High profile public lectures exploring aspects of Christian faith in relation to contemporary problems.
Details of the 2018 Firth lectures will be announced shortly.
Firth Lectures 2016: The Most Reverend Rowan Williams - 'Imagining Faith: perceptions of religious belief in modern writing'
Former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams gave the Firth Lectures 2016. In these lectures he considers three pieces of contemporary fiction to explore how they describe the religious person and how there is a portrayal of holiness within these stories.
Rowan Williams was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury on 23 July 2002, and confirmed as the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury on 2 December 2002 in St Paul's Cathedral, London. He stepped down, moving to his new role as Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge at the end of 2012.
Dr Williams is internationally renowned as a theological writer, teacher, and scholar. He has written across numerous topics that include theology, philosophy, morals and ethics, spirituality, and cultural and interfaith issues.
Imagining Faith: perceptions of religious belief in modern writing - part 1
Imagining Faith: perceptions of religious belief in modern writing - part 2
Firth Lectures 2014: Professor Charles Taylor - 'Philosophical and Theological Anthropology in the 21st Century'
Professor Charles Taylor, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at McGill University in Canada and formerly Chichele Professor of Social and Political Theory at Oxford and a Fellow of All Souls College gave the Firth Lectures 2014. His lectures attempted to assess where the philosophical and theological view of human beings stand today in relation to western secular civilisation.
Charles Taylor was awarded the Templeton Prize in 2007. This Prize, established in 1972, was the world’s largest annual award given to an individual at that time and is intended to recognise exemplary achievement in work related to life's spiritual dimension. This distinction was followed in November 2008 by becoming the first Canadian to win Japan's Kyoto Prize for arts and philosophy.
Prof Taylor is also a member of the Order of Canada and a foreign honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was made honorary Doctor of Letters in the University of Oxford in 2012.
Philosophical and Theological Anthropology - part 1
Philosophical and Theological Anthropology - part 2
Firth Lectures 2012: Professor Terry Eagleton - 'Culture and the Death of God'
Professor Eagleton, Distinguished Professor of English Literature at Lancaster University gave the Firth Memorial Lectures 2012, as a guest of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies. The lectures explored the interaction between critical theory and religion in modern society, subjects on which Professor Eagleton has written and lectured extensively over the past 40 years.
According to The Independent, Professor Eagleton is ‘the man who succeeded F.R. Leavis as Britain’s most influential academic critic’. He has written around 50 books and was previously Professor of English Literature at the Universities of Manchester and Oxford.
His books include Literary Theory (1983) which remains to this day an academic best-seller, The Ideology of the Aesthetic (1990), The Illusions of Postmodernism (1996), a best-selling memoir, The Gatekeeper (2001) and more recent works such as Holy Terror (2005) and Trouble with Strangers (2008).
He has been a leading figure in literary studies since the 1970s and is a Fellow of both the British Academy and the English Association. He has held visiting appointments at such universities as Cornell, Duke, Iowa, Melbourne, Notre Dame, Trinity College Dublin, and Yale.
Culture and the Death of God - Part 1
Culture and the Death of God - Part 2
About the Firth Lectures
The Firth Memorial Lectureship was founded by the Reverend John d’ewe Evelyn Firth in memory of his father, John Benjamin Firth, Historian of Nottingham and his mother Helena Gertrude Firth. The lecturer is appointed biennially by the Council of the University on the recommendation of the Senate of the University, and under the terms of the Trust the lecturer delivers a public lecture or lectures on some aspect of the Christian Faith in relation to contemporary problems.
The first person to hold the Lectureship was the renowned theologian Paul Tillich and there has been a series of eminent theologians and philosophers who have included among others Baroness Warnock and Professor Jϋrgen Moltmann.
Reverend John d’ewe Evelyn Firth