Facing the challenges of 21st century living

In Autumn 2012 Mayfield Salisbury hosted its third annual festival – Science Reason and Religion. The event brought together eminent scientists, theologians and authors to explore the relationships between these three elements and to tackle head-on some of the challenging issues that can fundamentally affect people’s views on life. There was an exciting programme of talks, dialogue and discussion and the programme turned out to be just as lively, interesting and enjoyable as we had hoped. 


LEAFLET - The leaflet which gives full details of all the events and speakers can be viewed HERE .   

Wed, Sep 19, 2012
Speaker: Professor Keith Ward Keith Ward is a philosopher, theologian and author. He is a former Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford University, a Fellow of the British Academy and an ordained priest of the Church of England. Two of his main interests are comparative theology and the interplay between science and faith. As an advocate of theistic evolution, he regards them as essentially compatible, a belief he has described in his book God, Chance and Necessity. He has criticized modern day Christian fundamentalism, most notably in his book What the Bible Really Teaches: A Challenge for Fundamentalists. For further information on the speaker, see www.keithward.org.uk

Wed, Sep 26, 2012
Speaker: Emeritus Professor Douglas Blackwood Douglas Blackwood is Emeritus Professor of Psychiatric Genetics and Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at the University of Edinburgh with long standing interest in how genes contribute to mental illnesses. He believes new genetic discoveries and insights widen the context within which to consider the nature of spirituality, its relation to religion and its importance in psychiatry. For further information on the speaker, see www.dcn.ed.ac.uk/pages/profiles/profiles.asp?ProfileId=28


Sun, Sep 30, 2012

This was an open session in a relaxed café atmosphere, with the opportunity to discuss and share views, issues, and perspectives about what it means to be human in the 21st century.  This format provided stimulating debate and the chance to engage with other people from both a faith – and a non-faith – perspective. 

Wed, Oct 03, 2012
Speaker: Professor Wilson Poon Wilson Poon is Professor of Condensed Matter Physics at the University of Edinburgh. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and a member of the Doctrine Committee of the Scottish Episcopal Church. He is a regular book reviewer for the journal Theology. For further information on the speaker, see www2.ph.ed.ac.uk/~wckp/

Sun, Oct 07, 2012
Speakers : Dr Julian Baggini and Professor David Fergusson, chaired by Allan Little, BBC Correspondent. Julian Baggini is a philosopher and author. He has written for numerous newspapers and magazines and is editor-in-chief and co-founder of The Philosopher’s Magazine. He has written several books on philosophy written for the general reader including Atheism : A Very Short Introduction. For further information on the speaker, see www.julianbaggini.com David Fergusson is Professor of Divinity and Principal of New College, University pf Edinburgh and a former Professor of Systematic Theology in the University of Aberdeen. His research interests include issues in Christian doctrine and theological ethics. From 2010-2012 he is principal investigator for the AHRC/ESRC funded-project on Christianity, Psychotherapy and Spirituality in Scotland. He is a minister in the Church of Scotland. For further information on the speaker, see www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/divinity/staff-profiles/fergusson

From the pulpit
While the Festival was taking place, the minister of Mayfield Salisbury, Revd Scott McKenna, addressed relevant topics from the pulpit at Sunday services. September 23 titled 'Reading the Bible literally is heresy',
September 30 titled 'Neo-Darwinism is false.'
October 7 titled 'What kind of God do we believe in?

For those interested in further reading:
R J Berry (ed) Real Scientists, Real faith (Monarch Books 2009)
F Collins  The Language of God:  A scientist presents evidence for belief (Pocket Books 2007)
J Sacks  The Great Partnership:   God, Science and the Search for Meaning (Hodder & Stoughton 2011)
K Ward  Is religion irrational? (Lion Hudson 2012)
K Ward  Why there almost certainly is a God (Lion Hudson 2008)