Vija is Latvian, and lives in Oslo where she is a research fellow at the Norwegian School of Theology. Her doctoral studies are currently focused on how the Church is perceived by non-believers.
“My research arises out of a personal interest,” explains Vija. “I became a Christian in 2000 in Latvia, after being very sceptical about the church and Christianity. I studied philosophy and was trained to think critically. I met some Christians and asked them questions over a long period of time but my questions often caught them off guard. Through my research I want to help Christians discover the questions people outside the church are really asking, rather than the ones they think they are being asked.”
While at the College, Vija is contributing to teaching several subjects including new religious movements, and Eastern Orthodoxy. She is also presenting a paper on ‘Lessons from the persecuted church’. The presentation reflects on the communist experience of Latvia, and outlines key points of learning from this period of the church’s history.
“I am enjoying the interaction with the students,” says Vija. “In particular I appreciate their mission focus and personal engagement in mission which they are able to reflect in class.”
Darrell Jackson, Lecturer in European Studies and Director of Redcliffe’s Nova Research Centre said, “We hope for an ongoing institutional link with the Norwegian School of Theology and other centres of mission study throughout Europe. All are made possible by Redcliffe’s pioneering involvement in the European Erasmus scheme.”
Find out more about Redcliffe’s involvement with the Erasmus scheme at http://www.redcliffe.org/erasmus