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Public Theology

2016 Upcoming Events

28 July: 'Catherine Booth - First Salvation Army Social Reformer'. Public Seminar with Major Dr John Read (Salvation Army Ecumenical Officer, United Kingdom)
1:00pm, QUAD3 Seminar Room

6 September: 'Towards an Ecumenical Political Theology: Charisms Catholic', Reformed and Anabaptist'. Public Lecture with Rev Dr Doug Gay (Lecturer in Practical Theology, University of Glasgow). Rev Dr Doug Gay is the Stuart Residence Hall Visitor for 2016.
5:15-6:30pm, Burns 2 Lecture Theatre.

14 September: "The Threat of Religious Violence to a Democracy". Public Lecture with Dr Derek Woodard-Lehman (Centre for Theology and Public Issues). To be held in the Beehive Theatrette, Wellington. To register your interest in attending, please contact ctpinz@otago.ac.nz by August 14th 2016.

Latest News

Event welcoming Dr Woodard-Lehman well attended in Wellington

Dr. Derek Woodard-Lehman, our new appointment in Theology and Public Issues was welcomed at a well-attended event at St. John’s Church in the City in Wellington on 7 June 2016. We are looking forward to Derek being part of the Centre, and the new opportunities that his position brings.

David Tomb's Inaugural Professorial Lecture is now available to view

Watch the podcast of David's lecture on 'Latin American Liberation Theology and its Ongoing Legacy'.

New at the Centre for Theology and Public Issues in 2016

As the new academic year for 2016 gets under way, we are delighted to welcome four new colleagues at the Centre.

Dr. Derek Woodard-Lehman will be joining us as Lecturer in Theology and Public Issues, based at St. John’s in the City Presbyterian Church in Wellington. Derek is currently Visiting Assistant Professor of Theology and Ethics at Lutheran Theological Seminary (Philadelphia), and a Postdoctoral Fellow of the Louisville Institute. He works in the theological traditions of Western Christianity, with an emphasis on the intersection of religious commitment and social criticism in modern Protestantism. He is particularly interested in the role of religious practices in twentieth-century liberation movements. We look forward to this new development in the Centre’s work. We are grateful to St. John’s Church, the Presbyterian Synod of Otago and Southland, the Glenfield Bethel Trust, Wilberforce 21 and other funders, who have made this appointment possible.

Dr. Mercy Ah Siu-Maliko joins us as a Post-Doctoral Fellow for a four-month project investigating ‘Christian Faith and Domestic Violence in Samoa’. Mercy completed her dissertation on ‘Public Theology, Core Values and Domestic Violence in Samoan Society’ at the University of Otago in 2014. Her project is funded by grants from the Wesleydale Trust and the DeepSight Trust.

Dr. Rocio Figueroa joins us a part-time Research Assistant for 2016. Rocio will work on a project investigating the immediate and longer-term impact on victims of sexual abuse from a theological perspective. Rocio is originally from Peru, and has also lectured and worked in Italy and Mexico. During her time in Rome she was also Responsible for the Section on Women’s Issues in the Vatican. This project is funded by a University of Otago Research Grant to Professor Tombs.

Dr. Emily Bisset has taken over the administrative duties for the Centre. She can be contacted at ctpinz@otago.ac.nz or 64 3 479 8516.

News and Events Archive

2016 events

20 July: 'Acknowledging Jesus as Victim of Sexual Abuse'. Public Lecture with Professor David Tombs (Director, Centre for Theology and Public Issues).
Download the poster for more details.                                                                                                      Listen to the lecture https://aucklandtheology.wordpress.com/category/david-tombs/

11 July: 'Last Cab to Darwin and the Current Euthanasia Debate'. Public Seminar with Prof David Tombs (Director, Centre for Theology and Public Issues). Hosted by the University of Otago Bioethics Centre.

18 May: 'Speaking of Life and Death'. Public Lecture with Professor David Tombs (Director, Centre for Theology and Public Issues). Part of a series of forums focusing on euthanasia.
5:30pm, The Cathedral Church of St Paul the Apostle, the Octagon Dunedin.
Read more about the forums on the Called South website or download the poster.

