Theology experts converge on Duns

Statue of John Duns Scotus in Duns Park.
Statue of John Duns Scotus in Duns Park.

A conference, concert and historical walk are all taking place in Duns this weekend to celebrate the 750th anniversary of the birth of John Duns Scotus.

Now accepted as the most eminent medieval philosopher in Britain, John Duns Scotus’ ideas are no longer ridiculed as they were in the 16th to 19th centuries, and his importance is now celebrated.

Last week Duns Primary School pupils made dunces hats and paraded around his statue - their effort to remove the stigma of connecting the philosopher with the symbol of someone who has difficulty learning.

The celebrations of Duns’ famous son continue this week, starting off with a concert of music and poetry at Christ Church, Duns, on Friday, October 14, at 7.30pm.

On Saturday, October 15, a major conference is being held at Christ Church, Duns (10am-4.30pm) attended by experts from around the world.

The guest speakers include: Reverend Canon Anne Dyer, Rector of Holy Trinity Church, Haddington; Mary Beth Ingham, Professor of Philosophical Theology at the Franciscan School of Theology, University of San Diego, California; Paul Starkey, Emeritus Professor, Department of Arabic, at Durham University; Antonie Vos, Professor of Historical Theology at the Evangelical Theological Faculty in Leuven in Belgium; Dr Philip Tonner, Head of Philosophy and Religion & Director, The Hutchesons’ Centre for Research, Hutchesons’ Grammar School, Glasgow; and Dr Herbert Schneider, OFM, Director of the Johannes-Duns-Scotus-Akademie Mönchengladbach.

Then on Sunday, October 16, a historical walk from Duns’ Market Cross in Market Square, (2pm) will reveal that, apart from John Duns Scotus, Duns nurtured the person who named Indonesia, a Lord Mayor of London, Napoleon’s jailer, the founder of the Scottish Provident and other people who made important contributions to history.

Contact Derek Janes, Duns Scotus 2016; 01361 883095/07979 034530