Arts and Sciences

In his famous 1959 Rede lecture, C.P. Snow demonstrated how the ‘two cultures’ of science and the humanities had become divided off from each other, to their – and humanity’s – impoverishment. 
But Christians are monotheists, believing that everything is related to everything else and can, in principle, be in harmony with everything else, because everything comes from the same one (and loving) Source. We cannot therefore acquiesce in any hermetic seal between different bits of reality: we have to keep asking how they are related. We have to keep making connections, because those connections are there to be made, and are, indeed, God-given. Making those connections is integrative and unifying. For monotheists, there can be no epistemological bifurcation, no social ghettoization or apartheid, for God is the source of all. 
Wycliffe is therefore really excited to be able to make appointments in both the arts and the sciences – an artist in residence and a philosopher of science. 

David Clifton in front of Wycliffe Hall sign

David Clifton has recently been appointed the first ever Artist in Residence at Wycliffe. A former worship leader at Holy Trinity Brompton, he is a versatile musician, equally at home in classical, folk, rock, jazz and blues –and an artist and ceramicist. Wycliffe has made this appointment because it believes that human beings are made in the image of the Creator and are therefore intrinsically creative. It is part of who God made us to be. And the arts help shape what people can imagine, which then influences what people can believe. Christian artists therefore have a vital role to play in the mission of the Church, by helping shape our culture so as to make it more amenable to the gospel. We are so grateful to the generous donor who has made this new position possible. 

Max Baker-Hitch headshot

Dr Max Baker-Hytch has recently been appointed to head up Wycliffe’s drive to make our students more aware of the findings and contributions of modern science, to equip them to think through the questions it raises for Christian faith and for humanity in general, and to foster a culture of co-operation and support between the Church and the scientific community. We want the Church to engage so seriously and intelligently and creatively with science, and with such intellectual curiosity, that the idea of a conflict between science and theology is seen to be an unfair representation of the co-operative interactions that people see going on between the church and the scientific community. We are grateful to Science for Seminaries for generously funding this new position. 

By making these two new appointments, we hope to make bridges between the two cultures. We hope to demonstrate the fruitfulness and joys of an integrated view of reality. We intend to celebrate the fact that all truth is God’s truth. We intend to enable our students to be more bi-lingual. And we aim to form future ministers to be those who can proclaim authentically, because they practise instinctively, an undivided view of reality dependent upon, because springing from, the one ultimate Reality.