The Curse and the Promise: Religion and Violence
This year the St Martin-in-the-Fields Autumn Lecture Series focuses on religion and violence, reflecting upon both how faith can become the cause and perpetrator of conflict and persecution, and also the victim.
But can our faith and our understanding of God also provide the promise for the healing of our nations? Looking from the perspective of the three Abrahamic Faiths – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – we will be inviting our guest speakers to explore these themes from their own perspectives and faith traditions.
Monday 21 September, 7.00pm
Revd Dr Sam Wells
The Revd Dr Sam Wells is the Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields. He has served as a Church of England parish priest for 17 years – 10 of those in urban priority areas. He also spent 7 years in North Carolina, where he was Dean of Duke University Chapel. Sam is also Visiting Professor
of Christian Ethics at King’s College, London. He has published 22 books, including academic studies and textbooks in Christian ethics, explorations of social mission, intercessory prayer and Anglican faith, and 3 collections of sermons. His most recent book, A Nazareth Manifesto: Being with God, is a study in ways of engaging with poverty and social disadvantage.
Monday 5 October, 7.00pm
Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain
Rabbi, writer and broadcaster, Jonathan Romain is minister of Maidenhead Synagogue in Berkshire. He writes for The Times, Guardian and The Jewish Chronicle and is often heard on the BBC. His many books include The Jews of England and Faith and Practice: A Guide to Reform Judaism Today. In 2004, he received the MBE for his pioneering work nationally in helping mixed-faith couples. He is chaplain to the Jewish Police Association, advisory board member of both the Council of Christians and Jews, and the Three Faiths Forum.
Monday 19 October, 7.00pm
Revd Giles Fraser
Giles Anthony Fraser is a priest of the Church of England and a journalist. He is currently the parish priest at St Mary’s, Newington, near the Elephant and Castle and writes a weekly Saturday column for The Guardian, as well as appearing frequently on BBC Radio 4. He is a regular contributor on Thought for the Day and a panellist on The Moral Maze. He is visiting professor in the anthropology department at the London School of Economics. He was previously Canon Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral with special responsibility for contemporary ethics and engagement with the City of London as a financial centre, and director of the St Paul’s Institute from 2009 until 2011.
Monday 2 November, 7.00pm
Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad
Abdal Hakim Murad, also known as Timothy John Winter, is a British Sunni Muslim shaykh, researcher, writer and academic. He is the Dean of the Cambridge Muslim College, Director of Studies (Theology and Religious Studies) at Wolfson College and the Shaykh Zayed Lecturer in Islamic Studies at Cambridge University. His work includes publications on Islamic theology and Muslim-Christian relations. In 2003 he was awarded the Pilkington Teaching Prize by Cambridge University and in 2007 he was awarded the King Abdullah I Prize for Islamic Thought for his short booklet Bombing Without Moonlight. In 2012 he was ranked 50th in ‘the most influential Muslims’ list published annually by the Royal Islamic
Strategic Studies Centre.
Monday 16 November, 7.00pm
Karen Armstrong is the author of numerous books on religious affairs including A History of God, The Battle for God, Holy War, Islam: A Short History and Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life and most recently Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence. She has also written two memoirs and her work has been translated into over fifty languages. She has addressed members of the U.S. Congress, lectured to policy makers at the U.S. State and Defence Departments, participated in the World Economic Forum, addressed the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington and New York, is an ambassador for the UN Alliance of Civilizations. She speaks regularly in Muslim countries, most notably in Pakistan, Malaysia, Singapore, Turkey and Indonesia. In February 2008 she was awarded the TED Prize for her vision of a Charter for Compassion which is now being implemented practically, realistically and creatively in countries, cities, schools and religious communities throughout the world.
Download the 2015 Autumn Lecture Series leaflet
The Autumn Education Programme is a lecture series which takes place on Monday evening from September-November each year. There are usually six or seven lectures in this series.
Lectures are given by speakers who are highly regarded and experienced in their field and are followed by the opportunity for questions and answers. The lectures are FREE and open to all. Donations to help finance the programme are welcome. Questions and answers will follow each talk
In the last few years our speakers have included Neil MacGregor, Helen Bamber, Terry Eagleton, Robert Beckford, Francis Young, Jeffrey John, Richard Burridge, and Clare Herbert who is St Martin’s lecturer in Inclusive Theology.
The themes for this programme in recent years have been:
2014 Living Without Enemies
2013 Faith on the Frontiers
2012 His Story Our Story: Jesus and the Story Teller’s Art
2011 Radical Compassion: The Gospel and Social Justice
2010 The Alpha and the Omega- The Bible Opened for All
2009 Inspiring Community
2008 Voices from the Edge