The Providence conference at Aberdeen was just as wonderful as anticipated. Though there were seventeen speakers, it was a comparatively small affair, and thanks to Francesca Murphy’s amazing powers of organisation and hospitality it was all most relaxed and convivial. Champions of wildly contrasting approaches chuntered happily away at every interval and supper.
Trouble is, I suppose, that it was wonderful because it was small, and it was small because so few folk from other British universities appeared, presumably because they had decided that Aberdeen was too far to go. But as Stephen Webb pointed out, only Brits would think that the journey to Aberdeen was long: Americans would consider that just a local journey .
Of the speakers, I was impressed by Charles Matthews, Stephen Webb and Philip Ziegler for extremely articulate accounts of the doctrine of providence in public theology. I particularly enjoyed talking to Matthew Levering, Hans Reinders, David Hart, Don Wood, Andy McGowan, Scott Prather, James Merrick and as ever Brian Brock.
I got drafted in to do a paper at the last minute. Here it is.