LECTURES

Chalmers Faith and Society Lectures 

2019

Understanding the Times

WITH MARSH MOYLE | MARCH 2019

We live in a time of ever increasing polarisation and anger. There are many factors making up a “vortex of transition” all across the western world. We are in a period of rapid change in everything from morals, what it means to be human, to how we know and how we relate. The transition is creating new assumptions about life, new values and loyalties and new expectations about the future. In the light of this how can we maintain and strengthen our own spiritual resilience and that of those under our pastoral care. 

We will unpack some of the reasons for the transition and consider the new belief structures and the spiritual and psychological impact of the new beliefs. We will also discuss how the message of Christianity can speak meaningfully into the times. 

Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humanity

WITH PROF. JOHN WYATT | MARCH 2019

How are rapid developments in AI and robotics changing the way we think about our own humanity? What ethical, social and personal challenges will these developments bring within the foreseeable future? In a world which will be increasingly dominated by intelligent machines, what are human beings for?  How can we respond to the new developments and challenges from the perspective of the historic Christian faith?

2018

Pain and painkillers, healing and offerings

WITH EMOKE TAPOLYAI | NOVEMBER 2018

How does our woundedness effect our identity and relationships? What impact does our past and our understanding of our past have on our present. Is there a way to true identity and through that to intimate relationships? What is the price for it?These are the questions that we will challenge and try to answer through the lecture.

What is Burning You Out?

WITH EMOKE TAPOLYAI | NOVEMBER 2018

Why are young people fighting depression and how does our society push them in the direction of emotional distress.  The lecture encourages the listeners to identify the pressures that exhaust them and gives a different perspective to break free of these pressures.

Renewing Your Mind: Reimagining the Spiritual Disciplines in a Digital Age

WITH SARAH SCHUMACHER | APRIL 2018

They say digital technology is changing our minds, literally. What does this mean for us as humans, as Christians? What does the renewal of our minds in this new age look like? In this talk, Sara will help us re-imagine the age-old spiritual disciplines for life in a digital world. Drawing on the work of theologians as well as sociologists, she will explore the points of intersections, divergence and conclude with suggestions for how we might live well in a digital age.

The Spirituality of Time

WITH SARAH WILLIAMS | FEBRUARY 2018

How do we imagine time and how does our imagination shape our perception of prayer? This lecture explores what it means to cultivate an historical imagination and to develop an awareness of our location in time – past, present and future. It considers how such an awareness can sensitise us to our contemporary missional context, challenge prevailing post-modern perceptions of the self, and foster hope, identity and confidence.

The Spirituality of Time

WITH SARAH WILLIAMS | FEBRUARY 2018

From 1869 to 1886 feminist philosopher Josephine Butler brought the plight of the prostitute to the attention of Victorian society. She challenged contemporary sexual ethics, defended the rights of the marginalised, and renegotiated the place of women in the public sphere. She has been described as the ‘most distinguished woman of the nineteenth century’. But what motivated Butler’s critique of Victorian culture? This talk explores the relationship between Butler’s Christian faith and her political imagination, raising important questions about character, leadership and hope all of which remain crucial in our own missional context.

2017

Evangelism & Pastoral Care

WITH GLEN SCRIVENER | DECEMBER 2017

What does it mean to be an Evangelist and what would it mean to evangelize our church community and give pastoral care to our friends who don’t know Jesus? In this talk Glen explores the relationship between evangelism and pastoral care and how we might need to rethink how we view them.

Who’s Afraid of Evangelism? Sharing Christ in a Post-Christian Culture

WITH ANDY BANNISTER | OCTOBER 2017

In this talk Andy Bannister explores the issue of evangelism in a so-called Post-Christian culture. Can we have confidence in sharing Christ and how do we get over our fears?

A Better Vision: God, Sex and Human Flourishing

WITH GLYNN HARRISON | APRIL 2017

The last few decades have witnessed a radical and far-reaching transformation of western attitudes to sex, marriage, and gender. Caught off-guard by the speed of this cultural upheaval, Christians often react defensively, rather than offering a compelling vision of their own. In this lecture, Glynn Harrison will ask how Christians who continue to hold traditional beliefs recover confidence in the biblical vision for flourishing in the sphere of sex and relationships. How can they revitalise a vision capable of winning the hearts and minds? And what will that better story look like? 

The 10 Commandments and Awakening the Moral Imagination

WITH MARSH MOYLE | FEBRUARY 2017

How do we imagine time and how does our imagination shape our perception of prayer? This lecture explores what it means to cultivate an historical imagination and to develop an awareness of our location in time – past, present and future. It considers how such an awareness can sensitise us to our contemporary missional context, challenge prevailing post-modern perceptions of the self, and foster hope, identity and confidence.

2016

The New Testament and the (Mal)formation of Intellectual Humility

WITH GRANT MACASKILL | DECEMBER 2016

Humility is a necessary characteristic of Christian life, and one that affects our ways of thinking and evaluating, as well as our ways of acting: we must be intellectually humble, if we are to be followers of Jesus. While intellectual humility may involve a willingness to be corrected and a recognition of our limited grasp of the truth, its embodiment in the life of Jesus also points to another strand of the virtue: intellectual servanthood. This session will examine some of the ways by which the New Testament writings shape Christian readers into humble thinkers, while also examining the problem widely recognised by those same writings: the presence of intellectual arrogance within Christian communities. Such arrogance, disturbingly, can have the appearance of humility (Col 2:23) and we must consider how the two are to be distinguished.

Changing Culture, Changing Values

WITH DR PETER SAUNDERS | NOVEMBER 2016

Dr. Peter Saunders came to speak to us on the topic of Changing Culture, Changing Values. His lecture covers the importance of a changing dominant worldview in determining the trends of society and culture in ‘the West’ over the last 50 years.

2015

The Pain and the Passion

WITH BARONESS CAROLINE COX | NOVEMBER 2015

In November we had Baroness Caroline Cox with us speaking on “The Pain and the Passion: The Privilege of Making a Difference”.  This was an extremely challenging and inspirational afternoon hearing about the work of Baroness Cox through her NGO HART.

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