Book your place at the Archbishop Blanch Lecture

First published on: 16th July 2021

This year we are delighted to welcome Professor Elaine Graham to deliver the 2021 Lecture. Professor Graham is Canon Theologian of Chester Cathedral. A notable author, her recent book 'Apologetics without Apology' will form the basis of her presentation which will address how we can learn 'to speak Christian' in a world troubled by religion, and where faith sits alongside secular beliefs. 

Professor Elaine gave us some thoughts ahead of the lecture:

"In my lecture, I will be addressing a strange paradox that characterises religion in public life today. On the one hand, and against the predictions of many sociologists, religion has not disappeared from Western culture. If anything, it exercises a greater fascination than ever before. But on the other, despite that renewed visibility of religion in public, there is still persistent and widespread scepticism towards religion, and objections to religion as a source of legitimate public discourse. 

My lecture will ask how the church can engage effectively with a 'postsecular' world that is more sensitive than ever to religious belief and practice, yet often struggles to accommodate it into secular discourse.

I will argue that this requires a recovery of the ancient practices of Christian apologetics as a form of public, theological witness to the practical value of faith, articulated in both deed and word. It means being confident enough to 'give an account of the hope that is within us' (1 Peter 3:15) and involves a pattern of 'discernment, participation and witness' so that the church can be more fluent in 'speaking Christian' to the wider world.

I hope people will have a chance to think about the challenges and opportunities facing the mission of the church today, in a world that is both fascinated and troubled by religion.

I would invite people to think about examples from their own experience or from the media which show how religion continues to make a difference to their community, or how sometimes religious groups and institutions can be misunderstood."

The lecture will take place on 28th October, book your place now via Eventbrite.

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