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Posted: 20 October 2017

We’re pleased to announce that we’re producing a Drawbridge Lecture in May 2018, to be delivered by Marcelo Gleiser, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Dartmouth College, and Director for the Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Engagement. The lecture, ‘Unknowns in Heaven and Earth’, will be followed by a conversation between Marcelo Gleiser and the Revd Andrew Pinsent, Director of the Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion at Oxford University.

‘Unknowns in Heaven and Earth’ will take place in the Crypt of St Paul’s Cathedral on Wednesday 22nd May 2018, starting at 6.30pm. Entry to the lecture is by free ticket.

Please register here

In books such as The Island of Knowledge (2014) and A Tear at the Edge of Creation (2010), Marcelo Gleiser has argued for a positive view of the...

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Posted: 19 October 2017

Five hundred years ago this month, Martin Luther, a German friar and university lecturer, posted a protest against church corruption on the door of a church in Wittenberg, northern Germany. His protest was in the form of 95 theses – or short arguments – many of them the size of a tweet. To everyone’s surprise, Luther’s list was quickly distributed and read throughout Germany, and helped spark the Reformation, which split the church in the West, changed the face of Europe, and helped shape the modern world.

The 500th anniversary of this world-altering event has been marked this year with books, lectures and other events, and now the story of Martin Luther has been retold in a new historical drama, Reformation, which has just been screened by the BBC. The film is in two parts, each 90...

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Posted: 16 October 2017

We were very sorry to hear that Prebendary John Pearce, who was the chairman of the Christian Evidence Society in the early 1980s, has died at the age of 85.

John was an Anglican priest who spent most of his ministry serving areas of social deprivation in London’s East End. He was a pivotal figure in the history of the society, because he revived its work when it was in real danger of disappearing. In 1981, he became Vicar of the Church of St Barnabas in Homerton, Hackney, and when he moved into the vicarage discovered a room full of Christian Evidence Society material, including a library, papers and even furniture.

The society had thrived in the early decades of the 20th century, with open-air speakers who argued the case for the Christian faith from soap boxes, horse-drawn...

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Posted: 10 October 2017

Science’s partnership with secularism does it no favours, argues Peter Harrison. Not only has science failed to promote secularism around the world, but the cause of science has been damaged in countries as diverse as Turkey and the USA.

In 1966, just over 50 years ago, the distinguished Canadian-born anthropologist Anthony Wallace confidently predicted the global demise of religion at the hands of an advancing science: ‘belief in supernatural powers is doomed to die out, all over the world, as a result of the increasing adequacy and diffusion of scientific knowledge’. Wallace’s vision was not exceptional. On the contrary, the modern social sciences, which took shape in 19th-century western Europe, took their own recent historical experience of secularisation as a universal model....

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Posted: 03 October 2017

Over the past month, these are the events in faith, science and culture that have been catching our attention.

28 SeptemberAn AI deity is apparently being created by a former Google engineer, who has founded a quasi religious organisation called Way of the Future. Anthony Levandowski was instrumental in developing Google’s self-driving car, but Way of the Future’s mission statement – ‘to develop and promote the realization of a Godhead based on artificial intelligence and through understanding and worship of the Godhead contribute to the betterment of society’ – goes way beyond sorting out earthly transportation problems. Wired has an extended piece on Levandowski and his career here.

28 SeptemberPhilosopher of religion Keith Ward has written a new book, The Christian Idea...

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Posted: 02 October 2017

What is the evidence for Jesus? Can we trust the accounts of his life in the New Testament? Some people claim he never lived – is that plausible? How much can we really know about a man who lived, died and allegedly came back to life again 2,000 years ago? In a new booklet we’re publishing online today (and available for free), Justin Brierley, presenter of the show Unbelievable? on Premier Christian Radio, and author of the book Unbelievable?, looks at the arguments surrounding the life of Jesus.

Download the Will the Real Jesus Please Stand up? booklet for free here.

The booklet explores the way the story of Jesus has been recast in modern times, looking at Jesus as a guru, Jesus as a rabble-rousing political revolutionary, and Jesus as the husband of Mary Magdalene. But it also...

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Photo of a church congregation

Posted: 29 September 2017

The conversation between atheists and Christians on Facebook, Twitter and the comment sections of blogs and newspapers is usually aggressive and unpleasant, with atheists talking about the flying spaghetti monster on one side, and Christians threatening fire and brimstone on the other.

Hot-tempered debate has been a problem between the two groups for a very long time. Atheists still face social discrimination in countries such as the USA, and they are persecuted in several Islamic nations, and the injustice of that fuels strong feeling. Since the 19th century, atheists have often promoted their position using polemic and ridicule against religion, alongside rational debate. In modern times, this emotional response has surfaced most prominently in the writings and tweets of Richard...

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Photo of skin cancer cells, squamous cell carcinoma

Posted: 22 September 2017

Professor Douglas Lauffenburger is Head of the Biological Engineering Department at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Nigel Bovey talked to him about his scientific research into cancer, and his faith, which gives his life meaning and helps him to improve the world..

Professor Lauffenburger, how did you get into science?

As a kid, although I enjoyed playing sports, I also loved mathematics and music. My father was an electrical engineer. And I grew to like physics and chemistry. I was fascinated by the way things work. On Saturday mornings, my brother and I used to read encyclopaedias before we were allowed to get up for breakfast.

You now head a university department. What is bioengineering?

At MIT, we call it biological engineering, which is how to make things useful for...

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Posted: 27 July 2017

For the past 10 years, Justin Brierley has been inviting atheists and sceptics onto his radio show to talk with Christians about the reasons for faith. The show, Unbelievable? on Premier Christian Radio, opened up a much needed conversation about religion at a time when faith was being called a delusion. With the launch of Justin’s new book, Unbelievable? we asked him about the state of atheism, his favourite sceptic, and how we can have better conversations about faith.

Cover of Unbelievable? book by Justin BrierleyUnbelievable? has a question mark in the title. Why is that?

Just about every week we’re debating a question. which is why we give the show a question mark. It’s there to ask: ‘Is the Christian faith unbelievable?’ We live in a sceptical society, where many, or even most people would leave out the question...

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Posted: 04 July 2017

Over the past month, these are the events in faith, science and culture that have been catching our attention.

30 JunePhysician-assisted dying became legal in California, the fifth US state to allow the practice. Data for the first six months has been released and shows that a total of 111 terminally ill people ended their lives using lethal prescriptions, most of them with cancer, and the next largest group with neuromuscular disorders. The law allows anyone with less than six months to live to request ‘aid-in-dying’ drugs.

27 JunePeter Berger, the sociologist and theologian who opposed the ‘God is dead’ movement in the 1960s, died at his home in Massachusetts. In perhaps his most famous book, A Rumour of Angels, ‘he argued that the skepticism of the atheist was...

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Photos at the top of this column by:
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