16 May: 'Religion, the Media and the (Un)making of Prejudice towards New Zealand’s Muslims'. Public Lecture with Dr John Shaver (Department of Theology and Religion, University of Otago). Co-hosted by the Religious Diversity Centre Aotearoa New Zealand, the Centre for Theology and Public Issues, the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies and the Religion Programme at Otago.
Download the poster for Dr Shaver's lecture.

13 May: 'Looking beyond the child hardship package: policy options for reducing child poverty in New Zealand'. Public seminar with Professor Jonathan Boston (Professor of Public Policy, School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington).
Read an opinion piece, 'Goal of halving child poverty' by Prof Boston, published in the ODT (10/05/2016)
View the slides from Prof Boston's seminar.

12 May: 'Good governance: designing democratic institutions for a sustainable future'. Public Lecture with Professor Jonathan Boston (Professor of Public Policy, School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington).
View the slides from Prof Boston's lecture.
Watch the podcast from Prof Boston's lecture.

10 May: 'The Jihad of Jesus: How Christians and Muslims can work together for peace and justice'. Public lecture with Dave Andrews (Christian Heritage College, Founder of the Waiters Union, educator for TEAR Australia). Co-hosted by the Centre for Theology and Public Issues, the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, the University of Otago Chaplaincy Service and the Dunedin Abrahamic Interfaith Group.
Read more about this lecture and Dave Andrews

11 March: 'Tales from Palestine'. Public seminar with Peter Watson. Co-sponsored by Dunedin Friends (Quakers), The National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies and the Centre for Theology and Public Issues.

2 March: A Public Conversation with John Pepper. Co-hosted by the Centre for Theology and Public Issues and the SimpleMove Feldenkrais Practice.
Listen to RadioNZ interview with John Pepper
Watch Dunedin Television's interview with John Pepper

22 February: 'Halakhic Responses to Modernization and Secularization: An Overview of Modern Developments in Jewish Law'. Public Lecture with Professor Zvi Zohar (Chauncey Stillman Professor of Sephardic Law and Ethics at Bar Ilan University, Israel).

11 February: 'Why Civil Resistance Works'. Public lecture with Professor Erica Chenoweth (Associate Dean for Research, Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver).
Watch the postcast of Prof Chenoweth's lecture.

4 February: Salvation Army and University of Otago Research Colloquium. Hosted at the Booth College Mission, Upper Hutt.
View the programme here. Click the below links to download the slides from the presentations. Please note copyright remains with the authors.
Major Campbell Roberts - 'Overview of Salvation Army's Involvement in Social Housing'
Alan Johnson - 'The Important Policy Drivers in Social Housing'
Major Doug Newman - Major Doug Newman - 'Salvation Army Supportive Accommodation'
Nevil Pierse (He Kainga Oranga)- 'The Evidence of Housing Intervention'
Fatima McKague (Centre for Sustainability) - 'Housing and Energy Inequality in New Zealand'

3 February: 'Faith and Social Mission'. Public lecture with Professor David Tombs (Centre for Theology and Public Issue, University of Otago. Part of the joint colloquium between The Salvation Army and the University of Otago. Hosted at the Booth College Mission, Upper Hutt.
Download the slides from Prof Tomb's Public Lecture.

 

2015 events

16 December: 'Is it too late? Doing theology in the Anthropocene'. Public seminar with Associate Professor Clive Pearson, (Research Fellow, Public and Contextual Theology Research Centre (PaCT), Charles Sturt University).
Read the notes from Associate Professor Clive Pearson's lecture.

3 December: ‘With the Bible in One Hand and the Newspaper in the Other: A Christian Vision of Democratic Public Life’. Open lecture with Dr Derek Woodard-Lehman, (Lutheran Theological Seminary, Philadelphia).

3 December: ‘Mirrors, Screens and Photographs: Facing the Other in an ‘Age of Terror’’. Open lecture with Dr Andrew Shepherd, (A Rocha Aotearoa New Zealand).

