as a SpringerBrief at this year’s European Planetary Science Congress in Berlin (September 208) with the EAI launching in 2019. The editors of the published version, are Erik Persson (University of Lund), Klara Capova (University of Durham), Tony Milligan (King’s College London) and David Dunér (University of Lund).
With this work now done, the preparations are under way for a proposed successor project looking into issues concerning ‘habitability’.