Happy 10 year blogoversary

10 years ago when was a year into my PhD in Theology I started this blog as a way to help me organize links and other material that I came across in my research. 10 years on the blog is still going – albeit in less intense kind of way. I’ve moved through Blogger, Movable Type, and WordPress – each of which had their own advantages. I’ve made some good friends and acquaintances along the way, and learnt a lot from other bloggers – many of whom I try to follow if they’re active. I’m often surprised to come across people at conferences who have seen something on it from time to time.

I’m not sure if this blog will be there in another 10 years time, but I hope so. Interesting to see the original blog roll – something that seems to have slipped off many blogs now.

Some changes in the look of the blog over time:

  • 2003 – http://web.archive.org/web/20031127232312/http://www.greenflame.org/
  • 2004 – http://web.archive.org/web/20041130174310/http://www.greenflame.org/
  • 2007 – http://web.archive.org/web/20070829124633/http://www.greenflame.org/
  • 2011 – http://web.archive.org/web/20111020132854/http://www.greenflame.org/
  • 2013 – http://web.archive.org/web/20130606131821/http://www.greenflame.org/

Passing on the Faith: The Childrens Sermon

I do children’s talks on a regular basis at my church. I find them challenging, but on the whole they seem well received by both children and adults. Because of that I particularly bit near the end of this article where he talks about the importance of creating a welcoming environment – one of the reasons I always try to sit on the floor or steps with the children, not on a chair ‘over’ them.

See A Test Case in Passing on the Faith: The Childrens Sermon.

See also: http://www.greenflame.org/category/faith-religion/childrens-talks/

Symposium on Theology, Spirituality and Cancer

Call for Papers – Symposium on Theology, Spirituality and Cancer
School of Theology, Faculty of Arts, The University of Auckland
Laidlaw College, Auckland

20-21 February, 2014 at the University of Auckland (City Campus)

The Theology, Spirituality and Cancer symposium is an interdisciplinary meeting exploring dialogue between theological including biblical, religious, philosophical, spiritual, healthcare and pastoral arenas. The symposium will be of interest to academics and practitioners, including religious ministers, chaplains, counsellors and healthcare practitioners in related areas. It will address issues such as theodicy, cancer therapies, end of life care, pastoral issues, and 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. It is intended that the symposium result in a published volume of essays.

Proposals for papers are invited on any aspects or themes related to those below. Papers should be 30 minutes in length with an additional 10-15 minutes discussion.

  • cancer and the problem of evil
  • health, therapy and saving power
  • ritual, prayer and cancer therapy
  • anger, guilt and forgiveness
  • spirituality and pastoral care
  • religion and the experience of cancer
  • competing myths, conflicting authorities
  • cancer and creation
  • cancer in eschatological perspective

Applications to present a paper should include:

  • Proposer’s name, institutional affiliations and contact details preferably email;
  • Title of the paper;
  • 200-word abstract;
  • Details of any audio-visual equipment you will need to deliver your paper.

Applications to be sent by 16 September 2013 to:

  • Dr Tim Meadowcroft (tmeadowcroft@laidlaw.ac.nz) – Laidlaw College

All other enquiries and information:

  • Dr Caroline Blyth (c.blyth@auckland.ac.nz) – School of Theology, The University of Auckland
  • Dr Stephen Garner (s.garner@auckland.ac.nz) – School of Theology, The University of Auckland

Website: http://www.theologyandcancer.org.

Selwyn Centre for Ageing and Spirituality one-day conference

Selwyn Centre for Ageing and Spirituality one-day conference
Dates: 6 September 2013, 9.30 am – 4 pm
Place: Tamaki Campus – University of Auckland, 261 Morrin Rd, St Johns, Auckland

From their website:

As we age, and especially as we become frailer and face death, spiritual issues – about the meaning and purpose of our lives – begin to loom large. Yet spirituality can be neglected in health and aged care despite its importance – perhaps because people often feel ill-equipped to discuss this sensitive topic.

This one-day conference is an opportunity to hear New Zealand researchers and others with an academic interest in the area speak about ageing and spirituality. The price has been set to allow retired people, pastoral caregivers and residential aged care staff to attend.

More details at: Selwyn Centre for Ageing and Spirituality one-day conference September 2013 – The Selwyn Foundation.

School of Theology Public Seminar – Vinoth Ramachandra – Engaging the University

VR-PhotoVinoth Ramachandra - Engaging the University

Vinoth Ramachandra was born in Sri Lanka and holds Bachelor and Doctoral degrees in nuclear engineering from the University of London. He is currently the Secretary for Dialogue and Social Engagement, International Fellowship of Evangelical Students. His work includes promoting a dialogical and integral Christian engagement with the university in various parts of the world, as well as helping Christian graduates engage theologically with the social, ideological and political challenges they face in their national contexts. He has been involved for many years with the civil rights movement in Sri Lanka, as well as with the global Micah Network and A Rocha (a world-wide biodiversity conservation organization). His books include The Message of Mission (2003), Subverting Global Myths: Theology and the Public Issues that Shape Our World (2008) and Church and Mission in the New Asia (2009).

Tuesday 30 July 2013, 6.30-8.30pm
Room 202, Arts 1, Building 206, 14a Symonds Street

Email: theology@auckland.ac.nz

In association with TSCF.

PDF poster – Public Seminar – Vinoth Ramachandra

Nanotechnology and religion

In their paper “Genetically Modified Theology: The Religious Dimensions of Public Concerns About Agricultural Biotechnology” Celia Deane-Drummond, Robin Grove-White, and Bronislaw Szerszynski talk about the way different groups of people – including scientists, politicians, and everyday people on the street – talk about biotechnology (as well as other technological developments). This creates environments where technology, such as biotechnology, is viewed in a myriad of different ways within society.

For example, there are some significant concerns being expressed by the general public about biotechnology, and about genetically modified organisms and food in particular. These concerns tend differ from those envisaged by those charged with overseeing or implementing policy, or with researching and developing biotechnology. Rather they reflect questions that are concerned with the very essence of human personhood, about human nature, and the character of the relationship between human beings and the natural world. Commenting on public resistance and antipathy towards particular forms of biotechnology in Britain and Europe at the end of the 1990s they write,

It seems conceivable that the intensity of current controversies around genetically modified crops and foods arises in part from the fact that, in their regulation in the public domain, conflicting ontologies of the person are making themselves felt in the politics of everyday life.

See: Deane-Drummond, Celia, Robin Grove-White, and Bronislaw Szerszynski. “Genetically Modified Theology: The Religious Dimensions of Public Concerns About Agricultural Biotechnology.” Studies in Christian Ethics 14, no. 2 (2001): 23-41.

In these environments religion can play a significant, and often underrated, role. Recent discussions of this with respect to nanotechnology include the following:

As one of the links notes, because nanotechnology is actually the product of a variety of convergent technologies (and is used in a variety of different ways) it doesn’t have the same ‘impact’ in public debate as something like genetically-modified foods or cloning research, but perhaps will have more impact in the long term.