The Drawbridge Lectures

Marcelo Gleiser delivers the Drawbridge Lecture of 2018 at St Paul's, London

In 1945, the Christian Evidence Society agreed to establish an annual lecture in honour of Canon Cyprian Drawbridge, who had brilliantly led the Society between the 1910s and the 1930s. The first Drawbridge Lecture was delivered the following year in Westminster Abbey, and although the lectures have often not been given annually, there has been a total of 42 lectures to date. Follow the link below for the complete text of the first lecture, which remarkably set the agenda for the series as a whole.

1946The Defence of the Christian Faith, by Canon Stephen Marriott, Archdeacon of Westminster

1948 – Why I Am a Christian, Dr William Wand, Bishop of London

1949 – Conduct and Behaviour, Dr Kenneth Kirk, Bishop of Oxford and former Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology, University of Oxford

1950 – Belief and Morals, Robert Mortimer, Bishop of Exeter

1951 – The Nature of Christian Belief, Dr William Wand, Bishop of London

1952 – A Study in Agnosticism, Dr Spencer Leeson, Bishop of Peterborough

1953 – The Necessity for Faith, Dr Walter Matthews, KCVO, Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, London

1954 – Is the Christian Message Intelligible? Dr Frederick Cockin, Bishop of Bristol

1955 – Christian Language: Old and New – Dr Michael Ramsey, Bishop of Durham

1958 – The Historical Argument, Rt Rev and Rt Hon William Wand, KCVO, former Bishop of London

1959 – Anglican and Orthodox Relations, Anthony Bloom, Bishop of the Russian Orthodox Diocese of Servieve (London)

1960 – The Implications of Evolution by Dr David Lack, FRS, Director of the Edward Grey Institute of Field Ornithology, Oxford University, and author of Darwin’s Finches

1961 – Christian Apologetics in an Age of Technology, Canon Edward Carpenter of Westminster Abbey

1962 – New Bearings in Christian Unity, Gordon Phillips, Rector of Bloomsbury

1970 – Some Aspects of the Liturgy in Contemporary Society, Dr Ronald Jasper, Lecturer at King’s College London

1971 – Subject unknown, Dr George Kilpatrick, Dean Ireland’s Professor of the Exegesis of Holy Scripture, University of Oxford

1972 – Subject unknown, Dr John Macquarrie, Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity in the University of Oxford

1973 – What is Good News in the Gospel? Metropolitan Anthony, Russian Orthodox Diocese of Sourozh (London)

1974 – Subject unknown, Rev. John Huxtable, Former Moderator of the United Reformed Church

1975 – Subject unknown, Rev. Ulrich Simon, Professor of Christian Literature, King’s College London, and author of A Theology of Auschwitz (1967)

1976 – Christianity and Evolution, Canon David Edwards, Rector of St Margaret’s, Westminster, and Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons

1977 – God’s Kingdom, Future or Present? Christopher Butler OSB, Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster, and the first Roman Catholic to give the lecture

1978 – Bible Translation Today, Rev. Neville Cryer, General Director of The British and Foreign Bible Society

1979 – The Gospel for an Industrial World, Canon Frank Scuffham, founder and chair of Church Action with the Unemployed

1980 – Spiritual Direction in the Church Today, Canon Evan Pilkington, Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral, London

1981 – Subject unknown, Rev. Gerald Hudson, Canon of Southwark Cathedral

1982 – Samuel Beckett and Christian Hope, Rev. Richard Harries, Dean of King’s College London

1984 – Izaak Walton: the Fisherman and his God, Owen Chadwick KBE, OM, formerly Regius Professor of Modern History at the University of Cambridge

1984 – Christian Witness in South Africa Today, Desmond Tutu, Bishop of Lesotho and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

1985 – Creation and the Structure of the Physical World, John Polkinghorne, FRS, theoretical physicist and Christian apologist

1986 – Evidence for the Resurrection, John Austin Baker, Bishop of Salisbury

1987 – God and the New Biology, Rev. Dr Arthur Peacocke, Director of the Ian Ramsey Centre, and Vice President of the Science and Religion Forum

1988 – The Interference of God in the Internal Affairs of the Soviet Union, Irina Ratushinskaya, Russian Soviet dissident, poet and writer

1990 – The Magisterium of the Poor, Dr Aloysius Pieris SJ, Director of the Tulana Research Center for Encounter and Dialogue, Sri Lanka, and author of An Asian Theology of Liberation (1988)

1991 – Are All Religions Saying the Same Thing? Keith Ward, Regius Professor of Divinity at the University of Oxford

1992 – A God for a Broken World, Sheila Cassidy, medical doctor, torture survivor, and leader in the hospice movement

1993 – Spirituality and Social Change, Dinis Sengulane, Bishop of Lebombo, Maputo, Mozambique

1994 – The Trinity and Our Search for Intimacy, Elaine Storkey, Executive Director of the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity

1996 – Christians and the Environment, Sir John Houghton, Chairman of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution

2009The God Delusion? The Rationality of Faith, by Alister McGrath, Professor of Theology, Ministry and Education, King’s College London, and author of The Dawkins Delusion? (2007)

2013Assisted Dying Debate, with Lord Falconer, Chair of the Commission on Assisted Dying, Professor Nigel Biggar, Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology at the University of Oxford, and Lord Harries of Pentregarth, former Bishop of Oxford

2018Unknowns in Heaven and Earth, by Marcelo Gleiser, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Dartmouth College, and author of The Island of Knowledge: The Limits of Science and the Search for Meaning (2014)

Photo: Marcelo Gleiser delivers the Drawbridge Lecture of 2018 in the Crypt Chapel of St Paul’s Cathedral, London