13 October: Professor David Tombs chaired a talk by Rob Oram on ‘How to Turn Small Change into Big Change’ and the subsequent Q&A at the Transitional Cathedral in Christchurch, as part of the 70th Anniversary celebrations of Christian World Service.

3 October: 2015 Quaker Lecture: 'Poverty, Inequality and Ethical Decision-Making'. Open lecture with Bryan Bruce, (author and maker of documentaries such as Inside Child Poverty and Mind the Gap). This event was hosted by the Centre for Theology and Public Issues.

22 September: 'Faith and Wisdom in Science'. Open lecture with Professor Tom McLeish, (Professor of Physics at Durham University). Tom discussed themes from his recently published book Faith and Wisdom in Science (Oxford University Press, 2014).
View the 'Faith and Wisdom in Science Podcast.

21 September: 'The Politics of Torture: The Findings of the US Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Torture'. Archibald Baxter Memorial Trust Peace Lecture with Professor David Tombs, (Centre for Theology and Public Issues, University of Otago). This lecture is presented by the Archibald Baxter Memorial Trust, which was established to commemorate those who chose not to fight in the First World War. 
Read the notes from 'The Politics of Torture' lecture.

View the podcast of the Archibald Bacter Memorial Trust Peace Lecture.

21 September: 'Successful Collaborative Research Between Humanities and Science: A Future for Interdisciplinarity?'. Seminar with Professor Tom McLeish, (Professor of Physics at Durham University).

8 September: 'Latin American Liberation Theology and its Ongoing Legacy'. Inaugural Professorial Lecture by Professor David Tombs. Professor Tombs is the Howard Paterson Chair in Theology and Public Issues and Director of the Centre for Theology and Public Issues.
View the podcast of Prof Tomb's IPL.

20 August: 'The Art of Citizenship: The Role of Artists in the Scottish Independence Referendum'. Open lecture with Professor William Storrar, (Director of the Centre of Theological Inquiry at Princeton and formerly Professor of Christian Ethics and Practical Theology at the University of Edinburgh). Professor Storrar introduced a thirty-minute documentary, 'Bus Party 2014', charting his experience as part of a group of artists and thinkers who toured Scotland in the run-up to the 2014 independence referendum, putting on events at village halls across the country. This was followed by a Q & A chaired by Professor Liam McIlvanney, (Department of English and Linguistics, Scottish Studies). This event was jointly hosted by the Centre for Theology and Public Issues and the Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies.

19 August: 'Can There Be a Unified Theory of Religious Freedom?'. Open lecture with Professor Peter Danchin, (Professor of Law and Director of the International and Comparative Law Program at the University of Maryland School of Law).
View Professor Danchin's podcast.

18 August: ‘Religion ‘in’ Law: A Conversation with Professor Peter Danchin and Dr Ben Schonthal’. Round table discussion with Professor Peter Danchin, (Professor of Law and Director of the International and Comparative Law Program at the University of Maryland School of Law), and Dr Ben Schonthal, (Department of Theology and Religion). Chaired by Professor David Tombs.

30 July: 'The Laramie Project'. The open lecture with Dr David P. Gushee was followed by the screening of this film. The Laramie Project is an award-winning 2002 film, written and directed by Moisés Kaufman.

30 July: 'Changing Our Mind on the LGBT Issue'. Open lecture with Dr. David P. Gushee, (Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics and Director of the Center for Theology and Public Life at Mercer University).
View the podcast of the 'Changing Our Mind on the LGBT Issue' open lecture

19 July: 'Responding to Winds of Change: A Conversation on the Church in the Public Square'. Speakers included Marian Hobbs, (Facilitator of community engagement on social concerns, former MP and Cabinet Minister), Richard Randerson, (Anglican Bishop, author of Slipping the Moorings), and David Tombs, (Professor of Theology and Public Issues). The discussion was chaired by Rev Michael Wallace (Vicar of All Saints' Church). This event was sponsored by All Saints' Church and the Centre for Theology and Public Issues. 
Listen to the Radio New interview with Richard Randerson on Slipping the Moorings.
Read an article on 'Responding to Winds of Change: A Conversation on the Church in the Public Square'.

