Programme for 2009

  • The Christian Debt to Darwin: Acknowledging God's Entire Creation
    Westminster College, 28 November 2009, 10-30 am to 4 pm

    • Professor Simon Conway Morris, Professor of Evolutionary Palaeobiology, University of Cambridge
    • Dr Denis Alexander, Director of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, St Edmund’s College, Cambridge
    Click here to download Dr Alexander's lecture.

  • Receptive Ecumenism & Ecclesial Learning: Learning to be Church Together
    Centre for Catholic Studies, University of Durham and St Cuthbert's Collge, Durham, January 2009

    The Society, both as a body and through its many members taking part, was delighted to sponsor this conference. Dr Paul Murray, our member who is the Director of the Centre for Catholic Studies at Durham, it was a remarkable feat, bringing together scholars and Church leaders from a number of different disciplines where ecumenical living is already a reality, as well as broadening out the original focus (which started out with Cardinal Kasper’s question as to what the Catholic Church might gain from a ‘receptive’ approach to its partners, going beyond ‘spiritual ecumenism’ and the exchange of gifts, friendships, theology, spirituality and culture which we nowadays expect and take for granted to a degree), to enable other traditions to reflect on how the receptive outlook could catalyse their ecumenism once more. So there was a stronger presence of Reformed, Orthodox and Pentecostal scholars and Church leaders this time, alongside Anglicans, Catholics and Methodists. The Centre is to be congratulated on a successful and inspiring conference, enabling us to focus on what the Christians in different traditions can receive and embrace from the other, with integrity, rather than what we can give or impose - which gives us a dynamic tool for future ecumenical working and assures there is a richly productive (indeed feasible) way forward for us to be true to Christ’s will that we be one.

    Since the 2006 conference, CCC has been co-ordinating a pilot project on how receptive ecumenism might work on the ground among local congregations in different traditions and at the same time in the regional/local Church structures for operation, pastoral service and mission, to which they belong. This has been taking place among the Anglican, Catholic, Methodist and URC dioceses and regions in the North East. The presentation on this in January told a stirring story – challenges of course, but many matters easier to unite in practically than realised. We are hoping this can be written up for dissemination and replication during the course of the year.

    Visit the Centre for Catholic Studies website to attend the Virtual Conference and read some of the papers already posted there. Paul Murray edited a major book of the 2006 Conference, Receptive Ecumenism and the Call to Catholic Learning, which was published in 2008 by Oxford University Press.

    The Society held its own Receptive Ecumenism Day Conference in 2007. Visit our page on Receptive Ecumenism for reports and papers, and more details.

  • Must the Ecumenical Movement Change Course for the 21st Century?
    Monday 27 April, St Vincent's Centre, Carlisle Place, Victoria, London SW1 at 6-15 pm

    Dr Martin Conway, former President of the Selly Oak Colleges and currently President of the Society, examined the mission of Christianity in a changed world and what the visible communion of the Churches might mean and serve..

    The Annual General Meeting of the Society preceded. Click here to view the Minutes; and here to read Dr Conway's address.

  • John Calvin at 500: Catholic and Ecumenical?
    Friday 10 July, St Thomas More Room. St Mary's Catholic Church, Draycott Terrace, London SW3 2QR at 5-30 pm

      Donald Norwood (URC minister and recently fellow at Bossey Ecumenical Institute) and
    • Richard Price (Catholic priest and academic at Heythrop College)
    discuss Calvin’s self-understanding as a restorer of the Catholic tradition of St Augustine, his regard for Rome and the Papal Office, and his passion for unity in a Church faithful to the Scriptures.
    Did he anticipate Vatican II and is he an ecumenist for the Church in a changing Modern World?

    Papers to be posted here in October 2009.

  • 1509-1564 - The Calvin Colloquium
    1-3 September 2009, St Luke's College, University of Exeter

    An event to mark 500 years since the birth of John Calvin. The speakers include

    • Professor Ian Hazlett, University of Glasgow
    • Professor Anthony Lane, London School of Theology
    • Dr Martin Davie
    • Council of Christian Unity, Church of England
    • Dr John Walsh, Jesus College, Oxford
    • The Revd Dr Harriet Harri, Wadham College, Oxford
    • Professor Peter Marshall, University of Warwick
    • Dr Robert Pope, University of Wales, Bangor
    • The Revd Professpr Alan Sell
    This conference was a collaboration between Churches Together in England, Churches Together in Britain & Ireland, the Department of Theology at the University of Exeter, and the Centre for the Study of the Christian Church. The Society is also delighted to be associated with the initiative.

    For more details, click here to see the flyer for the Colloquium.