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7:30pm, Monday 16th September 2019

Virtual Gods: Keeping Faith with New Technologies

Canon Professor Elaine Graham, University of Chester

In this lecture, I will consider some of the ways in which new technologies such as the internet, social media and artificial intelligence are shaping our understandings of what it means to be human. The age-old question is whether such technologies enhance or undermine our humanity, and what place they may have in religious faith and practice. Is it possible to embrace the cultures of new media, smart technologies and virtual communications and still 'keep faith' with what makes us truly human?

Elaine Graham is Grosvenor Research Professor of Practical Theology at the University of Chester and Canon Theologian of Chester Cathedral. She is the author of numerous works, including Apologetics without Apology (2017), Theological Reflection: Methods (with Heather Walton and Frances Ward, 2nd Edition, 2019) and Representations of the Post/Human: Monsters, Aliens and Others in Popular Culture (2002).  

The Refectory, Chester Cathedral, Admission Free - Refreshments available for purchase from 6:30pm

7:30pm, Thursday 17th October 2019

Love the Stranger: the Bible, Migration, and Our Society

The Revd Dr Casey Strine, University of Sheffield

Migration is a divisive issue in our society today and the focus of intense political debate. Perhaps, surprisingly,

the Bible's ancient texts offer insights to help us explore our attitudes to migrants. This talk looks at passages from both Testaments to explore ways in which the Bible addresses the subject of migration and demonstrates that many biblical characters were themselves migrants, with deep experience of the challenges faced by those who find themselves settling far from home. From these stories, it is possible to develop a response to the migration debate facing us today.

The Revd Dr C. A. (Casey) Strine is Senior Lecturer in Ancient Near Eastern History and Literature at the University of Sheffield. He is the author of Sworn Enemies: The Divine Oath, the Book of Ezekiel, and the Polemics of Exile, winner of the 2015 Manfred Lautenschläger Award for Theological Promise. More recently, he was part of an interdisciplinary team that addressed important questions in eschatology in When the Son of Man Didn’t Come: A Constructive Proposal on the Delay of the Parousia. He is now working on the ancestral narrative in Genesis 12–50, interpreting the figures of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and their families as involuntary migrants.

Hollybank House, University of Chester. Admission at the door: £3.00; Students £1.00

7:30pm, Tuesday 3rd March 2020

Jewish-Christian Relations: Where We’re Going, Where We’ve Been

Dr Alana Vincent, University of Chester

In the 75 years since the Second World War, concerted efforts by both Jews and Christians have led to what has been characterised as a renaissance of inter-religious dialogue and understanding.  In this lecture, I will explore the history of this dialogue movement, take stock of its accomplishments, and identify the challenges it faces going forward.

Alana M. Vincent is Associate Professor of Jewish Philosophy, Religion and Imagination at the University of Chester. She is the author of several books, including Making Memory: Jewish and Christian Explorations in Monument, Narrative and Liturgy (Pickwick Press, 2013) and Jewish Thought, Utopia and Revolution (Rodopi, 2014). She is also active in dialogue initiatives such as the Council for Christians and Jews and the West Cheshire Interfaith Forum.

Hollybank House, University of Chester. Admission at the door: £3.00; Students £1.00

7:30pm, Tuesday 5th May 2020

Chester’s Theological Claim to Fame: the Significance of W H Vanstone

The Revd Canon Dr Michael Brierley, Precentor - Worcester Cathedral

W. H. Vanstone, a residentiary canon of Chester from 1978 to 1990, has exercised a remarkable influence in theological circles.  He wrote just three short books: Love’s Endeavour, Love’s Expense; The Stature of Waiting and Fare Well in Christ.  This lecture will draw on doctoral research and an archive of Vanstone’s unpublished writings in order to contextualise his thought, suggest reasons for his appeal, and illuminate his continuing significance for theology today.

The Reverend Canon Dr Michael Brierley is the precentor of Worcester Cathedral, where in his spare time he studies the history of modern British theology.  He is the editor of Public Life and the Place of the Church (Ashgate, 2006), and Life after Tragedy: Essays on Faith and the First World War Evoked by Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy (Wipf and Stock, 2017).

Hollybank House, University of Chester. Admission at the door: £3.00; Students £1.00