Thursday, 3 April 2008

Archbishop's lectures

The full text of three lectures given in Westminster Abbey by the Archbishop of Canterbury during Holy Week are now available online. Go to Archbishop gives Lent lectures at Westminster Abbey to find the links to the transcripts.

The lectures focused on the relationship between faith and science, faith and politics and faith and history and the implications each of these subjects has on the individual and society. Dr Williams introduced the lecture series saying, ‘I have given this series the title ‘A Question of Faith’. The faith about which I shall mostly be speaking is my own, which is Christianity. But I hope that there will be in the discussion some matters which are no less relevant to other faiths and their relationship to the twenty-first century, its culture and its problems’. Following each lecture there was an opportunity for the audience to submit their questions to the Archbishop and a selection covering the variety of themes were answered.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 3 April 2008 at 11:32pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England

In light of the discussion here on "embryology" I am surprised that people have not picked up on what RW has to say in his lecture on "Faith and Science."

I think RW has provided a context in faith and science for the discussion of this "hot topic" here, especially toward the end of the lecture. But it also provides some insight on the purpose and the limits of science (e.g. as if science of itself can provide the basis for "moral" thought or direction).

Here is one key statement: "Scientific practice, what scientists do very often has about it an ethos, literally a morality, a set of assumptions about appropriate behaviour. How do you relate to the phenomena that confront you? With attention, with – and one can't avoid the word – humility. The scientific method has a very marked moral, even spiritual component, and that's one of the things which makes both popular scientism and anti- scientism inadequate. Within scientific practice there is a subtle balance of security and insecurity, discovery and fresh questioning which is in fact remarkably like the way in which human beings behave in their relationships with one another and the world at large. So, far from science being a small privileged area of absolute certainty in a wilderness of doubt and superstition, science in practice, gets to look surprisingly like human activity."

Ben W

Posted by: Ben W on Friday, 4 April 2008 at 4:36pm BST

I have three blog entries (likely to become a website page too) on these lectures:

They get progressively longer. The last one has the Archbishop say some bizarre things to try and uphold a claim to history, such as the resurrection stories in the New Testament are raw and not polished like the rest of the texts, when clearly they are highly theological and as polished as the rest. His basic arguments don't stand up.

Posted by: Pluralist on Sunday, 6 April 2008 at 3:24pm BST
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