Christianity and the Life of the Mind: An Introduction
What does our calling to be disciples of Christ mean for our academic vocation (whether temporary as students or longer term as a career)? What are some of the promises and pitfalls of the scholarly life? How can academics and postgraduate students serve and relate to the wider body of Christ (the Church)?
We believe that considering these questions is a matter of Christian discipleship for graduate students and postdocs of faith. Through lectures and discussion, the ‘Christianity and the Life of the Mind’ conference creates space for an academic and personal introduction to the aim of ‘Developing a Christian Mind at Oxford’.
Sat 1 February 2014
9:00 a.m. Registration opens at Jesus College’s Ship Street Conference Centre, just off Cornmarket Street.
9:30-10:20 a.m. How Christians relate to the world (Nigel Biggar)
10:20-11:10 a.m. Worldview and Discipleship (Benno van den Toren)
This lecture discusses the notion of ‘worldview’ and its influence on the development of a Christian mind in the contemporary world. It outlines main elements of Christian worldview and the implications for Christian attitudes to life, the world, and science.
11:10-11:40 a.m. Coffee & Tea
11:40-12:20 a.m. Extended discussion session
12:20-1:00 pm. The doctrine of creation and the science of nature (Ard Louis)
This lecture explores how far the Judaeo-Christian understanding of creation has been fundamental in the development of modern science. It also explores the tensions between modern science and the Christian understanding of reality and how to enable constructive dialogue
Ard Louis video: The doctrine of creation and the science of nature from oxfordchristianmind on Vimeo.
1:00 -1:20 pm Discussion session
1:20-2:20 p.m. Catered buffet lunch at the Ship Street Centre
2:20-3:10 a.m. The calling of Christian postgrad students and academics (Ard Louis)
Based on his own academic career and experience with postgraduate ministry in several countries, Ard Louis will conclude the conference with a presentation and discussion summarising the main themes of the conference in the light of questions such as: What does our calling to be disciples of Christ mean for our academic vocation (whether temporary as students or longer term as a career)? What are some of the promises and pitfalls of the scholarly life? How can academics and postgraduate students serve and relate to the wider body of Christ (the Church)?
Ard Louis video: The calling of Christian postgrad students and academics from oxfordchristianmind on Vimeo.
3:10-3:40 p.m. Discussion session
3:40-4:10 p.m. Coffee & Tea
4:10-5:00 p.m. What does it mean to be human? (Elaine Storkey)
What does it mean to be human? The social sciences in particular have implicit or explicit convictions about what is wrong with the world, and many individual scholars are driven by the desire to improve society and to alleviate suffering. How do these understandings relate to the Christian understanding of sin and evil?
5:00-5:30 p.m. Discussion session
5:30 p.m. Conference closing
Subject to availability: Dinners hosted in homes with academics across Oxford
Sun 2 Feb 2014
9:00-9:30 a.m. Coffee & croissants
9:30-10:00 a.m. Devotional reflection on faith and the academic life (Donald Hay)
10:00-10:50 a.m. What went wrong with humankind? (Elaine Storkey)
What went wrong with humankind? This lecture discusses how the Christian understanding of the human being steers a course between individualism and collectivism, between fatalism and personal freedom, between materialism and ‘idealism’; and how its personal and communitarian understanding of the human being is grounded in the Trinitarian God.
10:50-11:20 p.m. Discussion session
11:20-11:40 p.m. Coffee & Tea
11:40-12:30 p.m. Saviour of the World (Benno van den Toren)
Salvation in Christ is not just a spiritual reality – it touches the whole of our being, the whole of humanity, and has cosmic dimensions. Salvation therefore has implications for how we relate to the world in our disciplines and professions. The lecture is an introduction to the different dimensions of redemption through Christ
12:30-12:50 p.m. Discussion session
12:50 p.m. onwards Sandwich lunch
Some initial bibliographical notes: