My guest this week is Taylor Weaver. Originally from Texas, Taylor came to Canterbury in 2014 in order to undertake a PhD in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Kent. We learn why Taylor sought from early in his life to conceal his Texan accent and Taylor talks about the culture shock of coming to the UK.
Taylor’s parents divorced when he was in kindergarten and he lived with his father who worked in a power plant as an engineer. He talks about the traits he inherited and shares some memories of getting into a fight when young and why he once claimed that the Devil told him to drop a boulder on his brother’s head. We also learn why, as an American living in the South, it was never possible to escape religion.
We then move on to talk about whether there is a confessional dimension to his studies and Taylor speaks about how he isn’t representative of most Baptists due to his liberal world view. He refers to the paradox of being radicalized by leftist intellectuals and how it has shaped his Christianity in a different way. We then discuss the value of education in overcoming ignorance.
Taylor reveals the music he grew up with and how he listened when young to Lynyrd Skynyrd, and we learn why he is now embarrassed to admit that he used to listen to particular forms of rap. He remembers playing video games with a friend, which for him is a bittersweet memory as the friendship didn’t last.
We then discuss why Taylor chose to go into academia and we learn about the particular teachers who inspired him as well as the extra-curricular activities that he was involved with at university, including the theatre, cross-country running and video games.
In the final part of the interview we learn whether Taylor's memories are predominantly positive, why he wishes that he could go back to his undergraduate days again, why his parents’ divorce was a character-building experience and how he wanted to be in the marines and even dreamed of becoming a rock star.
Please note: Opinions expressed are solely those of Chris Deacy and Taylor Weaver and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the University of Kent.