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Digital Subscriptions > Life and Work > December 2018 > Shocking Knox

Shocking Knox

Thomas Baldwin meets the two women at the helm of New College in Edinburgh.

IT was of course John Knox who coined the phrase ‘the monstrous regiment of women’.

So it’s tempting to wonder what Knox, glowering down from his plinth in the quadrangle of New College, the home of the University of Edinburgh’s School of Divinity, would make of events there this year.

For not only was this the scene of the celebration of half a century of female Church of Scotland ministers back in May, but this autumn women started work in two of the most senior positions in the college.

“I think he’d get a shock,” says the Rev Professor Susan Hardman Moore, new Principal of New College, and therefore responsible for the trainee Church of Scotland ministers at Edinburgh.

“And we don’t mind about that!” adds Professor Helen Bond, Head of the School of Divinity.

Helen is the irst woman to hold her position in the University’s history – “And about time, too,” says Susan.

“It is quite bizarre that it has taken until 2018,” agrees Helen, ”But when we came in 2000 (the two arrived at New College at the same time, although it is Susan’s second spell) there were only two women on the staf, so we doubled the number. Now, in terms of staf numbers we must be up to about 40 per cent and our undergraduate numbers are largely women as well, so I think it’s just taken a while for women to percolate up.”

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About Life and Work

IN THIS ISSUE 'COMPELLED BY THE LOVE OF CHRIST' - Christmas Day workers SHOCKING KNOX - The two women at the helm of New College, Edinburgh 'O LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM' - Holy Land Reflections FROM MONTY PYTHON TO MINISTRY - Moderator- Designate appointed