You know they're worried when…

You know they're worried when… September 24, 2008

…the Diocese of London runs a special day-long seminar for the clergy entitled, “Beyond The God Delusion: Theological resources for a sceptical age” (.rtf download).

Run away, vicar! It's <i>The God Delusion</i>
Run away, vicar! It's The God Delusion
According to Ecumenical News International, a certain atheistic best-seller by a certain Oxford professor has got the Anglican clergy in such a tizzy that emergency measures are being taken:

The Anglican bishop of London, Richard Chartres, is to host a study day at St Paul’s Cathedral in the British capital to help clergy counter the influence of the scientist and atheist Richard Dawkins.

Proceedings run from 9.15am to 4.30pm, with talks including:

  • “Handling Dawkins with care” – John Cornwell offers his advice on “how to respond to the issues in a pastoral context.” (Or, given the low standard of theistic responses to the book, how to prevaricate, equivocate and misrepresent “in a pastoral context”.)
  • “God without the Gaps” – Keith Ward explores a “positive theological approach to science and its role in Christian formation”. (A revelatory talk for which science is no doubt waiting with bated breath.)
  • “The Gospel according to Luke (Skywalker)?” – The author of The Power of the Force: The Spirituality of the Star Wars Films (yes, really) “considers practical ways for clergy to communicate the Gospel using science fact and fiction in preaching and teaching.” (Threaten the heathens with a light sabre!)
  • “Eureka! Science in liturgy” – “How can we bring science alive as a part of Christian liturgy” (bunsen burners in every pew?). How to keep “the Gospel alive in the light of scientific understanding?” (Look, it’s not going to happen. Just put the Gospel out of its misery and get a proper job!)

The whole day is rounded off at 5 o’clock with a lovely dose of Evensong. It all sounds like such fun! Pity you have to be a sky pilot to attend.

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  • Not sure what they hope to achieve with this. Nothing the godly have come up with so far has been anything like a refutation of Dawkins, so what will these clergy be taking from the seminar?
    As for the spirituality of Star Wars, don’t they realise that making connections between one fantasy and another is hardly likely to support their case?
    And trying to make religion compatible with science is doomed to failure.

  • valdemar

    When will these clowns realise that if religion and science were compatible, the churches would be full of scientists and the research labs full of priests? Religion is about wafflng on in a credulous way about the unknowable and the purely fantastic. Science is about tackling reality with reason. The overlap is minimal at best.


    I’m sure many of them know science and religion are incompatible. By blending religion and science in their speeches, they seek to give religion more credibility. Sadly, many people are fooled by this simple rhetorical trick.

  • Stuart H.

    Sounds as desperate and happy clappy as ever – ho hum!
    But the funniest and friendliest Darwin Day lecture my local humanist group ever had was given a few years back by a marine biologist who is also an Anglican lay reader -as well as formerly a regular colleague of Dawkins at academic conferences.
    He was scrupulously honest in admitting his faith couldn’t be scientifically explained, though also quipping that while Dawkins was an admirable biologist he was no theologist.
    He also admitted he quite enjoyed talking to folk who had open minds and asked intelligent questions for a change!