I grew up in Australia: my university training and my initial academic positions took place in the explicitly secular institution of the Australian university. So, it’s an uncanny experience to arrive in St Andrews to become a part of a university in a town marked by martyrdom, in which the Chaplaincy plays a central and visible role. University functions, including graduations, are opened with prayers in Latin. There are regular services in Chapel, including graduation services, and many involve an procession of academics, in robes. The separation of “church” and “state” is nowhere near as sharp here in St Andrews as it was in Australia. The university is explicitly pluralist, and the chaplains work very hard to make space for students of all faiths and none. And at the same time, this place owns its Christian heritage.
So, it was to my surprise – and my trepidation – that I was invited to preach the sermon at the Sunday chapel service at the start of this new semester. I seem to have survived the experience of doing something in my work context that is far outside the everyday responsibility of my academic role as a Professor of Philosophy.
I’m Greg Restall, and this is my personal website. ¶ I am the Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of Philosophy at the University of St Andrews. ¶ I like thinking about – and helping other people think about – logic and philosophy and the many different ways they can inform each other.