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.
Here is our programme for the next few months:
2023-24 Zoom Theology Seminar Programme
Tuesday, October 10th, 2023
Sitting on top of chaos: Dr Megan Dent on the religious life and times of Benjamin Disraeli
Historians have long assumed that the Victorian prime minister was indifferent to the various religious and moral changes of his time as he pursued political advancement. Yet in his novels Disraeli expressed a range of ideas about Judaism, Catholicism, and the Church of England. Sybil, or The Two Nations in particular explores the value of orthodoxy within contexts of economic inequality. In this session, we’ll discuss the novel’s treatment of various religious ideas and how Disraeli drew on Scripture and historical tradition to posit a way forward for a struggling nation. Sybil is available in the Oxford World’s Classics line.
Zoom link here.
Tuesday, December 5th, 2023
A small world in a great one: Eco-Theology and St Maximus the Confessor
The Rev’d Nathan Mulcock is Chaplain of Mansfield College, Oxford, and is pursuing his doctorate in Eco-Theology, with particular reference to the Patristic theologian St Maximus the Confessor. He will introduce us to the parameters of this modern discipline and also give us an opportunity for the closer reading of some of the ancient texts that inform them.
Zoom link here.
Tuesday, January 16th, 2024
Creeds, Controversies and Councils: a refresher on the Early Church
Many of us will know the Creeds by heart, but the intellectual and historical complexities behind the emergence of orthodoxy can prove more elusive to our understanding. Responding to calls from our community for some more Patristic study, we thought a narrative introduction to the period between St Paul and the Council of Chalcedon would be useful context. In this session we’ll be led by the Rev’d Dr Robin Ward, Principal of St Stephen’s House in Oxford.
Zoom link here.
Tuesday, March 12th, 2024
In a (sort of!) lighter session, Fr Alan will lead us in comparing detective novels with a religious context. We’ll focus particularly on P.D. James’ classic Death in Holy Orders, and The Rev’d Richard Coles’ Murder before Evensong.
Tuesday, May 14th, 2024
The Scapegoat: James Alison, René Girard and Scapegoating
Thomas Miles will lead us in a study of Fr James Alison, a Catholic priest and theologian influenced by the ideas of René Girard (1923-2015). Details will follow nearer the time, but we’ll be thinking about how Jesus’ death calls into judgement the human tendency to create social cohesion through scapegoating, and how, conversely, the resurrection invites Christians to courageously seek truth in unity.