8 July: 'The Peaceful Unification of Korea'. Public seminar with Rev Dr Kangsil Lee (Church Minister in South Korea, on a sabbatical visit to Dunedin, sponsored by Knox Church through the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa NZ's Global Mission office).

28 May: 'Non-Toxic Religion: The Churches in the Peace Movement in 1980's New Zealand'. Open lecture with Reverend Dr Peter Matheson, (Presbyterian minister and Honorary Fellow of the Department of Theology and Religion at the University of Otago). Hosted by the Centre for Theology and Public Issues and the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies.

22 May: 'Conversation After Pentecost: The Shape of Distinctly Christian Engagements with the Postmodern Other'. Public seminar with Professor Trevor Hart, (Rector of Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Scotland).

14 May: 'Syria Behind the Lines'. The open lecture with Chris Clarke, (World Vision New Zealand), was followed by a screening of the film 'Syria Behind the Lines', which examines the sectarian division in the conflict. The film (60 mins) was followed by a discussion.

14 May: 'Beauty and Brokenness: Reflections on the Syrian Crisis'. Chris Clarke, (Chief Executive, World Vision New Zealand), spoke on the devastating impact this crisis has had on a generation of Syrian children, and asked "Where is God in all of this?". Chris has spent most of his career in the public health sector and is a visiting scholar at Green Templeton College, Oxford University.

30 April: 'Paycheck to Paycheck: The Life and Times of Katrina Gilbert'. The conversation with Mark Powell was followed by a screening of the film 'Paycheck to Paycheck: The Life and Times of Katrina Gilbert'.

30 April: 'Public Conversation with Mark Powell'. Professor Murray Rae (Department of Theology and Religion) was in conversation with Mark Powell (CEO of The Warehouse). Topics for his conversation included: a living wage; Chief Executive Pay; economic inequality; Christian approaches to business, and more.

16 April: 'In My Country' Film Screening. Based on the acclaimed book Country of My Skull by Antjie Krog, an Afrikaans poet who covered TRC hearings for South African radio.

16 April: 'Faith and Reconciliation: Insights from the South African Experience'. Open lecture by Emeritus Professor Piet Meiring, (Theology and Missiology, University of Pretoria, and a former member of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission chaired by Desmond Tutu). View the notes from the lecture here Pre-requisites for Forgiveness, Faith and Reconciliation.
View the podcast of the Open Lecture by Emeritus Professor Piet Meiring.

24 March: 'Romero' Film Screening. The film was preceded by a CTPI panel discussion on Freedom of Speech. This powerful film features Romero's time as Archbishop of San Salvador, when he became known as a 'Voice for the Voiceless' until his murder on 24 March 1980.

24 March: 'Freedom of Speech: Rights and Responsibilities?' panel discussion with Associate Professor Greg Dawes, (Department of Philosophy), Dr Najibullah Lafraie, (Department of Politics), Mr Murray Kirkness, (Editor of Otago Daily Times), Associate Professor Selene Mize, (Faculty of Law), Professor David Tombs, (Centre for Theology and Public Issues) and chaired by Professor Murray Rae, (Department of Theology and Religion).

11 February: Hosted the launch of the Salvation Army's annual state-of-the-nation report, 'A Mountain All Can Climb'.

2014 events

17 October: 2014 Quaker Lecture: Standing in this Place an open lecture with David James, Jillian Wychel, Murray Short and Linda Wilson. Hosted by the Society of Friends, in association with the Centre for Theology and Public Issues.
Listen to the audio recording of the 2014 Quaker Lecture

11 August: The Marriage Amendment Act One Year On: How are the Churches Responding? An open panel with Rt Rev’d Kelvin Wright, (Anglican Bishop of Dunedin); Rev'd Greg Hughson, (University Chaplain); Rt Rev'd Dr Graham Redding, (Principal of Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership, and former Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand); Rev'd Mark Chamberlain, (Roman Catholic Priest, Church of the Holy Name); Rev'd Dr Bruce Hamill, (Minister at Coastal Unity Presbyterian Church and Convenor of the Doctrine Core Group, Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand); Mr Neill Ballantyne, (Queer Support Officer, OUSA). This event was hosted by the Centre for Theology and Public Issues and Otago University Students’ Association Queer Support.

