I popped in to Oxford because it’s on the way to Coventry. Also, I quite like The place. I attended a lecture series at Jesus College on Mysticism and Epistemology (AKA Spirituality and knowledge) about 6 years ago. Not everyones cup of tea, but I really enjoyed it at the time.
For those who haven’t been here before, The city is kind of jambed into the university itself.
The uni is based on a collegiate system. A person might study at Oxford University, but in reality they enrol and study at a particular college, and there are plenty to be had. Each college has it’s own faculty and is self governing. They all teach similar courses, but you would probably choose a college with the tutors you most want. They also have very different budgets or endowments
Jesus College is a tad more subtle. No impressive bell tower, but it has a very big door. Despite the name, there’s not much in the way of reference to Jesus anywhere in the facility. Paintings of Queens and Kings line the walls, but the motto, which should be impressive, seems to be the same as every other college, “Keep off the grass”.
The students are just returning for the new year, all wear black suits with gowns in the middle of summer. Yet with a name like Jesus College you’d expect Albs and sandals, but not at Oxford. Which begs the contextual question, if Jesus had turned up to Oxford, what would he wear. Something to ponder.
I did note that most colleges have military style parapets on the towers and walls. I’m not sure whether they are there for architectural reasons, or for battle? I suspect the latter. I can imagine theological, philosophical and political rivalry got out of hand on occasion. Especially between Jesus, Trinity and Magdalene colleges.
Because the city is so academic, even the headstones of dead people are testimony to the intellectual rigour of the place. I want one in Latin too.
There are people from every part of the world here. It’s busy, colourful, thoughtful and has the best bookshops I have been to in a while.