Scottish Journal of Theology has avoided producing editorials as we have preferred to allow our authors to speak for themselves with minimal editorial intrusion.
However, May 2015 marks a milestone in the Journal’s history and it seemed proper to write a short commentary for our readers and subscribers.
From its beginning in 1948 Scottish Journal of Theology has been independent and owned by its own board of directors who formed a small company incorporated in Scotland (a non-profit) called Scottish Journal of Theology Ltd.
In April 2015 the directors of the small company (trustees of the corresponding charity) took the decision to sell their journal to Cambridge University Press with effect from the 1st of May 2015. This decision, initially discussed in 2014, grew out of a realisation that in today's interconnected world, the editorial integrity of the journal and its independent outlook is protected less by having a tiny parent company than by deepening its relationship with its excellent publisher and by trusting the judgement of a new editorial team. Such a move could not have happened without the strong relationships which have been built with Cambridge University Press over the last decade, for which Martine Walsh and her predecessor, Joe Motteshead, have been largely responsible.
Cambridge University Press has appointed Ian McFarland as editor and Iain Torrance and Bryan Spinks will bow out over the summer while effecting a smooth transition to their successor.
Bryan Spinks, one of the best liturgists in the world and a person with an encyclopaedic knowledge of English, Scottish and early church history, has been an ideal co-editor. Our work together has deepened an already long friendship. Reliable, terse, always fair and independent in his comments, he has, with me, been an enthusiast for the journal and along with me has believed in its ability to move discussion forwards and to allow new voices to be heard. I am deeply grateful to him and always will be. We have agreed to retire together to allow Ian McFarland to form his own team.
We are truly delighted that Ian McFarland has agreed to become editor. Currently the Bishop Mack B. and Rose Stokes Professor of Theology at the Candler School, Emory University, from this autumn Ian will become the Regius Professor of Divinity at the University of Cambridge. It is most appropriate that he should then be editing a Cambridge journal and, indeed, one with which he is very familiar as prior to his appointment to Emory University he was a much valued and highly respected colleague at the University of Aberdeen.
Bryan Spinks and I welcome Ian as our successor. We admire him for his extensive knowledge, great energy, leadership and commitment to thinking at the deepest level. And we have every confidence that in the hands of Cambridge University Press the journal, founded by T. F. Torrance and J. K. S. Reid, will continue to flourish.