17 July: Future Visions: Ecology, Economics at the End of the World. Open lecture with Dr Andrew Shepherd (Adjunct Lecturer in Theology; Dr Andrew Shepherd has worked as a Research Fellow and Teaching Fellow at the Centre for Theology and Public Issues, University of Otago. He is the National Co-Director for A Rocha Aotearoa New Zealand, a Christian conservation movement). This was followed by the launch of his book, The Gift of the Other: Levinas, Derrida, and a Theology of Hospitality (Eugene, OR:. Pickwick Publications, 2014).

7 July: Believers of the World - Unite. Otago Tertiary Chaplaincy and Dunedin Abrahamic Interfaith Group Eleventh Annual Open Peace Lecture with Rev Dr Lord Leslie Griffiths, (Dr Griffiths, the Lord Griffiths of Burry Port, is a Methodist Minister and Superintendent of Wesley’s Chapel, London, and a Labour member of the House of Lords). Introduced by Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne.

7 July: How to communicate meaningfully with ordinary people - the challenge to Theology. Seminar with Rev Dr Lord Leslie Griffiths, (Superintendent Minister of Wesley’s Chapel, London, and a member of the House of Lords).

12 June: Child Poverty: Myths, misconceptions and misunderstandings. An open lecture with Professor Jonathan Boston, (Co-chair, Expert Advisory Group on Solutions to Child Poverty).
View the powerpoint from Professor Boston's lecture.
View the podcast of Professor Boston's lecture.

12 June: Governing for the Future: Stewardship, sustainability and the tyranny of the present. An open lecture with Professor Jonathan Boston, (Professor of Public Policy, Victoria University School of Government).
View the powerpoint of the 'Governing for the Future' open lecture

26 March: Religious Leaders Building Peace and the Practice of Interfaith Dialogue: Drawing on the Experiences of Mindanao, Burundi and Nigeria. A public conversation with Professor Ed Garcia (Senior Conflict Advisor at International Alert in London), Dr Najibullah Lafraie (Department of Politics), Dr Sung Yong Lee (Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies) and the Revd Greg Hughson (University Chaplain).

18 March: Third World Development: Opportunities and Challenges. The Centre hosted three National Directors from World Vision's offices around the globe, who each made a short presentation and answered questions on 'Hot Topics in Development' such as: Tackling poverty in conflict situations - Alex Snary, (National Director, World Vision Jerusalem-West Bank-Gaza); When doing good does harm - Gilbert Kamanga, (National Director, World Vision Uganda); When aid and business collide - Chris Herink, (National Director, World Vision Myanmar). Chaired by Chris Clarke, (CEO of World Vision New Zealand).

17 March: Public Conversation with Archbishop John Sentamu. This was another chance to hear the Archbishop John Sentamu, (the Archbishop of York), in conversation with Archbishop Philip Richardson, (Archbishop of the New Zealand Dioceses). The conversation ranged widely over issues concerning the church locally and internationally, and considered particular projects and themes of Archbishop Sentamu's own work in the UK.

17 March: Poverty: Global and Local. A one-day symposium with Archbishop John Sentamu, (the Archbishop of York), and his wife Margaret Sentamu, (Principal Consultant and Head of Diversity at Odgers & Berndtson). Other speakers included the Revd Jono Ryan (New Zealand Co-ordinator of Servants to Asia's Urban Poor), Professor David Fielding (Professor of Economics, Otago Business School) and Gillian Bremner (CEO of Presbyterian Support). The symposium considered the nature, causes and extent of poverty and explored strategies for alleviating poverty that make a difference both locally and globally.

13 February: Hosted the launch of the Salvation Army's annual state-of-the-nation report, 'Striking a Better Balance'.