On special occasions, members of Oriel sometimes toast the college by saying “Floreat Oriel,” a Latin toast that means “May Oriel flourish.” Floreamus is a blog for current and former members of Oriel theology. (“Floreamus” means “May we flourish”.) The blog is a place where we can all continue to discus theology, philosophy, and our other intellectual interests apart from the tutorial setting, and when we are no longer in Oxford. I hope the blog itself flourishes too, not least because I miss being able to talk about ideas with students after they leave Oxford to become teachers, lawyers, and bankers or whatever. My sense is that many of them also miss having a forum where they can talk about ideas.
The model I have in mind for the blog really is the conversation. I hope the level of discourse is high (though let’s face it, I’m as likely to lower it as anyone), but I also think the bar for entry should be fairly low– much closer to exploring ideas in the pub than to drafting long, article-length essays. This being the internet, anyone is welcome to comment on any post, obviously.
We currently have two things planned: a manifesto by Alec Siantonas on how awesomely awesome Oriel theology is (because it’s awesome, you see), along with a response from John Ritzema (who maybe thinks it’s just as awesome but differently awesome? Who knows??). And then we hope to have a book event in which we discuss Rowan Williams’ recently-published Gifford Lectures, The Edge of Words.
I will also be frank about my main worry: getting sued. No really, my main worry is that like so many blogs, this one will be active for a week or so and then die, after everyone gets too busy and then loses interest. That’s a real danger, I think, and one of the ways to mitigate the danger is by being serious about the conversation model. So short, paragraph-length posts will be just as welcome as long essays, and certainly many of my own contributions will be like that.