Dawkins does know how to tweak the fluffy little wankers, that’s for sure. He is suggesting that universities ought to dismantle their theology departments!
We who doubt that “theology” is a subject at all, or who compare it with the study of leprechauns, are eagerly hoping to be proved wrong. Of course, university departments of theology house many excellent scholars of history, linguistics, literature, ecclesiastical art and music, archaeology, psychology, anthropology, sociology, iconology, and other worthwhile and important subjects. These academics would be welcomed into appropriate departments elsewhere in the university. But as for theology itself, defined as “the organised body of knowledge dealing with the nature, attributes, and governance of God”, a positive case now needs to be made that it has any real content at all, and that it has any place in today’s universities.
You don’t see colleges retaining their astrology and alchemy departments, so I think it is quite reasonable to shuffle the superannuated fogeys off to the glue factory, and let the others find their places in disciplines with some foundation in reality, like philosophy and history.
It ought to be considered a promotion. I’d be embarrassed to have a degree in theology … and history, philosophy, literature, etc., all have considerably more respectability.