Symposium on Theology, Spirituality and Cancer – Update

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Laidlaw College and Theology at the University of Auckland will be sponsoring a two-day symposium and public lecture on Theology, Spirituality & Cancer on 20-21 February 2014 and you are warmly invited to attend.

The Theology, Spirituality and Cancer symposium is an interdisciplinary meeting exploring dialogue between theological (including biblical), religious, philosophical, spiritual, healthcare and pastoral arenas, and will include presentations by biblical scholars Dr Tim Meadowcroft and Dr Caroline Blyth, and practical theologian Dr Stephen Garner among others. The symposium will be of interest to academics and practitioners, including religious ministers, chaplains, counsellors and healthcare practitioners in related areas. It will address topics such as theodicy, cancer therapies, end-of-life care and pastoral challenges as well as exploring the insights a theological, religious or spiritual perspective can bring to an understanding of all aspects of cancer. These areas will be explored through presented papers, keynote addresses and a public lecture.


When: 20-21 February 2014 | 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Where: University of Auckland (City Campus), Arts 1 Building (Building 206), 14A Symonds Street, Auckland
Cost: $100 (includes morning and afternoon tea)
Register: Click here to register online. Registration will close on Friday 9 February 2014, but please register early as places are limited.

Cancer and Spirituality Matters: Stats and Stories

Public Lecture with Dr. Richard Eagan
When: 20 February 2014 | 7:30pm
Where: LibB10, General Library (Building 109), Level B (Basement), 5 Alfred Street, Auckland
Cost: Free

For further information about the symposium click here for schedule and registration form or visit or contact Christina Partridge at

PDF Version of this information to print out or distribute.

New media, religion and the interaction between the two

Now that the semester has ended and I’m clearing my desk (virtual and otherwise) of things that have accumulated there, here’s a list of links on media, religion and often the intersection between the two that I found interesting.

Director – Presbyterian Church Schools’ Resource Office | Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand

Applications are now invited for the position of Director of the Presbyterian Church Schools’ Resource Office.

In 2011, an office was established to strengthen and support the Christian character of the thirteen schools and colleges around the country that are affiliated to, or associated with, the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand. This role consists largely of supporting chaplains and religious education teachers in their work, and the compilation and development of curriculum resources.
The office is run by the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership on behalf of the church schools. It is currently located in Auckland, but can be relocated if necessary.

This is a half-to-two-thirds-time position.

The successful candidate will have a theological qualification, a teaching Diploma, and proven experience in chaplaincy and/or teaching. Knowledge of, and/or ministry within, the Presbyterian Church and the Reformed tradition will be an advantage.

More details in the PDF file available on the PCANZ web site. Applications close 15 November 2013.

Director – Presbyterian Church Schools’ Resource Office | Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand.

What’s in store for Serenity’s crew after the events of the film?

I’m a huge Firefly/Serenity fan. I’ve got the DVDs, the poster, and all the comics and graphic novels. So I’m hoping this comes to pass.

What’s in store for Serenity’s crew after the events of the film?

“Firefly: The Complete Series” (Joss Whedon, Tim Minear, Vern Gillum)

“Serenity” (Joss Whedon)

“Serenity, Vol. 1: Those Left Behind” (Joss Whedon, Brett Matthews)

“Serenity, Vol. 2: Better Days” (Joss Whedon)

“Serenity: The Shepherd’s Tale” (Zack Whedon, Joss Whedon)

“Serenity Float Out #1 One-Shot Chen Cover” (Patton Oswalt)

New books from friends and colleagues

New books on the bookshelf from the past couple of week authored and edited by friends and colleagues (two of which were free copies arriving in the mail yesterday and today).

First up Spiritual Complaint: The Theology and Practice of Lament edited by Miriam Bier and Tim Bulkeley which came out of an interdisciplinary colloquium on lament back in 2011. I’ve got a chapter in there titled “Lament in an age of new media”. Links below:

“Spiritual Complaint: The Theology and Practice of Lament” (Miriam Bier, Tim Bulkeley) –
“Spiritual Complaint: The Theology and Practice of Lament” (Miriam Bier, Tim Bulkeley) – Wipf and Stock Publishers

Secondly, Nicola Hoggard Creegan’s work on theology, animal suffering and problem of evil looks like a good read, especially for those interested in the theological implications of evolutionary frameworks and the science-religion interface.

“Animal Suffering and the Problem of Evil” (Nicola Hoggard Creegan) –
“Animal Suffering and the Problem of Evil” (Nicola Hoggard Creegan) – Oxford University Press

And finally, a collection of essays from a range of NZ writers – theologians, philosophers, scientists – on new-atheism from the TANSA meetings etc. Something to dip into from time to time.

“Taking Rational Trouble Over the Mysteries: Reactions to Atheism” (Nicola Hoggard Creegan and Andrew Shepherd) –
“Taking Rational Trouble Over the Mysteries: Reactions to Atheism” (Nicola Hoggard Creegan and Andrew Shepherd) – Wipf and Stock Publishers

Global Survey on Theological Education

Will have a look through this later. I remember filling out the questionnaire a while back, but had forgotten about it until it came across my email today.

The Global Survey on Theological Education was designed to gather data and perspectives on all forms of theological education from every Christian tradition in every part of the world. Launched in October 2011 by the World Council of Churches in partnership with the Institute for Cross-Cultural Theological Education in Chicago and the Centre for the Study of Global Christianity in Boston this survey aimed to provide empirical data on current developments, challenges and major trends in theological education in World Christianity by sending out 70 items questionnaire to relevant partners, both individual theological educators as well as institutions for theological education.

Global Survey on Theological Education | GlobeTheoLib online library –

Searching For A New Hero?

A reflection on how the changes in the recent history of the Green Lantern Corps in the DC Universe towards a more militaristic, political organisation change affection for beloved characters. Will be interesting to see future blog posts on this theme.

I’m of the view that the scope of the changes to the GL mythos, and the fact that they happened over a reasonably long time (10 years) means that the radicalness of them crept up on people, rather than with a (yet another) dramatic reboot of the character.

See A Comic Fan Searches For A New Hero: Introduction | Political Jesus.