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Lectures in Radical Christian Faith - the latest series

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The Church at Carrs Lane has a long tradition of being on the 'open' wing of the Church, and in the past has played a prominent part in the development of the Civic Gospel. The Church has a continuing concern for social justice and dialogue between people of different faiths.

Past lectures have provided a platform for lively debate on liberal and unconventional views and an environment where such questions can be explored without embarrassment. Their scope can be seen by looking at Previous Lectures 2000-2009. The purpose of the current series is to inform our understanding of faith and belief in our richly diverse society, to challenge stereotypes and to encourage dialogue.

We invite you to join us, confident that your mind will be stretched and your imagination quickened. Whatever your background or faith, you are most welcome. Do come along!

2012  One-day conference: The Church as it Could Be - For Goodness' Sake

Revd Adrian Alker, Director of Mission Resourcing in the Diocese of Ripon and Leeds;
and a member of the management committee of the Progressive Christianity Network Britain

Saturday 20th October 2012, 10.00am-4.00pm, at Carrs Lane Church Centre.
(This is instead of individual lectures.)  Tickets £15, available from the church office.

For full details, go to the News Item about the Day Conference.

2011  The twelfth series: Re-thinking Christian Theology

Two American theologians came to England for eight days, to deliver two lectures each.

Prof. Paul Knitter, Paul Tillich Professor of Theology, World Religions and Culture, Union Theological Seminary, New York. (Biographical details below.)

Thursday 6th October  - 'What is Atonement?'
Even if we take the idea of atonement symbolically, just what does it really mean? We will review past answers to that question and explore how contemporary theologians, especially those in dialogue with Buddhism, are offering viewpoints that are both faithful to past Christian tradition and more relevant to our contemporary context.

Thursday 13th October  - 'Is There Life after Death?'
Granting that there is no ‘hard data’ for the answer to this question, granting too the multiple interpretations of biblical statements about ‘heaven and hell’, we will explore the traditional Christian notions of life after death, including the resurrection of Jesus, in an effort to come to images or symbols of life after death that are trustworthy. Such trustworthy beliefs may go beyond our reason, but they do not contradict our reason.

Prof. Roger Haight, Scholar in Residence, Union Theological Seminary, New York. (Biographical details below.)

Thursday 20th October - 'Who Is Jesus?'
We approach the identity of Jesus on three interrelated levels representing three of the most contested areas of Christian theology. Who was the historical person Jesus of Nazareth? What is Jesus' status relative to other religious mediations? Who is Jesus in relation to God? Sorting through these questions will give a holistic response to the question ‘Who Is Jesus?’

Thursday 27th October - 'What Is the Trinity?'
We first discuss ‘Trinity’ as the name of a doctrine rather than God and how this doctrine functioned in the early church. Much of this doctrine has been corrupted by the attempt to reconcile three distinct persons in the one Godhead. In the light of this an effort is made to reconsider the doctrine as the short form of a narrative that tells the story of what the Christian community has learned about God.

Practical details

The lectures run from 6.00pm to 7.30pm, including time for questions and discussion.

Tickets £5 per lecture - pay at the door. Coffee and tea will be available beforehand. For further information, contact us using the details on the Contact page (link in the top header).

About our Speakers

Paul Knitter is a former Roman Catholic priest, now a leading theologian of religious pluralism. He is currently Paul Tillich Professor of Theology, World Religions and Culture at Union Theological Seminary in New York. He is Professor Emeritus of Theology at Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio, where he taught for 28 years. His research interests are religious pluralism and interreligious dialogue. His many publications include: One Earth Many Religions: Multifaith Dialogue and Global Responsibility (1995) and Jesus and the Other Names: Christian Mission and Global Responsibility (1996). His latest publication is Without Buddha I Could Not Be A Christian (Oneworld Publications, 2009).

Roger Haight is Scholar in Residence at Union Theological Seminary. He is a member of the Society of Jesus and is a Past President of the Catholic Theological Society of America. He has taught at four Jesuit graduate schools of theology in Manila, Chicago, Toronto, and Cambridge, Massachussets. He has also been a visiting professor in Lima, Nairobi, Paris, and Pune, India. Among his publications, The Future of Christology (2005) won an award for the best book in theology. His current area of research is in the area of practical theology and a theological understanding of spirituality and he is working on a theological interpretation of the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola.

