My colleagues and I need to devise a name for the biblical-studies component of the Theology and Religious Studies Department (soon to be “Subject Area” within the “School of Critical Studies” of the “College of Arts” of the University of Glasgow). The two main rules are: (1) it should sound like a place more than just an event or process; and (2) it can’t imply institutional autonomy or funding. Hence, the otherwise-obvious candidate “Centre” is ruled out — but a word for a non-Centre Centre would be welcome.
Margaret and I were brainstorming on the train from our fantastic day-trip to Edinburgh yesterday

Margaret In Edinburgh

and we came up with some starters: House; Academy, Institute, Campus, Conservatory, Faculty (I’m betting these sound too official); Laboratory, Lab, Museum, Atheneum; Glaswegeschule; Cluster; Group; Site, Domain, Node, Nexus; Clubhouse; Hideout; Shul, yeshiva, Bet ha-Midrash, Scholê; Den, Kennel, Lair, Warren, Nest, Stable; Speakeasy, Pub, Cafe;
If it helps enliven your imaginations, the emblem of our cluster/node/house/whatever will be the unicorn, an emblem for Scotland, for our University (the old campus’s Lion and Unicorn stairs have been rebuilt here at our new campus), a biblical animal (“Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib?” Job 39:9 KJV), and generally a cool thing.

Unicorn From the Staircase

15 thoughts on “Crowd-Sourcing

  1. Pavilion? (Psalm 19 – In the deep has he set a pavilion for the sun)
    Portico? (John 10:23 – Jesus was walking in the temple in the portico of Solomon)
    Atrium? (Luke 11:21 – cum fortis armatus custodit atrium suum in pace sunt ea quae possidet)

  2. House would be nice, as it would open up what has traditionally been a confessional (Rutherford House, Tyndale House) place of study into a more critical community. Plus it may help on the funding front?

    That is if you can’t get away with circus.

  3. I was about to champion Lair, until I saw the Circus suggestion. Definitely Circus. Now, I would have thought that ‘Centre’ implied organisational nexus but no cash, while ‘Institute’ implied funding, but that just goes to show how wrong I am on many fronts.

    Is the prefix for this charming title still going to be ‘Biblical Studies’?

  4. Well, it was going top be The Glasgow Bible Colloquium, but now it depends to some extent on what noun we choose. We want to get “Glasgow” in there, so people will associate us with the University, and “Bible” or “Biblical,” so that we’re asserting our disciplinary focus. But exactly what the designation boils down to remains to be seen. Or heard.

    I like the unicron, though. T-shirts and other paraphernalia will follow.

  5. T-shirts!!! I want one! Is going to be open to groupies as well as proper biblical scholars?

    Oh, and I’m writing about gardens now (well, not right now, right now I’m writing an introduction, I mean, procrastinating from writing an introduction), so I’m partial to that one. How about the Glasgow Biblical Garden Circus (with Unicorns!)?

    Like a garden party but less hats and more chaos?

  6. Whatever you choose, I’d be grateful if you attached the suffix “a Go-Go” to it.

    E.g.: “Glasgow Bible Garden Circus (with Unicorns) a Go-Go.”

  7. Collaborative … Consortium … Committee
    House … Exploratorium … Guild
    Association … Critical Path … Assemblage

    Not appropriate at all: Meetup

  8. Yes, Rachel — but this being a secular department, part of what we of necessity consider is the possibility that the Unicorn types might be right, so it’s appropriate (to some extent) on that count as well.

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