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The Courage to Act - Wellington Conference 3-4 November

The Courage to Act : conference notification

St Andrew’s Trust for the Study of Religion and Society

The St Andrew’s Trust for the Study of Religion and Society finishes its 2017 programme with a mini-conference on the Courage to Act on 3 and 4 November.

The dates mark 50 years since Lloyd Geering faced censure for speaking out on his progressive beliefs about Christianity. Commonly known as the last man in New Zealand to face a heresy trial Professor Sir Lloyd Geering is a New Zealand theologian and one of only 20 members of the prestigious Order of New Zealand. His views are now well-established amongst progressive Christians but the purpose of the conference is to revisit the legacy of those momentous and conflicted times for the Presbyterian Church and to examine the contemporary context for courage and spiritual life and to examine how it is being expressed 50 years on including examining the opportunities for people of different and no faith to work together.

Sir Lloyd’s views, which at that time were beginning to be well understood by theologians, were nonetheless thought to be shocking to share with lay members of church communities. For many years Lloyd has been the Principal Lecturer at St Andrew's Trust for the Study of Religion and Society and he recounted his subsequent appearance at the General Assembly in Dunedin as follows:

And so on Friday, November 3rd 1967, I was called to the Bar of the House – the General Assembly turns itself into a court of law at this stage – where I heard the charges being expounded by my accusers. There was an electric air of expectancy. More than a thousand people had packed into the church, with an overflow into the hall. The lamps of the television crews served only to increase the heat.

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On Monday I answered the charges, addressing the Assembly for an hour and a half. After lunch came the debate. But before there had been very much time for any adequate discussion of the real issues, a motion was put to the House, and later carried firmly on the voices – and it said that “the Assembly judges that no doctrinal error has been established, dismisses the charges and declares the case closed”.

Sir Lloyd will be joined by others who can speak of what makes for courageous action in 2017. Professor Hal Taussig is a post-modern theologian and pastor based in the USA. He and Wellington based speakers Dr Ros Jiko, Dr Elizabeth Connor, Guy Ryan and Scottie Reeve will explore these perspectives of The Courage to Act and on Saturday Wellington Group the Song Snatchers will entertain us.

Speaker biographies, a detailed programme and booking forms are available on the SATRS website. You can book for the conference at the Church reception or you can reserve a place by emailing the St Andrew’s Trust. Costs are: Friday night only $10 for 1 person $14 for 2. Friday night AND Saturday: $30 waged, $20 unwaged, $15 Student

More information Jan Rivers jan@publicgood.org.nz 0221261839


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