A monthly get-together in which we share perceptions of different theologians over a glass of wine (or gluhwein) with cheese and nibbles.
All are welcome.
Friday 9 September, 7 pm, in the Brindabella Room
Veronica Brady was a mystic, political activist, literary academic, teacher and Catholic nun.
She completed her PhD on the fiction of Patrick White whose work she greatly admired.
After retirement she wrote a highly acclaimed biography of Judith Wright.
As a critic of both Australian society and the church she was at times highly unpopular.
Phillip Adams famously quipped, "my favourite catholic. The one of whom Pope John Paul II used to ask every morning when he woke up 'Is she dead yet?'."
More on Veronica Brady can be found here.
You can see a short film of Veronica Brady talking about her life here.
Leader gives a brief introduction on why this theologian or thinker is important to them. How has it changed their life or thinking?
Others who know the work of the theologian are asked to share their thoughts and impressions.
The leader then presents a short paper on the life, key theological thoughts and impact of the theologian.
The discussion topic then is how does this theologian have relevance to us in Australia, to society, to the church or to our personal lives.
James W Fowler
Bishop John Shelby Spong.
Bishop John Shelby Spong
According to his obituary in the New York Times:
“He talked about theological matters in a way that caused people who felt excluded by the church or just bored to sit up and listen.”
A video of one of his speeches can be seen here. Our church library also holds copies of many of his books.
Rev Charles Strong (1844- 1942). He became the key figure in the establishment of a new church, the Australian Church. Strong saw the task of the church to preach “freedom, justice, peace, compassion and reconciliation”. . His church flourished for a time, but from the 1890s on, his outspoken views on social justice and for peacemaking, saw many of the more prosperous members of his congregation leave, and the church faced continuing financial difficulties, finally closing in 1957. There is an article on Strong in Rex Hunt and John Smith (editors), Why weren’t we told, 2013.
Julian of Norwich (1343 - after 1416), an English mystic and anchoress. She recovered from a serious illness at age 30 after seeing a series of visions of Jesus, which she wrote about shortly afterwards, in a work now known as the Short Text. Decades later she began a theological exploration of the meaning of her visions, subsequently published on 1670 by Serenus de Cressy with the title XVI Revelations of Divine Love, shewed to a devout servant of Our Lord, called Mother Juliana. Following the publication of Grace Warrack's 1901 edition, Julian became more widely known and appreciated. Her theology is optimistic and emphasises being loved and protected by God.
Thomas Merton (1915 1968) converted to Catholicism in his twenties and initially was a relatively conservative Catholic. He joined the Trappist order and became a monk. Gradually he transformed into a person concerned both with social justice and wider peace issues such as the war in Vietnam, as well as becoming much more appreciative of other religious contemplative traditions. A good overview of his life can be found on Wikipedia .This rather lovely short film about Thomas Merton is worth watching.
In this tape of Thomas Merton you can hear him speaking about prayer and other matters in his own words.
Click on this link for a short biography: Jacques Ellul
Click on this link for more information: Jurgen Moltmann
Dr Anne Pattel-Gray
Dr Anne Pattel-Gray
Dr Anne Pattel-Gray is an Aboriginal woman who is a descendant of the Bidjara/ Kari Kari people in Queensland. She is recognised within Australia, nationally and internationally as an Aboriginal leader, scholar, theologian, activist and prolific writer.
Dorothee Soelle was a German theologian, whose theology was deeply affected by the reality of Auschwitz. She felt that after Auschwitz, theology could never be the same again. Originally, she thought of herself as writing “political theology”, but later developed a feminist/liberation theology approach. She also came to see that mysticism was integral to good theology.
Charles Birch (1918-2009) Biologist, ecologist and theologian. Charles Birch had a long association with the University of Sydney (1948-83), and finally Emeritus Professor.
In addition to his academic work, he wrote widely on theological topics including the idea that all life has intrinsic value for which he won the Templeton Prize for Religion in 1990. Charles Birch was a member of both the Club of Rome and the World Council of Churches.
List of possible theologians or thinkers for future discussion, not in any order:
Abraham and Susannah Heschel
Roberto Che Espinoza
J R R Tolkien
Roberto Che Espinoza