Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Friday, 14 March 2014

End of term

This morning I went along to the final symposium organised by Azusa Pacific University in Los Angeles for their visiting students in Oxford, three of whom I have been teaching this term through the OPUS programme.

The symposium was held in the Old Library at the church of St Mary the Virgin. This was built in 1320 and, together with the Old Convocation House which forms the lower storey of the building, is the oldest University (as opposed to college) building not only in Oxford but probably in Europe. It is thus the predecessor of Duke Humfrey's library and the Bodleian, and, once a trifling little dispute with my own college of Oriel which ensured the library was closed for a generation or so ... was resolved in the late fourteenth century through the benevolence of Archbishop Arundel, the first functioning University library in Oxford.

At the symposium the students speak about their experience of living and studying in Oxford, and its impact on their own faith and beliefs. As on the previous time I attended such a meeting, this term's group had obviously enjoyed and gained from their term here.

Azusa has a specifically Christian ethic and the students obviously adhered to that and this was reflected in what they said. I have taught students from Azusa for several years and they are always intelligent, conscientious and likeable people with much to offer. I wish them , and my other students from this term well in the future, and hope to hear how they progress.

The website of the University can be seen at their website Azusa Pacific University.

The Old Library in use for a conference


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