A Sunday lunchtime series where some of the liveliest contemporary theologians and spiritual teachers speak about the challenges, contradictions and joys of being a Christian in the world today.
First Sunday in every month | 1 - 2pm
Wren Suite, Cathedral crypt | Free and unticketed.
Seating is on a first come first served basis so please arrive early. Latecomers may not be able to be seated.
Disabled access is via the North Transcept Ramp.
There is no Sunday Forum in January
* Inventing the Universe | Alister McGrath has been moved to May *
|Sunday 5 February 2017|
|A Good Year | Mark Oakley|
What makes a good year? The church year tells the story of Christ’s life and our salvation in tune with nature’s seasons, exploring the Gospel slowly, in, as Mark Oakley says ‘all its mysterious richness and scrutiny of ourselves and our society’. In 2015 St Paul’s ran a series of events exploring the seasons with senior Church of England leaders and pastors, including Justin Welby and Rowan Williams. Mark Oakley has commissioned further reflections and brought them together in a new book with his own major new introduction, and in this talk will reflect on what a good year, including a good church year, might mean for us.
Mark Oakley is Canon Chancellor at St Paul’s Cathedral, overseeing the learning and arts programmes at the cathedral. His latest books are A Good Year (as editor, SPCK 2016) and The Splash of Words: Believing in Poetry (Canterbury Press 2016).
|Sunday 5 March 2017|
|The Dark Side of the Soul | Stephen Cherry|
Sin is out of fashion while fascination with our own inner workings is everywhere. But in his new book Stephen Cherry says that the concept of sin is an essential, and healthy, tool for self understanding.
At the beginning of Lent, he will introduce his contemporary re-imaginings of the traditional seven deadly sins as ‘hostile pleasures’; tangled in our souls, they have deep roots and produce the words and actions by which we harm ourselves, others, and our relationship with God. Their examination, far from burdening us with guilt, can help to set us free.
Stephen Cherry is the Dean of King’s College, Cambridge, and the author of many books including Healing Agony: Re imagining Forgiveness and The Dark Side of the Soul: An Insider’s Guide to the Web of Sin (Bloomsbury 2012 and 2016).
|Sunday 2 April 2017|
|Construing the Cross | Frances Young|
The Cross is at the very centre of our faith. Frances Young, who has been called one our greatest living theologians, has spent a lifetime exploring its meaning and the rich and varied ways it has been construed through the centuries. For the earliest Christians, Passover was essential to their understanding of the Passion, but there are other biblical images which created imaginative traditions: sacrifice and scapegoat, the Tree of Life and other surprising links with to the Garden of Eden, and rich resources of paintings and poetry. On Passion Sunday, as we turn our thoughts towards Holy Week, she will introduce her profound and far-reaching thinking about the Cross.
Frances Young is Emeritus Professor of Theology at the University of Birmingham and a Methodist Minister. Her many books include Construing the Cross (SPCK 2016), the publication of her 2014 Didsbury lectures on the signs, symbols, poetry and significance of the Cross.
|Sunday 7 May 2017|
|Inventing the Universe | Alister McGrath|
We’re often told that faith and science are at war with one another, and we have to choose one or the other. Alister McGrath says it’s time to consider another way looking at these two great cultural forces: what if science and faith might actually enrich each other? What if, together, they give us a deeper and more satisfying understanding of life?
Alister McGrath is one of the world’s leading authorities on science and religion and in his new book Inventing the Universe: Why we can’t stop talking about science, faith and God (Hodder 2015), he engages with the biggest questions of all: the origins of the universe, the burden of proof, the meaning of life, the existence of God.
Alister McGrath is Professor of Science and Religion at Oxford University and the author of numerous academic and theological works including the best selling The Dawkins Delusion (SPCK 2007).
|Sunday 4 June 2017|
|Is God Colour-Blind? | Anthony Reddie|
We live in a time when the language around immigration has become more vociferous, and the Black Lives Matter movement, originating in America, has sharpened debate about race, ethnicity and justice. Antony Reddie says that while God is universal, all our theology is contextual and we need to hear each other’s experiences in order to have a fuller picture of God, and that most of all we need to listen to voices which bring news of God from beyond the traditional power structures of the church and Christendom. He will challenge us to live as ‘resident aliens’ on earth, with our true identity in the reality of heaven where we are all brothers and sisters in Christ.
Dr Anthony Reddie is Professor Extraordinarius in the Department of Philosophy, Practical and Systemic Theology at the University of South Africa and the author of 16 books, including Is God Colour-Blind? (SPCK 2009).
|Sunday 2 July 2017|
|Divine Sparks | Donna Lazenby|
Many of our everyday encounters in the world are touched by the divine, if only we were aware of it. We may find it easier to experience God in the great moments of our lives, but God often finds a humbler dwelling-place. Can we learn to be alert to the presence of God in small moments of unexpected joy and human encounter, and also to hear God’s voice in the world’s cries of protest against alienation and injustice? Donna Lazenby calls us to be attentive to signs of God’s transforming, in-breaking life reaching out to us in the most prosaic places: in the office, a city street, even in a packed tube train.
The Revd Dr Donna Lazenby is Lecturer and Tutor in Spirituality and Apologetics at St Mellitus College, London, and winner of the John Templeton Award for Theological Promise in 2011. Her latest book is Divine Sparks: Everyday Encounters with God’s Incoming Kingdom (SPCK 2017).