Jordan Peterson had a happy experience at Cambridge University last year when he was invited to address the student-run Cambridge Union, the oldest continuously running debating society in the world. The talk was delivered to a packed house and is now the second-most watched of their 200 total videos.
This year he planned to spend some time in the Faculty of Divinity to develop a series of talks on biblical themes. An offer was made by the Faculty but was withdrawn at the last minute under very strange circumstances.
The Cambridge University Student Union (not to be confused with the aforementioned Cambridge Union), pinned to their Twitter account the rescindment announcement three minutes before (!) the Faculty of Divinity did so, and in a spirit of apparent “relief.”
The Guardian cited the following CUSU statement:
We are relieved to hear that Jordan Peterson’s request for a visiting fellowship to Cambridge’s faculty of divinity has been rescinded following further review. It is a political act to associate the University with an academic’s work through offers which legitimise figures such as Peterson. His work and views are not representative of the student body and as such we do not see his visit as a valuable contribution to the University, but one that works in opposition to the principles of the University.
That view was contradicted by the packed audience at the Cambridge Union auditorium, the intelligent questioning associated with the lecture, and the overwhelming number of views the video accrued. Peterson suggested that this indicates that “a number of Cambridge students are very interested in what I have to say, and might well regard my visit “as a valuable contribution to the University.”
I believe that those at the Faculty of Divinity who rescinded their offer to me — and handled the rescindment in a manner that could hardly have been more narcissistic or self-congratulatory — don’t give a damn about the perilous decline of Christianity. I think that it is no bloody wonder that the faith is declining (and with it, the values of the West, as it fragments) with cowards and mountebanks of the sort who manifested themselves in this action.
Read his story. h/t Wes Goh.