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.
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. Klein-Flugge is a neuroscientist interested in how the human brain enables us to perform complex decisions. Her PhD focused on the mechanisms by which decision signals reach motor regions to enable implementation of the resulting actions. Dr Klein-Flugge’s current work, as part of her postdoctoral fellowship, continues to build on this, whilst she also seeks to research which aspects of these computations are impaired in disorders, affecting decision-making and potentially resulting in changes to mental health.
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.
Christian thinking about original sin and sexual difference have been entangled since the earliest attempts of Augustine of Hippo to articulate a doctrine of original sin. Despite significant efforts on the part of theologians in recent decades to integrate the doctrine of original sin with developments in evolutionary biology, there has been comparatively little effort devoted to rethinking the gendered contours of traditional expressions of the doctrine in conversation with up-to-date information about the biology of sexual difference. In this talk, I will share some of the insights from my D.Phil thesis, which has sought to fill this gap in the theological literature.
Andi Wang, Georgina Prineppi, Kezia Gaitskell, and Sam Brewitt-Taylor will discuss their reflections on their teaching experiences (in a university context and beyond). Lessons learnt on teaching well, how Christianity has impacted how & what they teach, how teaching has influenced their Christian growth, and tough times as a teacher.
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.
A scholarly view: How ancient Christian practices can help us live better in technological culture – Dr. Michael Burdett
Wk 6 HT 19/02/2018
Mills Davis has said that “Attention is the limited resource on the internet – not disk capacity, processor speed or bandwidth.” This presentation will diagnose one particular component of technological culture, our online practices, and evaluate how our usage of the internet at present has truncated our attention both in cyberspace and when not online. Utilising the philosophical and social scientific work of Nicholas Carr, Hubert Dreyfus and Sherry Turkle it will be asserted that many experts have found that focus and attention have degraded in the age of the Internet. We “bounce” from one webpage to another and our devices support and valorize increasing multitasking and shallow interaction with the information presented to us and indeed those we meet online. How can we combat this inattention so indicative of our online lives and transform these virtual spaces so that they help support deeper interaction so needed for a meaningful Christian life? I argue that a deeper infusion of contemplative practices, at the core of the Christian spiritual tradition, can help reinvigorate a destitute online presence. Spiritual practices such as fasting, lectio divina and silence can all help provide a counter-praxis to our cyber-habits. Virtual spaces are, in fact, being used in entirely productive ways towards these ends in certain quarters of the Internet. Indeed, more meditative and attention-rich resources are being utilised through such media as the Jesuit’s “Pray-As-You-Go” podcast and the online resource “The Work of the People.” I argue that rather than solely demonizing our present interaction on the Internet as an essential aspect of internet living, Christians can and ought to employ and transform the medium.’