New Ebor Lectures Series Begins

Sunday, 14 April 2019

On 3rd April 2019 the thirteenth series of Ebor Lectures began in York at York St John University. The Ebor Lectures, co-sponsored by the British Province of Carmelites, promote a conversation between theology and public issues, and contribute to the creation of personal and collective decision-making in economic, political and social spheres.


The theme of the new series of lectures is 'Science: Wonder, Gift & Challenge'. The lecturers, drawn from a wide array of fields, will explore the extraordinary possibilities offered by science, to wonder at the beauty, fragility and complexity of the world, and to consider what it means to be human in a rapidly changing technological society.


The first lecturer in the series was Dr. Valerie Shrimplin, former Registrar & Secretary at Gresham College, London. She discussed how the beginning and end of the universe have been portrayed visually, by considering examples of art from ancient times, through Michelangelo’s depiction of the Creation and Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel, up to the present day. Listen to an audio recording of the lecture.


Dr. Valerie Shrimplin delivering the first of the 2019 Ebor Lectures in Theology and Public Life.


Before the lecture, the two winners of the Ebor Lectures Essay Competition were presented with their prizes by the Chair of the Lectures Committee, Canon Dr. Christopher Collingwood. The prize is given to students in two categories (18 and under, and 19-25) who submit essays on any aspect of "Theology and Public Life". James Gant from Oxford wrote an essay considering 'Should the Holy See retain its diplomatic presence?', whilst Isobel Hedley-Jones from York asked in her essay 'How far does Christian religious teaching align with current environmentalist narratives, and how can this be used to help the public comprehend and tackle climate change?'.


Canon Collingwood with the winners of the Ebor Lectures Essay Competition 


Future lecturers in the series include two prominent Catholic scientists: Dame Ottoline Leyser of the University of Cambridge on 3rd July, and Brother Guy Consolmagno, Director of the Vatican Observatory, who on 21st August will give both a lecture and a presentation for families. The next lecture will be on 5th June when Professor Tom McLeish - a physicist, natural philosopher, and Anglican lay reader - will speak on 'Science as Gift not Threat: An Essential Culture-Change for the Church'.


The Ebor Lectures is an ecumenical project jointly organised by York Minster, York St John University, The Order of Carmelites - British Province, The Yorkshire North and East District of The Methodist Church, and The C. & J. B. Morrell Trust.