Chaplaincy Network meetings in 2004

In 2004, we met weekly on Wednesdays somewhat after 1.00 p.m. in university lecturing weeks. Our meetings happened at Newman Hall, upstairs in Seminar Room 1.

What we did in the first semester, 2004 :

March 10th Alan Creak The Old, Old Story. NOTES are available. )
March 17th Don Nield Book review : "Perspectives on an Evolving Creation", edited by Keith Miller (2003).
March 24th Laurie Wesley Reflections on Lloyd Geering's book "Christianity without God".
March 31st Mark West Rights ! ?
April 7th Robert Sheehan Religion as culture

What we did, most exceptionally, in the mid-semester break :

April 21st Terry Wall Reflections on the poetry of R.S. Thomas.

What we did in the rest of the first semester, 2004 :

April 28th Alan Creak Hopkins on Anglicans. NOTES are available. )
May 5th Whosoever A current affairs session
May 12th Don Nield Book review : "Habitat of Grace : Biology, Religion and the Global Environmental Crisis" ( Australian Theological Forum, Adelaide, 2002 ), by Carolyn King ( Biological Sciences Department, Waikato ). From the foreword ( ) :

"In 1990 the Worldwatch Institute in Washington estimated that humankind had forty years to make the transition to 'an environmentally stable society'. If we have not succeeded by then, it concluded, 'environmental deterioration and economic decline are likely to be feeding on each other, pulling us into a downward spiral of social disintegration.' Worldwatch is no millenarian cult, but a sober and careful organisation whose annual summaries of world affairs have become the planet's unofficial environmental health reports. Its pronouncements are cautiously worded, influential, and worth attending to, even if the timing is hard to predict. The essays in this volume take Worldwatch's statement as their starting point, and cover science, religion, the environment, human nature, the theology of creation and environmentalism."

May 19th discussion An experiment : we shall try working through a synopsis of a book. ( In fact, it's a proposal for a book yet to be written. ) This has the advantage that it lists a number of ideas but doesn't confuse us with words. I think we should be able to discuss the topics listed. This meeting is likely to be the first of several as we work through the chapters - or the only one, as we decide it was a silly idea.

There is some local interest; the author is Kevin Sharpe, our erstwhile Maclaurin chaplain. This will naturally not affect our decision on whether or not to read it. Kevin has done a lot of stuff in the science-and-religion area, and this is part of the result.

You can find the full proposal at The title is "Science of God"; the idea is to "propose a method for doing theology that doesn't divorce it from science".

This week, we discuss Kevin's Overview.

May 26th discussion Kevin Sharpe's "Science of God" : Chapter 1 : The Failure of Science and Religion.
June 2nd discussion Kevin Sharpe's "Science of God" : Chapter 2 : God the Outcast.

What we did in the second semester, 2004 :

July 21st discussion Kevin Sharpe's "Science of God" : Chapter 3 : Challenges from an Extreme ( - on the work of Kai Nielsen ).
July 28th discussion Kevin Sharpe's "Science of God" : Chapter 4 : What We Have and What We Need : first bit, and part 1.
August 4th discussion Kevin Sharpe's "Science of God" : Chapter 4 : What We Have and What We Need : part 2.
August 11th discussion Kevin Sharpe's "Science of God" : Chapter 5 : A Scientific Theological Method - first half.
August 18th discussion Kevin Sharpe's "Science of God" : Chapter 5 : A Scientific Theological Method - second half.
August 25th discussion Kevin Sharpe's "Science of God" : Chapter 6 : Why Contemporary Scholars Fail.
- then there was the mid-semester break -
September 15th Mark West "Nature of Rituals, Rituals of Nature" : a discussion based on an article by David Young entitled "A Spiritual bypass : Maori have beautiful karakia, but shouldn't Pakeha also have rituals to do with the land ?".
September 22nd discussion Kevin Sharpe's "Science of God" : Chapter 7 : Refashioned Theology.
September 29th Don Nield Discussion on the question, "If Adam and Eve were not historical figures, what does that imply about the doctrine of the atonement ?".
October 5th Robert Sheehan Whatever happened to sin ?
October 12th Alan Creak Parliament of World's Religions : so what ?

Alan Creak,
2004 October.