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
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.