St Andrews Divinity School awarded £3.4m grant to create free online theology encyclopaedia

NT Wright is to be one of two Senior Editors for Christianity(Photo: Zondervan)

The University of St Andrews' Divinity School has been awarded a £3.4m grant from the John Templeton Foundation to create a free online theology encyclopaedia. 

It is the largest ever research grant to have been secured by the divinity school and will be used to fund the creation of the encyclopaedia in the hopes of providing a global resource that will be of particular benefit to countries with few or no libraries.

The encyclopaedia will offer material not only on Christianity but the major faiths, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism as well. 

In addition to supporting theological instruction, leading scholars will write articles informing interreligious discussion and understanding. 

Brendan Wolfe, Honorary Reader at the School of Divinity, will serve as the Encyclopaedia's Principal Editor, with Dr Steve Holmes, Senior Lecturer, as Chair of the Editorial Board.

Distinguished theologian and St Andrews New Testament Professor NT Wright will serve as Senior Editor for Christianity alongside the university's Professor of Systematic Theology, Christoph Schwoebel.

Mr Wolfe said: "The Christian theology section is expanding quickly, due in large part to the support of the entire School of Divinity's research community.

"We are developing links with other institutions so that the work in other traditions can be similarly grounded in communities of scholarship."

Dr Holmes envisages the resource growing to become the theological equivalent to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 

He commented: "If the St Andrews Encyclopaedia of Theology can achieve the same level of scholarly excellence, it will be the most significant new initiative in academic theology this century."