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Posted: 21 May 2018

In the UK, the dialogue between science and religion is often defined by aggression and tribalism; no progress is made and views become entrenched. But the Drawbridge Lecture, a long-established lecture series organised by the Christian Evidence Society, which has always featured leaders and thinkers from the Christian tradition, will break that deadlock this year. It will be delivered at St Paul’s Cathedral, London, on Tuesday 22 May 2018, by the agnostic and world renowned cosmologist Marcelo Gleiser.

Professor Gleiser, who is Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, and the author of several best-selling popular science books, has long championed a positive re-engagement between the sciences and the humanities, including religion and the arts. His...

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Photo of sunset at Big Sur, California

Posted: 19 May 2018

Marcelo Gleiser is delivering our Drawbridge Lecture of 2018 at St Paul’s Cathedral, London, on Tuesday 22 May, on ‘Unknowns in Heaven and Earth’. This guest blog post by him examines the choices in the relationship between science and religion beyond the polarized positions of ‘I believe’ or ‘I don’t believe.’ Register here for a free ticket to the Drawbridge Lecture.

When discussing the relationship between science and religion, people often take a polarized position: It’s either ‘I believe’ or ‘I don’t believe.’

Much grief comes from the insistence from either side that the opposite is wrong or meaningless. (Here is an example, as secularist Sam Harris criticizes National Institutes of Health director and believer Francis Collins.)

In practice, however, there...

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Photo of Marcelo Gleiser

Posted: 15 May 2018

The 2018 Drawbridge Lecture, organised by the Christian Evidence Society (which runs this blog), will be delivered by physicist and author Marcelo Gleiser. Gillian Straine, a trustee of the Society and the organiser of this year’s lecture, explains how Professor Gleiser was invited to speak on Unknowns in Heaven and Earth.

In November 2015, delegates from across the globe gathered in a medieval Swiss chateau in a meeting sponsored by a branch of the UK government and the European Organisation for Nuclear Research.

This may sound like a storyline from a Bond movie, but it was the third and final gathering in a fascinating series of interfaith talks about science and religion sponsored by Wilton Park, an agency of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, providing a global forum for...

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Posted: 10 May 2018

Theoretical physicist, author and science educator Professor Marcelo Gleiser will deliver the Drawbridge Lecture at St Paul’s Cathedral on Tuesday 22 May 2018, in a lecture entitled ‘Unknowns in Heaven and Earth’. The lecture will call for a re-engagement between the sciences and the humanities, including religion and the arts. ‘We must confront the unknowns in heaven and earth, many of them crucial to our shared future on this planet,’ says Marcelo Gleiser, who is Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire.

Entry to the lecture is by free ticket. Please register here

The Drawbridge Lecture is a lecture series of the Christian Evidence Society. Previous speakers have included Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Russian dissident poet Irina Ratushinskaya,...

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Posted: 15 March 2018

We’re glad to hear that the UK’s leading apologetics gathering, Unbelievable? The Conference 2018, is returning to London on Saturday 19 May 2018.

The conference is hosted by Justin Brierley, whose popular Unbelievable? radio show and podcast brings believers and sceptics together to debate the big issues. He will be joined by 10 internationally renowned thinkers, scientists and Christian leaders, including Rob Parsons, Hugh Ross, Sharon Dirckx and Glen Scrivener.

The conference seminars, talks and Q&A sessions promise to help attendees respond to the questions that we and others frequently ask of the Christian faith.

Early bird booking rates end this Friday 16 March, so do check out this year’s theme and the full speaker lineup. For tickets and more info, visit Unbelievable? The...

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Photo of Stephen Hawking at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge

Posted: 15 March 2018

The death of Stephen Hawking has evoked a range of positive tributes among Christian leaders, scientists and thinkers online. Professor Hawking, one of the world’s best known and most celebrated scientists, had contrasting things to say about religious faith during his life. In his bestselling book, A Brief History of Time (1988), he famously said: ‘If we discover a complete theory, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason – for then we should know the mind of God.’ But in 2014, he firmly declared himself an atheist and said, ‘What I meant by “we would know the mind of God” is, we would know everything that God would know, if there were a God, which there isn’t. I’m an atheist.’

The Archbishop of Canterbury paid tribute to Hawking on his Facebook page:...

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Photo of Rebecca Goldstein, William Lane Craig and Jordan Peterson

Posted: 26 January 2018

Tonight sees a debate, which will be live-streamed on YouTube, between philosopher and apologist William Lane Craig, psychology professor Jordan Peterson, and philosopher and author Rebecca Newberger Goldstein. The debate is expected to be lively and provocative, as the three scholars offer their very insights into questions around the meaning of life.

See the debate live here.

Jordan Petersen, a leading Canadian intellectual, is the author of recently-published 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, which has been described as ‘a hardline self-help manual of self-reliance, good behaviour, self-betterment and individualism’. Peterson was recently in the news for his fiery interview on Channel 4 News, focusing on gender issues, which resulted in online abuse of the interviewer,...

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Posted: 23 January 2018

National Geographic devoted the cover of its Christmas 2017 edition to The Real Jesus. The journalist who wrote the feature, Kristin Romey, naturally considered the question of whether Jesus existed at all, writing: ‘Might it be possible that Jesus Christ never even existed, that the whole stained glass story is pure invention? It’s an assertion that’s championed by some outspoken skeptics – but not, I discovered, by scholars, particularly archaeologists, whose work tends to bring flights of fancy down to earth.’

She then quoted Eric Meyers, archaeologist and Emeritus Professor in Judaic Studies at Duke University: ‘I don’t know any mainstream scholar who doubts the historicity of Jesus… The details have been debated for centuries, but no one who is serious doubts that...

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Photo of man ascending steps

Posted: 17 January 2018

Think ‘God’ and what do you see? Psychologist Bonnie Poon Zahl of the University of Oxford has investigated people’s perception of God and the effect our image of God has on behaviour. She talks to Nigel Bovey.

Is there a link between having a religious faith and a sense of personal wellbeing?

There is a fair amount of research that shows a general trend of religiosity correlating with higher levels of wellbeing – so religious people seem to report more satisfaction with life and a greater sense of purpose. But it would be wrong to suppose that every individual believer feels good about themselves and about God all the time. As well as being a source of joy, religious faith can also sometimes be a source of strain.

How can having a faith be personally detrimental?

For my...

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Photo of bookshelves seen through a pair of glasses

Posted: 30 December 2017

Politicians ‘doing God’, scientists and theologians in conversation, a compelling biography of Martin Luther, and a fresh take on the Good Book. We look at 10 of the most striking books on the borders of faith and culture published in 2017.

Cover of Unbelievable?

Unbelievable?
Justin Brierley has hosted the radio show, Unbelievable? for the past 10 years, inviting atheists, sceptics (and believers) to debate arguments for and against the Christian faith. But how have all those years of discussion with Richard Dawkins, Derren Brown and others affected Brierley’s own faith? In his book of the show, Brierley tells the stories of his radio guests, and explains why (to borrow the book’s subtitle) ‘I’m still a Christian’. Published: June 2017

Cover of The Mighty and the Almighty

The Mighty and the Almighty: How Political Leaders Do God...

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Photos at the top of this column by:
Taro Taylor and Jon Sullivan