Meetings for Season 2017-18

Thu 7th December at 7:30pm
The Kingdom of God and The Big Bang Theory(TV version): Explorations in Theology and Popular Culture

Speaker: Professor Clive Marsh, Director of Lifelong Learning, University of Leicester

The talk will explore ways in which theological ideas and concepts interweave with what crops up in everyday life – in the form of the products of media, culture and the arts, and the practices (of watching, viewing and listening) associated with them. Is there such a thing as ‘theology in public’? Whether there is or not, what happens to religious believers who ‘consume’ such things? How does explicit religiosity relate to everyday ‘meaning-making’? And what of those who are not religious who also watch TV, listen to music and play sport?

Clive is Head of the Vaughan Centre for Lifelong Learning at the University of Leicester, and a Local Preacher in the Methodist Church. His publications include: Christ in Practice: A Christology of Everyday Life (DLT 2006), Theology Goes to the Movies (Routledge 2007) and (with Vaughan S. Roberts) Personal Jesus: How Popular Music Shapes Our Souls (Baker Academic 2013). He is currently working on A Cultural Theology of Salvation (for Oxford University Press, due out late 2018).

Thu 8th February 2018 at 7:30pm
Inspiring Hope: transactional faith for our times

Speaker: Revd Canon Chris Chivers

A plague starts. Aaron is sent with his censer to stand between the living and the dead and the plague ceases. In whom is the God of the gaps now to be found? Chris will be exploring this question to annunciate a global theology of hope for this, as for any age.

Chris is the Principal of Westcott House, Cambridge' the same college where he trained for ordination - reading Theology and Religious Studies.

His ministry has seen him as a curate, parish priest and area dean in North London, as the Precentor of St George's Cathedral, Cape Town and then Westminster Abbey, and as Canon Chancellor of Blackburn Cathedral.

Before training for ordination he studied music as a choral scholar at Magdalen College, Oxford, having earlier been a chorister at Bristol Cathedral. He taught music at several schools and was Lay Chaplain, Housemaster and Choristers' Tutor at King's College School, Cambridge.

A published composer of choral music, he is also the author of several books. He presents Daily Service and Act of Worship on BBC Radio 4, and is a frequent contributor to the church and secular press in the UK and internationally. He is Chair of USPG.

Thu 8th March 2018 at 7:30pm
Dorothy L. Sayers, novelist, playwright, theologian: Apologist for her time – and ours?

Speaker: Rev'd Dr Jane Craske

Dorothy L. Sayers is best known as a writer of detective novels but she also wrote plays with explicit theological themes as well as essays, not least the book-length The Mind of the Maker, exploring the doctrine of the Trinity from an analogy with the creative process. Jane’s talk will explore whether there are things we can learn from Sayers’ work about theology, particularly apologetics, for today.

Jane is Director of Methodist Formation and Co-Director of the Centre for Ministerial Formation at the Queen’s Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education, Birmingham. Following her time as a secondary school teacher of English, she trained for Methodist ministry at the Wesley Study Centre, Durham. She was ordained in 1996 and has served Circuits in London, Manchester, Leeds and Lowestoft/East Suffolk as well as being a tutor at Hartley Victoria College, Manchester. She has written on Methodism, preaching, and the novelist Philip Pullman. She enjoys reading, singing – and supporting West Ham United FC.