Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Look it's Real

Look at all these theologians gathering in one place:

Marilyn McCord Adams (University of North Carolina)
Rex Ambler (University of Birmingham)
Paul Badham (University of Wales)
Gavin D’ Costa (University of Bristol)
Stephen T. Davis (Claremont McKenna College).
Chester Gillis (Georgetown University)
Ursula King (University of Bristol)
Paul Knitter (Union Theological Seminary)
Julius Lipner (University of Cambridge)
Timothy Musgrove (TextDigger Inc. California)
Yujin Nagasawa (University of Birmingham)
George Newlands (University of Glasgow)
Alan Race (St. Philips Centre Leicester)
Perry Schmidt-Leukel (University of Münster)
Anastasia Scrutton ( University of Durham)
Mary Ann Stenger (University of Louisville)
Sharada Sugirtharajah (University of Birmingham)
Geoff Teece (University of Birmingham)
Zhicheng Wang (Zhejiang University)
Keith Ward (Heythrop College)

It is a bit late to book now, but they can be seen and heard for £30 or £20 concessions in one place, the Orchard Learning Resource Centre, University of Birmingham, Selly Oak Campus, Hamilton Drive, Weoley Park Road B29 6QW, starting at 09:29 Thursday 10th March until Friday 11th March, 2011. They will all be talking about John Hick, who has a universalist and unitarian (small us) view of all the religions together, all pointing to one Real. The contact person has been Dr. Helen Ingram at 0121 415 8332 or email: h.ingram@bham.ac.uk. The start time presumably means overnight accommodation before and afterwards, so that will bump up the spending.

Not to worry about the cost and having had to have booked, because the papers presented at the Symposium will be published as a volume of essays by Palgrave Macmillan in honour of Professor John Hick (edited by Sharada Sugirtharajah).

I like John Hick and did meet him once, but I don't agree with him. I consider that religions are their own languages and to place them under a supreme 'Real' does violence to their own self-sufficiency. Buddhism does not have a 'real' that equates to a theistic God, for example, and nor is the God of Islam that is high and dry in totality equivalent to the self-limiting God of Christianity, either via its deity on earth or its transmission through Greek culture. I can be a critic of that which I know, but I can't join it to something else.

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