How Cambridge Papers began
'There is no longer a Christian mind. The Christian mind has succumbed to the secular drift with a degree of weakness and nervelessness unmatched in Christian history. It is difficult to do justice in words to the complete loss of intellectual morale in the twentieth-century Church.'
Harry Blamires, The Christian Mind (SPCK, 1963), p.3
'Originally things were very impromptu,' writes Michael Ovey in his introduction to Christianity in a Changing World by Michael Schluter and the Cambridge Papers Group. 'We would meet at Michael Schluter's house (he was the convenor) and one of us would bring in an idea which the others would run with, develop and test as best we could, but always aiming to think Christianly. That was prompted in part because we each felt the force of Blamires' challenge.'
The participants were Christians from various denominations and academic disciplines, but they shared a 'nagging suspicion', as Ovey puts it, that distinctively biblical thinking was not being brought to bear upon their respective fields. They also shared the conviction that if Jesus is Lord, he is Lord of all creation. Every sphere of knowledge and every human activity should be considered in the light of God's communication to us in the Scriptures. Ovey concludes, 'We perceived a genuine need here for a distinctive, biblically-based contribution from Christians.'
As time went on, the meetings became more structured: it was decided that a paper would be presented at each discussion. Later, the writing group became aware of others who wanted to consider similar questions. This encouraged them to begin publishing their work, after multiple drafts and frank discussions, under the title Cambridge Papers.
Although they had originally called themselves the Jubilee Centre Think Tank, the writing group settled on the existing name because the meetings were held in Cambridge and also because they were conscious of a concern in Cambridge, dating back to the Puritans and before, to relate the Bible to the whole of life. The first Cambridge Paper was published in March 1992, about four years after the group was first convened.