Guest Lectures

Dr. Beth Stovell, Chair General Theology Studies, Associate Professor of Old Testament, Ambrose University, Canada.

Brief Overview of the lecture: The lecture addressed the issue of Divine presence in the Hebrew Bible, and explored its relationship with the Sacred Space. There are three domains where this question is examined- i) Foundational depiction of Divine presence; ii) Need and utility of Divine presence, and iii) Absence of Divine presence. The talk also engages in the impact of the concept of “loss” and “exile”, and the implication it has. The methodological framework used is a conceptual metaphorical theory, and the arguments are grounded in a critical textual analysis of the Hebrew Bible.


Professor Teresa Morgan, Professor of Greek and Roman History. Fellow and Tutor at Oriel College, University of Oxford

The talk was aimed to understand what the Christian faith meant to the Christians at its very conception, and how it evolved over the five hundred years since its commencement. The paper aimed to assess the early ideas and practices of this faith. A key concepts discussed within are the classical definition of the Christian faith- its contents and beliefs, the relationship with God and Its people, the importance of the value of trust and good faith as understood in Christianity, and finally the transitions between the belief systems of history to its implications in the present.


Dr Anthony Allison, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Glasgow

Brief Overview of the lecture: This talk is designed to address and explore the Christian Muslim relations on the fringes of living together. Several cases in history are discussed to examine how these two faith communities mediated throughout history while living together.


Dr Mel Prideaux, Associate Professor of Religious Studies,  University of Leeds

The talk examined the possibilities of neighbourhoods as “multifaith spaces”, and how that informs us and helps us to think differently about interfaith dialogue. It raised the important question of how interactions in the neighbourhoods can be forms of practical dialogue. The lecture discussed the significance of local and the demotic in religious diversity, and how that facilitates interfaith engagements.


Professor Gavin D’Costa, Professor in Catholic Theology,  University of Bristol

Brief Overview of the lecture:  This lecture examined the fascinating shift in Catholic Theology in relation to Israel and Jewish people. There were three primary folds to this- 1) How Judaism was declared invalid because they did not accept Christ, 2) How the Jewish people had to bear the blame of killing Christ, and 3) the idea that Church supersedes Judaism. The paper builds on what it means to negotiate historical and popular competing narratives on the common grounds across Judaism and Christianity, and what is the Biblical interpretation of the promise of the land of Israel and the actuality of the land of Israel.


Reverend J D E Davies, Archbishop of Church in Wales

Interfaith dialogue, understanding, and conversations are what the world today desperately needs. This lecture explored the fundamental aims of religion and the need to delineate duties and responsibilities clearly to articulate the truths in times of apex misinformation, doubt and hostility. It proposed that the values of “common good, education, and care for people” should become the core principles of interfaith engagements. Focussing on the three Abrahamic faiths, this lecture asserted that the approach should be community-centred rather than individual-centric, and common relevant themes should be identified that bring the different faith communities together in harmony.

Dr Alana Vincent, Associate Professor of Jewish Philosophy, Religion and Imagination, University of Chester

This talk was titled- Dialogue- A Jewish view, and it explored the role of Judaism in dialogue. She argued that Jewish-Christian dialogue historically structured interreligious dialogue in the first place, and it took place implicitly without being labelled as dialogue. Owing to the Scriptural and cultural contexts, the Jews were in dialogue with the Christians since medieval times. Citing theological underpinnings and cultural interconnectedness she draws upon the importance of the bilateral communications in dialogue and recommends practical approaches to dialogue that transcends theological and philosophical motivations.