Why ‘Honest to God’ Blew the Roof off the Church
Media release • 31 October 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Why ‘Honest to God’ Blew the Roof off the Church and let in the Fresh Air
On Tuesday 12 December, Professor Lloyd Geering will give a lunchtime lecture at St Andrew’s on The Terrace, Wellington, examining the effect that Bishop John Robinson’s book ‘Honest to God’ has had in the 50 years since its publication.
in 1963, Bishop of Woolwich, John Robinson unintentionally became a theological whistleblower by revealing to the people in the pews where the theologians were going. The words of his book Honest to God hit the church like a bomb.
The new basis for theology which had been laid at the start of the 19th century had been built on since that time. Lay congregation members, though, had little or no knowledge of these discussions.
More has changed, however, in the fifty years since Honest to God was published than in the previous 150 years. In 1966, the world was shocked to hear of the ‘death of God’, and in 1993, Karen Armstrong published A History of God.
So fifty years after Honest to God hit the streets, selling 350,000 in the first year, where are we now? What can we honestly say today about God?
Professor Geering will address these and many other issues in this lecture.
Principal lecturer for St Andrew’s Trust for the Study of Religion and Society, Professor Lloyd Geering is New Zealand’s best-known and most controversial commentator on religious matters. He is best known for the high-profile 1967 trial in which he faced charges of heresy.
Since retiring as Professor of Religious Studies at Victoria University of Wellington in 1984, he has continued to write and lecture widely throughout New Zealand and overseas.
The author of many books, the latest being From The Big Bang to God, which grew out of a lecture series at St Andrew’s on The Terrace, his writings include an autobiography, Wrestling with God.