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Questioning faith in the modern world

LATE at the Museum questioning the place of faith in the modern world

Late At The Museum: Innovate Faith In Conversation With Sir Lloyd Geering

Music curated by Mike Chunn (Play it Strange) featuring Jordan Luck, Annah Mac, Monique Rhodes and schools from the Lion Foundation Song-writing competition

Auckland Museum is ending its LATE: Innovation series with a conversation with world-renowned theologian Sir Lloyd Geering, who at 92 is still encouraging people to re-think the way "faith" is framed in the modern world. Innovate: Faith is the topic for the Christmas LATE event [Thursday, December 2] which will also feature musical performances from the Play It Strange Trust with special guests Annah Mac and Jordan Luck. Sir Lloyd Geering is many things: he's an ordained Presbyterian minister, a prolific author, a distinguished academic, and a public figure of some renown - in 1988 he was made a Companion of the British Empire, and in 2001 he topped New Zealand's New Year's Honours list, being made a Principal Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

He's also a progressive thinker whose work has been the subject of a good deal of controversy. In 1967, Lloyd Geering's writings on the resurrection of Jesus and the immortality of the soul, resulted in his being charged by the Presbyterian Church with "doctrinal error" and "disturbing the peace of the church" - more or less the same thing as a heresy charge. Since then, he's gone on to challenge Christian orthodoxy perhaps even more profoundly, by questioning the distinction between the religious and the secular worlds.

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Geering says in a modern, secular world we have moved away from traditional Christianity but that our natural humanity in asserting human rights for everybody, abolishing slavery and trying to emancipate women from male domination and give fairness to homosexuals has moved us closer to the sort of Kingdom of God that was talked about by Jesus Christ. "The Kingdom of God has been coming, and we haven't even noticed it."

Geering also argues "secularisation" shouldn't be viewed as the enemy of faith, and that people cannot be divided cleanly into the secular and the religious, with the thinking of both groups falling within a shifting continuum.

"Secularisation on a global scale has brought in a new situation in which the Christian community and the secular society within which it lives, must both discover their proper mutual relationships." The Play It Strange Trust, which was established seven years ago by Mick Chunn to encourage young New Zealanders to develop interests and skills in songwriting and performance, has also arranged original musical sets from four Auckland schools that took part in the 2010 Lion Foundation Songwriting Competition.

Mike has curated the entertainment on the night and audiences will be treated to performances in gallery spaces around the Museum from him and his son as well as veteran rocker Jordan Luck, Monique Rhodes, Annah Mac, and young musicians from ACG College, Kaipara College, Western Springs College and Papatoetoe High School Girls. Annah Mac, who won the songwriting competition at 15 and has since signed an exclusive four-album recording contract with Sony BMG, will perform four songs. LATE at the Museum Innovate: Faith - In Conversation with Lloyd Geering Thursday, December 2 Time: 6.30pm - 11pm Cost: $20 (plus $3 booking fee) Tickets may be purchased on the door, online booking or by phoning 09 306 7048


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