Joanna is the Karl Jaspers Lecturer in Psychology and Spirituality at Ripon College, Cuddesdon and Oxford Diocesan Advisor for Spiritual Care for Older People. She studied experimental psychology and theology at Oxford University, and clinical psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry, University of London. She is a chartered clinical psychologist and specialist neuropsychologist, registered as a practitioner with the Health Professions Council.
Her interests are wide ranging, reflected in publications on cognitive behaviour therapy, brain and behaviour, natural theology, psychological approaches to the Bible, psychological trauma, the spirituality of children and people with special needs, and medical ethics. She is the author of many academic papers and several books including The Dawkins Delusion? (SPCK 2007 with Alister McGrath); Ethical practice in brain injury rehabilitation (OUP 2007); Jesus and the gospel women (2009 SPCK); and The psychology of Christian character formation (2015 SCM).
John Lennox needs no introduction. Born and raised in Northern Ireland, he went on to gain his Masters and PhD in Mathematics from Cambridge University. He also holds an MA and DPhil from Oxford University (by incorporation) and an MA in Bioethics from the University of Surrey. Currently he is a Professor (emeritus) of Mathematics at Oxford University, an internationally renowned speaker and he has written several books on the interface of philosophy, science and religion. His most recent titles are Have no Fear (2018), on evangelism today, Can Science Explain Everything? (2019), on the relationship between science and Christianity, an the six-part Quest for Reality and Significance series co-written by David Gooding (2018-9). Furthermore, in addition to over seventy published mathematical papers, he is the co-author of two research level texts in algebra in the Oxford Mathematical Monographs series.
Dr. Kosta Milkov is the Director of RZIM Macedonia, and is the Founder and Director of the Balkan Institute for Faith and Culture. He earned an MA in Theology from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. From 2005 – 2010 he lived in England, where he earned an MSt and a DPhil in the fields of Early Christian Studies and Patristics at the University of Oxford, for which he received the Langham International Partnership Scholarship.
Kosta has been involved in research work, which includes his participation in the Postdoctoral Research Seminar organised by Langham International Partnership, the Balkan Strategy Report for the Global Scripture Impact of the American Bible Society, as well as writing numerous newspaper and magazine articles for the Macedonian press.
Dr. Graeme McLean graduated from Monash University in Australia before receiving a Commonwealth Scholarship to do his Bphil and Dphil in Philosophy at Oxford. From 1990 to 2004 he was a member of the Department of Philosophy of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. He has since been a proud resident of Wagga Wagga, in New South Wales, Australia, wherein he served as the head of the philosophy department of Charles Sturt University for many years. Most of his philosophical work is in applied ethics, theory of knowledge, and philosophy of religion.
Professor Alister McGrath is the Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion, the Director of the Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion, and a Fellow of Harris Manchester College. He is known for his work in historical and systematic theology, as well as the relationship between science and religion. He has also been known as a critic of New Atheism and as an advocate of Theological Critical Realism. His many books include ‘The Twilight of Atheism’, ‘The Dawkins Delusion?’, and ‘A Scientific Theology’.
Dr. Carolyn Weber is an award-winning author, popular professor and international speaker. She has given numerous radio, television and podcast interviews on the intersection of faith and literature, as well as topics related to women and faith. She has served as faculty at Oxford University, Seattle University, University of San Francisco and Westmont College, and was the first female dean of St. Peter’s College, Oxford. Her books include ‘Surprised by Oxford’ and ‘Sex and the City of God.’
Dr. Elaine Storkey is a prolific thinker, writer and broadcaster as well as being involved with multiple NGOs and advocacy groups, especially ones pertaining to poverty in the global south. She has written extensively about feminism and sexual violence against women, as well as about climate change, art and technology. Here, she shares about her upbringing and faith-development, about her book, “Scars Across Humanity: Understanding and Overcoming Violence Against Women,” about what difference Christianity makes to feminism and to art, and about being called to a life of witness in whatever contexts we’re in.
Dr. Mirjam Schilling is a virologist at the University of Oxford and a Dphil student in theology, in the Science and Religion stream, studying the theological aspects of viruses under Alister McGrath. Here she discusses what viruses are from a scientific viewpoint, as well as how to make sense of them theologically, touching on such questions as the problem of evil. She explicates the resources available to Christians to be able to think about and respond well to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The psychology of religion: Experimenting with gods
Wk 3 MT: 22/10/2018
I’ll be speaking about how scientists study religion. I’ll give a quick history of the psychology of religion from the turn of the 20th century until the present day, and then turn my attention to the current major research programme that applies cognitive and evolutionary theories to explain religion. Then I’ll end by saying something about whether it’s possible to be religious and work on this stuff.
Weakness of will : Some philosophical reflections on St. Paul’s body of death
Wk 8 TT: 11/06/2018
I will offer some philosophical reflections on Romans 7, in which St Paul explains that he doesn’t do the good thing he wants to do and instead does the bad thing he doesn’t want to do. Philosophers discussing the problem of weakness of will often refer to this passage for a classic articulation of the experience of what people take to be weakness of will—classic philosophical discussion often focuses on whether weakness of will is possible in the first place and if so, how.
Here I assume that weakness of will is possible. I will suggest that there are several ways in which this weakness might manifest itself—there are at least several ways the will might be weak. I will also suggest that there is a certain pattern of progression these weaknesses might follow, or a way that one weakness tends to lead to another in a progressively vicious (& progressively difficult to detect) process of habituation. I will refer to these several weaknesses, respectively, as straightforward weakness of will, indirect weakness of will, & insidious intellectual error. I will develop my reflections on the basis of accounts from Socrates, Aristotle, & R.M. Hare.
My intention is to provide a more open-ended and somewhat creative, philosophical reading of the text, after the style of someone like Joseph Butler (in his sermons). In keeping with the more personal & formational nature of this forum, I’ll conclude with some brief pastoral reflections on this passage.