Thinking Anglicans

Bampton Lectures 2022: Professor Alec Ryrie

The University Church in Oxford announces:

The Age of Hitler, and how we can escape it

This year’s lectures are given by Professor Alec Ryrie FBA, who  is Professor of the History of Christianity in the Department of Theology and Religion, University of Durham.

The age of Hitler is not the 1930s and 1940s: it is our own lifetimes. It is the period in which Western culture has come to define its values not by Christianity, but by the narrative of the Second World War. It is the period in which our most potent moral figure has been Adolf Hitler, and in which our only truly fixed moral reference point has been our shared rejection of Nazism.

Which is good: but it’s not enough. And even if defining our values this way was wise, it’s clear that this postwar, anti-Nazi moral consensus is unravelling, and our whole system of values coming under pressure. What is going to come next? These lectures will give an account of how the ‘secular’ values of the postwar world came about, and what will happen now that the age of Hitler seems to be passing. They will show that for a new shared system of values to emerge from our current turmoil, we will need to draw creatively both on the newer, secular, anti-Nazi value system and on the older Christian value systems which remain powerfully present in European and Western culture. And they will show that such a creative synthesis is not only desirable, but also possible – perhaps even likely.

Details can be found here. The dates are 10 May and 17 May. The lectures will be live-streamed and recorded.

The Bampton Lectures

The Bampton Lectures, founded by the will of the Revd John Bampton (1690-1751), first took place at the University Church in 1780. Over the centuries, these prestigious lectures – sometimes courting controversy, always intellectually stimulating – have covered a range of theological subjects. It is a condition of the Bampton Bequest that the lectures are published by the Lecturer. These lectures are delivered in the Trinity Term every year.


Including the Exclusive: how liberal can you be?

The fifth annual Inclusive Church lecture was delivered last Thursday at St Paul’s Cathedral London by the Dean of St Paul’s Dr David Ison.

The text of the lecture is available here.

There is also a video which you can watch from this link.

Details of previous lectures are available here.

Next year, the sixth lecture will take place on Wednesday 25th July 2018 at Leicester Cathedral.
The lecturer will be Ruth Hunt, CEO of Stonewall.
Free tickets will be available nearer the date.


Archbishop of Canterbury delivers fifth annual Theos Lecture

Updated Friday

The Archbishop of Canterbury delivered the fifth annual Theos Lecture with the title ‘The person and the individual: human dignity, human relationships and human limits’ last night. Afterwards he answered questions, many about his time as archbishop.

His website has links to audio of the speech and the question and answer session that followed. A transcript of the speech is promised now (Friday) available.

There is also this summary.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, delivered the fifth annual lecture hosted by think tank Theos with the title ‘The person and the individual: human dignity, human relationships and human limits’.

The lecture explored ways of understanding the human person as shaped and conditioned by relations with God and others – and the risks of reducing personal dignity to individual well-being alone.

In a question and answer session following the lecture, he said: “I just don’t think that it will do to be too cautious in a job like this, you are here, as is true for any archbishop, you are here to try and say what you believe you have been given to say – by which I don’t mean by divine inspiration.

“To try and share a particular picture of what the world is like, what God is like, which of course leads you into sometimes risky and anything but infallible judgments about particular issues of the day.”

Dr Williams added that he did not believe that there had been a “golden age” in the history of the Church when it had been free of difficulties.

“There is no golden age in the Church’s history, we may think ‘oh, it was relatively problem-free then’ – one of the advantages in this job of being a Church historian is that you know that is not true,” he said. “When I think I have got problems, I think well at least it is not the fourth century, at least it is not the 17th century.” …

The lecture has attracted much press attention.

Lizzy Davies in The Guardian Rowan Williams defends outspoken approach as archbishop

Madeleine Davies in the Church Times Williams the anti-individual speaks his individual mind

John Bingham in The Telegraph Archbishop of Canterbury defends record in office

BBC Archbishop defends ‘anything but infallible’ judgements

The Huffington Post Archbishop Of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams Defends ‘Outspoken’ Stance On Sharia Law, Iraq War

London Evening Standard Outspoken Archbishop of Canterbury defends his ‘risky’ views on Iraq war and sharia law

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Society Still Needs Religion

The Archbishop of Canterbury gave a lecture in which he acknowledges the rise in interest in spirituality, particularly in the Western World, but underlines the crucial role traditional religious allegiance continues to play in a genuinely plural society.

Read the press release Archbishop’s Lecture – Society Still Needs Religion and read the full transcript of the lecture, The Spiritual and the Religious: Is the Territory Changing?


Paul Vallely lecture

The full text of the recent lecture given by Paul Vallely to the London Newman Association can be found here.

The title of this lecture was On being an English Catholic: from minority to mainstream – and back again? English Catholicism 1951 – 2008.

Paul explained this title in his Church Times column of 4 April, I am English Catholic, not Roman. The previous week’s article, to which he refers, is This does not violate a deep taboo. That article is germane to the debates here concerning the embryology bill.


The Bible: Reading and Hearing

As part of his current brief trip to Canada the Archbishop of Canterbury has given a lecture The Bible: Reading and Hearing to students at Wycliffe and Trinity theological colleges in Toronto. The full press release from Lambeth Palace is below the fold but here is the first paragraph.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan WIlliams, has told an audience of theological students that both intensely liberal and ultra conservative readings of the Bible are ‘rootless’ and are limited in what they can contribute to the life of the church. In the Larkin Stuart lecture, delivered today at an event hosted jointly by Wycliffe and Trinity theological colleges in Toronto, Dr Williams said that Christians need to reconnect with scripture as something to be listened to and heard in the context of Jesus’s invitation to the Eucharist and to work for the Kingdom.

The full text of the lecture is online here and here.