Don Cupitt (Sea of Faith)
History and Provenance
Don Cupitt (1934-) is best known for his 1984 BBC television series The Sea of Faith, in which he challenged orthodox Christian beliefs such as XXX. Cupitt has been described as a ‘radical theologian’ due to his non-realist approach to the philosophy of religion. He worked at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, in various posts from 1968-96, when he was appointment a Life Fellow of the college. He is the author of over 40 books, many of which are held at Gladstone’s Library.
Sea of Faith originates in Matthew Arnold’s mid-Victorian poem Dover Beach: ‘The Sea of Faith | Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore | Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled. | But now I only hear | Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar.’
The collection forms part of the Library’s ‘Radical Theology’ archives, along with the archives of John Robinson, Robert Jeffrey, Jim Cotter and Eric James.
Access and Finding Aid
The archive is listed on the Library’s online catalogue and can be found by searching for ‘DC’ on MainCAT.
All archives and special collections can only be accessed via a Request to Read Restricted Items form, which must be submitted at least 14 days in advance of your visit. The archive is held in the Sea of Faith room. From 2018 this room is the Library’s digital studio and access is restricted.
As this is a contemporary archive, some items may be closed to researchers. If access is possible, you will need to complete a Request to Read Closed Items form.
Arrangement and Description
The archive consists of manuscripts, correspondence, research notes and other documents pertaining to Cupitt’s research interests, his work with the Sea of Faith network, and the publication of his many books. There are also small holdings of VCR tapes and photographic images. The archive has been arranged into a loose chronological order; several boxes of oversize material are arranged likewise. The archive also contains a collection of Cupitt’s published works.
The Sea of Faith Network webpages can be found here.
Don Cupitt’s official website can be found here.