Professor Haight is also offering a day workshop on Wednesday 26th October 10.30am - 4pm.
Christian Spirituality for Seekers: according to Ignatius Loyola
Jesus for Seekers; Finding Meaning in Jesus' Story; A Spirituality of Gratitude for Existence.
Tea/coffee provided, bring your own lunch. No charge, but donations appreciated.

This series will be chaired by Dr David Cheetham who is a Senior Lecturer in Theology and Religion in the School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion, University of Birmingham. His main research interests lie within the theology and philosophy of religions. Currently, he is researching for a new book entitled Ways of Meeting and the Theology of Religions where he is exploring new ‘models for meeting’ with particular reference to theologies of the self and aesthetics.

CLCC from Moor Street

About the Carrs Lane Lectures in Radical Christian Faith

In October 2000 we inaugurated an annual series of open lectures by leading speakers, to challenge and search out faith at the limits. The first seven series were entitled simply Lectures in Radical Christian Faith. However, in 2007 and again in 2010 the focus was on Dialogues in Faith with followers of other religions.  The 2010 details are given below; the scope of the various lecture series can be seen by looking at Previous Lectures.

Dialogues flyer 2010 2010  The eleventh series: Dialogues in Faith

Is there a true faith?  Is there one God, or do we all have our own?
How should people of different faiths relate to one another?
Why does religion often seem to divide rather than reconcile people?
Does religion have anything relevant to say to modern society?

Does your faith make you think?
Are you challenged by what other people believe?
Is your sacred ground exclusively owned?
Do you own your prejudices?
Do you have more questions than answers?
Then the Carrs Lane Dialogues In Faith ARE FOR YOU!

This series consisted of four evenings with a different format from the usual lectures. The focus was on talking together with Hindus and Sikhs about the relationship between their faiths and Christianity. Each event began with a short presentation by the speaker, followed by dialogue with the Chair, Revd Dr John M Parry, and then with the audience.

John Parry is on the staff of Northern College, Manchester. He is now a minister of the United Reformed Church, though was originally ordained into the Church of Bangladesh. His field is Missiology and World Faiths, primarily Islam, Hinduism and Sikhism, thanks mainly to experiences of work in Bangladesh and Southall in West London. John has contributed to a number of publications and is author of The Word of God is Not Bound (Centre for Contemporary Christianity, Bangalore), a history of the encounter of Sikhs and Christians in India and the UK.

Thursday 7th October  -  Shaunaka Rishi Das

‘Hindu Perceptions of God’

Shaunaka Rishi Das is Director of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, an Independent Centre of the University of Oxford, and founder and trustee of Bhaktivedanta College, Belgium. He has practised as a Vaishnava priest since 1982 and has been a member of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness since 1979. He is Convenor of ISKCON's Interfaith Commission and has served as an executive member of the Interfaith Network UK and as Chairman of the Northern Ireland Interfaith Forum. He is also a broadcaster and lecturer.

Thursday 14th October  -  Dr Sharada Sugirtharajah

‘Living as a Hindu in Twenty-first Century Britain’

Sharada Sugirtharajah is Senior Lecturer in Hindu Studies in the School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion at the University of Birmingham. Her research interests include colonialism and religion, women and spirituality, religious pluralism, and diasporic Hinduism. Her publications include chapters in edited volumes, journal articles, entries in reference works, and contributions to resource packs on Hinduism. She is the author of Imagining Hinduism: A Postcolonial Perspective (Routledge, 2003).

Thursday 21st October  -  Dr Indarjit Singh CBE, JP

‘Sikh Perceptions of God’

Indarjit Singh is a nationally recognised journalist and broadcaster and a regular contributor to the BBC’s Thought for the Day. He is Editor of The Sikh Messenger. In 1989 he became the first non-Christian to be awarded the UK Templeton Prize ‘for the furtherance of spiritual and ethical understanding’. In 1991 he received the Inter-faith Medallion for services to religious broadcasting. He was appointed OBE in 1996 and CBE in January 2008.

Thursday 28th October  -  Charanjit Ajit Singh

‘Living as a Sikh in Twenty-first Century Britain’

Charanjit Ajit Singh is Chair of the International Interfaith Centre, Oxford and one of the Vice Presidents of the World Congress of Faiths. She lectures internationally and has contributed to many publications, including the book Wisdom of Sikhism, (One World Publishers, Oxford). She has experience in voluntary work in community cohesion and equalities and inter-faith matters. She is a radio and TV broadcaster.

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