Oxford is full of places to continue the conversation about Christianity and the life of the mind. A non-exhaustive list is below – if you would like to see something added here, contact us.
- The Oxford Graduate Christian Union (GCU) meets 7 for 7.30pm every Monday night of term upstairs at the Mitre pub on the High Street, providing space for Oxford postgrads to engage thought-provoking speakers and connect with others.
- Reading groups are organically emerging among postgrads and faculty on a wide range of topics. A few, in no particular order, are listed below. For further details, or if you’d like to start a group, contact us. We may be able to connect you with other postgrads or faculty with similar interests!
- Christianity and Democracy Reading Group Interested in how Christianity and democracy overlap? What does our faith mean for our political systems? Donald Hay will convene a discussion group on four readings listed below. The group will meet 9-10am on February 12, 19, 26 and March 5 in the Harold Wilson Room at Jesus College. To register your interest in this group, please e-mail: email@example.com.
Below we have a list of reading groups held in the past year:
- ‘Preserving the person – A look at the human sciences‘ (by C. Steven Evans), Facilitator: Dr Stuart Judge (Emeritus Reader in Physiology), Who is invited: About 12 postgraduates and fellows from clinical/ experimental psychology, neuroscience, philosophy of mind, and Theology.
- What is a Person, by Christian Smith. Meeting once a week 9-10 a.m. at Jesus College.
- ‘Moral, Believing Animals: Human Personhood and Culture‘ (by Christian Smith), Smith, sociologist at the University of Notre Dame has published extensively about Christian faith and public life. His 2003 book, Moral, Believing Animals, asks “What kind of animals are human beings? And how do our visions of the human shape our theories of social action and institutions?”. The book has been reviewed as ”Well written and clearly argued… a searching critique of recent social theory and an important first step toward the articulation of a richer model of human personhood, motivation, and culture.” This group is forming – contact us for details.
- Poverty and Justice Reading Group: A weekly conversation on the intersection of Christian faith, poverty, and economic development issues. We meet 5.30-7pm every Tuesday of term at 40 Pembroke Street.
- Political Theology Reading Group: If Christ is king, what does that mean for our common life? What does it mean for human authority? We come from various faculties and gather four times a term at lunchtime to discuss the theology of politics. In Hilary Term 2012, we will be discussing Catholic Social Teaching. In the past, we have read authors like Karl Barth, Thomas Aquinas, and Ambrose of Milan. Meets Wednesday afternoons.
- A reading group on ‘Saving Leondardo’ by Nancy Pearcey. The discussion is led by Joe Martin, and is usually structured around a chapter each week. The group is open to postgrads from all disciplines.
- Adam, Eve and Evolution. This interdisciplinary group, made up of scientists, theologians and philosophers, meets monthly.
- Reformed Theology: Currently reading John Frame, ‘Salvation Belongs to the Lord’. Meets Thursday mornings.
- Breakfast With C.S. Lewis – we meet at Manos Cafe in Jericho on Saturday mornings (10:30 AM) where we read and discuss a passage over coffee and pastries.
- Ellis Potter’s ‘Three Theories of Everything’. In this simple volume, Potter, a former Zen Buddhist monk, explores how three major worldviews, and the unique hope that each offers to humanity, have profoundly different consequences for how we see everyday reality and the ultimate purpose of our lives. This book is a concise, reader friendly look at 3 basic ways of seeing reality from the East and the West.
- The GCU Women’s Forum exists to provide a venue for women across the Church in Oxford to critically engage with a wide range of issues and viewpoints related to career, purpose, and faithfulness. Our overall vision is to provide a space for women to explore their responses to the “deep seated desires that orient a person to one or another lifelong activities”; questions of calling and vocation in work, in the academy, and beyond. We are thankful for the ongoing support of the Graduate Christian Union.
No shortage of seminars to attend, as well:
- The Joseph Butler Society, exists to promote discussion in the field of the Philosophy of Religion. Meetings are open to all interested members of the University and their guests. Those interested in presenting a paper or receiving a term card should contact the secretary, Max Baker-Hytch, at firstname.lastname@example.org. A list of events can be found on here.
- The Oxford local group for Christians in Science holds termly meetings, 19:30 at St. Andrew’s Church, Linton Road, North Oxford.
- Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion conducts research into religious beliefs and theological concepts in relation to the sciences. They hold regular seminars.
- The Anscombe Bioethics Centre is a Roman Catholic academic institute that engages with the moral questions arising in clinical practice and biomedical research holds regular events.
- McDonald Centre for Theology, Ethics, and Public Life supports advanced research on the contribution of Christian theological traditions to the understanding and shaping of moral life—and especially moral issues of public concern—in conversation, at once charitable and candid, with other traditions of religious and philosophical thought. Check for their events.
- Blackfriars hold regular events on topics including ‘The Modern State and the Kingdom of God’ (Oct 2011) and ‘Recovering Economics and a Moral Science’ (Feb 2012). Stanley Hauerwas is speaking on 31 October. Check their activities here.
For a general list of seminars across the University, see Oxford Talks.