‘Professor against political correctness’ slams Cambridge University ‘cowards’ for withdrawing his visiting fellowship after he spoke out on use of gender-neutral terms
- Jordan Peterson was offered a visiting fellowship by Cambridge University
- The offer was rescinded within 48 hours by the institution’s Faculty of Divinity
- Peterson has protested legal changes which would compel him to use colleagues’ preferred pronouns, in a row over transgender rights
- He responded by calling the university’s leaders ‘cowards and mountebanks’
Jordan Peterson, the right-wing academic who has called himself the ‘professor against political correctness’ has called Cambridge academics ‘cowards and mountebanks’ after they withdrew an offer of a visiting fellowship.
Dr Peterson, 56, a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, had initially been set to teach with Cambridge’s Faculty of Divinity for two months in autumn.
But on Wednesday the university took the invite back ‘after a review’.
In a strongly worded response, Dr Peterson said: ‘I think the Faculty of Divinity made a serious error of judgement in rescinding their offer to me.
‘I think they handled publicizing the rescindment in a manner that could hardly have been more narcissistic, self-congratulatory and devious.
Dr Jordan Peterson, 56, said the decision to rescind his invitation, and to do so publicly (below), was made by ‘cowards and mountebanks’
The school tweeted the decision to rescind the offer, but had not publicised the initial agreement
- Cambridge University withdraws fellowship of Canadian… ‘I can’t say I enjoyed it’: Controversial psychologist…
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‘I believe that the parties in question don’t give a damn about the perilous decline of Christianity, and I presume in any case that they regard that faith, in their propaganda-addled souls, as the ultimate manifestation of the oppressive Western patriarchy, despite their hypothetical allegiance to their own discipline.
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 today at the helm.’
Colleagues and fellow-travellers came to his defence.
The historian Niall Ferguson tweeted: ‘Having taught at Cambridge for three happy years I am dismayed at the shabby treatment of @jordanbpeterson. All concerned should … hang their heads in shame.’
Toby Young, the journalist and educationalist, said he was ‘ashamed to be a Cambridge alumnus’.
Professor Peterson wrote that had planned to write lectures on the Bible stories contained in Exodus while at Cambridge, after a lecture he gave while there last year, on the first sentence of Genesis, garnered 3.7 million views making it the most well-received talk he has ever posted online.
A lecture by Dr Peterson (pictured above in Sydney this year) at Cambridge last year, focused on the first line of the Bible, has been viewed more than 3 million times
Cambridge University (from front to back: the Grand Courtyard of St John’s College, Trinity College, Senate House and the Old Schools, Gonville & Caius College and Kings College Chapel). The School of Divinity first invited, then uninvited, Dr Peterson to lecture there
He said: ‘I thought that I could extend my knowledge of the relevant stories … and that doing so would be useful for me, for faculty members who might be interested in speaking with me, and to the students.
Dr Peterson, holdd controversial views on race, gender and political correctness.
He has argued that marginalised groups are infantilised by a culture of victimhood and offence, that political correctness threatens freedom of thought and speech and that ‘the West has lost faith in masculinity’
In 2016 he opposed an anti-discrimination law which would require him to use the preferred pronouns of his students and colleagues.
He claimed it infringed on free speech, although he added he would use whatever pronouns a person wanted out of courtesy.
A university spokeswoman said this week: ‘[Cambridge] is an inclusive environment and we expect all our staff and visitors to uphold our principles. There is no place here for anyone who cannot.’
The students’ union said: ‘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.’
Dr Peterson said the CUSU statement ‘borders on the unintelligible.’
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