Online Zoom Theology
Once every two months, we organise a theology seminar by Zoom to discuss a particular idea, theme or text. We aim to make discussion as approachable as possible, and to give people space they need to express their thoughts and questions.
Very often a speaker will introduce our discussion, or participants will have been expected to read a book, watch a film, or see a play in preparation.
Organising the event by Zoom means a wide range of people can participate even if they don’t live in London. These Zoom seminars always take place on Tuesday evenings at 7.00 pm and last for no more than an hour.
Seminars in the past few months have taken as their subject topics such as the recent Hopkins/Coleman film, “The Father,” and Rowan Williams’ latest book, “Looking East in Winter.”
Here is our programme for the next few months:
Tuesday 10th May 2022 – 7.00-8.00 pm
‘Damned by our Knowledge’: English religious anxiety in Graham Greene.
‘The trouble is, he thought, we know the answers – we Catholics are damned by our knowledge.’ (The Heart of the Matter) A presentation by Fr Michael Bowie on the work of Graham Greene, drawing particularly on material from the novels, The Power and the Glory, The Heart of the Matter and The End of the Affair.
Tuesday 12th July 2022 – 7.00-8.00 pm
Cathedral by Ben Hopkins
This theology session will be led by Fr Peter Anthony and will explore novels about the building of cathedrals. We will focus on Ben Hopkins’ new historical novel, Cathedral. We will compare this with other similar works such as Golding’s The Spire, Huysmans’ La Cathédrale, and Ken Follet’s The Pillars of the Earth.
What is it about great buildings that seem to speak beyond themselves about the divine and the power of human creativity? How do churches operate as sacraments of God’s presence and why do they feel so necessary for the offering of Christian worship?
Tuesday 6th September 2022 – 7.00-8.00 pm
Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist: Unlocking the Secrets of the Last Supper by Brant Pitre
This seminar, led by Fr Peter Anthony, will explore contemporary biblical scholarship concerning the Eucharist through Brant Pitre’s excellent recent work on the Jewish origins of the Mass.
Brant Pitre uses the Hebrew Scriptures and Jewish tradition to frame the actions of Jesus at the Last Supper, and to provide a fresh look at the Eucharist. By taking us back to the Jewish roots of our faith, the author gives us a powerful lens through which to see anew the bread of the presence, the manna, the Last Supper, and ultimately the meaning of the Eucharist.
Participants are recommended to have read Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist before participating in the seminar.
Tuesday 15th November 2022 – 7.00-8.00 pm
Christ and the Aliens: what would be the theological consequence of discovering life exists beyond our world?
Fr Steve Rice, Rector of St Timothy’s, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, will address the fascinating question of what difference it would make to Christian theology to discover we are not the only life forms in the universe.
This is not a new topic and many ancient writers have pondered the question. Fr Steve will draw on theologians such as Vorilong, Baronius, and Sinistrari to tease open the intriguing questions this poses for our account of what it means to be human in the light of the Gospel.
Tuesday 24th January 2022
When history is painful: difficult and contentious memorialisation in churches.
This seminar will be led by Fr Charles Card-Reynolds, and will take the example of S. George’s Cathedral, Kingston, St Vincent which contains multiple colonial era memorials to those directly and indirectly involved with enslavement.
How might we respond to the challenge of these memorials and those like them in Britain and her former colonies?
Canon Charles Card-Reynolds MA (Cantab), BD (Londin), Vicar of St Bartholomew’s, Stamford Hill, has been the Bishop’s Commissary for the Diocese of the Windward Islands since 2012.
Tuesday 14th March 2023 – 7.00-8.00 pm
The Sacrament of Easter: the Rites of Holy Week
Fr Jeremy Haselock will explore with us the rich history of the rites of Holy Week: their origins; how we should celebrate them now; and their theological significance.
Participants are encouraged to read Fr Jeremy’s excellent work, “The Sacrament of Easter,” which is in the process of being published in a new edition, in preparation for this seminar.
Tuesday 9th May 2023 – 7.00-8.00 pm
“Mary, Founder of Christianity” – who is the biblical Mary?
This seminar will be led by Fr Peter Anthony and will explore two recent works focussed on the biblical account’s assertions concerning the significance and role Mary the Mother of Jesus.
We will look at Chris Maunder’s new book, entitled, “Mary Founder of Christianity,” which seeks to reappraise the significance of Our Lady’s role in the life of the followers of Jesus.
We will compare Maunder’s ideas with Brant Pitre’s work, “Jesus and the Jewish Roots of Mary: Unveiling the Mother of the Messiah.” He also seeks to place modern catholic assertions about the role of Mary in the context of the New Testament narratives.
Readers are encouraged to read at least one (and ideally both) of these books in preparation for the seminar.