What’s your PhD about?
I’m researching for a PhD in Theology, specifically in the field of Public Theology*, at University of Wales, Bangor’s Theology Department. The exact title of my work is…
R .Tudur Jones and Welsh Christian nationalism in the context of historical theology
And this, in short, is what my thesis will be about:
During the twentieth century, R. Tudur Jones (1922-1998) was Wales’s foremost theologian. Though an academic by training, a minister by vocation, he also took a prominent role in public life, commenting on contemporary events and defending the nationalist position through his leadership in Plaid Cymru. Despite an extensive bibliography including religious historiography, social comment, theology and politics, there has been no academic assessment of his contribution. This project seeks to assess specifically his political contribution and thought, particularly his understanding of Nationalism as a development of theological beliefs.
For RTJ, there were two basic sources for Nationalism, the Hegelian and the Calvinistic. In the former, the nation held a vocation on the world stage. However, there appears to be nothing beyond the nation which can offer a critique of the state. The danger inherent in such nationalism is that it will create an idol of the state, as it did in Nazi Germany, for example. For the Calvinist, the state is always subordinate to the sovereignty of God: it can never become an idol and it is continuously subject to critique. This project will place RTJ’s standpoints into the wider context (a) of theology’s teaching on the church and the state (b) the development of nationalist thought (c) Welsh nationalism itself and its place in Welsh theological thinking. It will primarily seek to establish (1) whether or not RTJ’s political ideas were formed from Christian beliefs and the theological tradition (2) whether or not there can be, more generally, such a thing as Christian nationalism.