This strand is concerned with identifying the main features of Cupitt’s thought and the evolution of his thinking, as well as some of the chief critics of his ideas.
It will examine Cupitt’s most significant intellectual influences, and delineate the major stages of his work.
Beginning with Kant on the nature of religious understanding, and the quest for the historical Jesus, our research will also engage with his reading of the mystics, his embrace of non-realism and his fascination with Buddhist teachings, as well as the influence of Derrida, post-structuralism and the ‘linguistic turn’ via his study of Wittgenstein.
In the latter stages of his career, Cupitt’s focus turned to an advocacy of expressivism (of which the book Solar Ethics is the best illustration), and the ‘Turn to Be-ing’ inspired by Heidegger.
Cupitt may have been a controversial figure in the academic theological community, but his radical ideas have been taken seriously by many scholars whether or not they share his theological and philosophical stance. This research strand will consider the main objections to his work advanced by his contemporaries as well as undertaking a fresh new look at the relevance of his ideas for today.