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KLC Events

KLC hosts a whole variety of events as we seek to embody our vision of fostering and nurturing Christian scholarship and public theology, rooted in spirituality and practiced in community. Some of these events include our regular webinars and public lecture series, the monthly meetings of the KRC, our informal KLC Coffee Times, the quarterly meetings and Annual Meal of the four Scripture Collective Seminars, as well as our summer KLC Annual Conference hosted in liaison with our partners. 

Upcoming Events in 2022

May 2022

Spirituality for the dissatisfied: A Book Study of We Drink From Our Own Wells by Gustavo Gutiérrez

A 10-week study | First ZOOM GATHERING: Wednesday 18 May from 8-9pm UK time

During this time of global strife what if we could listen to someone who has lived in places of violence, poverty, and corruption and yet writes powerfully about what it means to live authentically as God’s people, nourished by a deep spirituality shaped by Scripture and the spiritual masters of the past, precisely for times like ours? Writing from a Latin American context, Gustavo Gutiérrez is often considered the father of Liberation Theology. He is convinced that Christianity is essentially about following Jesus as a community led by the Spirit on a path oriented by the announcement of the Good News: the Lord has risen! Death, injustice and evil can never have the last word. The question is, how do we live this reality today? You are invited to a book study on Gustavo Gutiérrez’s We Drink From Our Own Wells. Gutiérrez will challenge us and we may not always agree, however, we will not be able to evade his serious Biblical reflection that begs for transformative application in our lives. On the other hand, however, we might be surprised by Gutiérrez’s insights! The 10 week study will be led by C. Hugo Herfst, OblSB, who has lived and served in various capacities in Guatemala for over 20 years. 

This group will meet for the first time on Wednesday 18 May from 8-9pm UK time when it will decide on the best time to meet. Please note that we are looking for a group who will attend throughout the 10 weeks.

THE BATTLE FOR THE SOUL OF SOUTHERN AFRICA AND WHY IT MATTERS: AN INTERVIEW WITH SENATOR DAVID COLTART OF ZIMBABWE

ZOOM EVENT: THURSDAY 19 May, 5:30-7:30pm UK time

KLC and LCF invite you to this vital event on Thursday 19 May from 5.30-7.30pm UK time. Senator David Coltart has vast and exceptionally courageous experience as a human rights lawyer and politician in Zimbabwe. He set up one of the two organisations that documented the genocide in Matabeleland in the early 1980s and later served as Minister of Education in the unity government under Mugabe. His riveting book, The Struggle Continues: 50 Years of Tyranny in Zimbabwe, is essential and compelling reading. He continues to be active in opposition politics and as a human rights lawyer.

In Southern Africa a battle for the soul is underway between corrupt authoritarians and democrats. Not only is this battle of major importance for Southern Africa – indeed for Africa as a whole – but it also illumines conflicts such as that underway in Ukraine at present.

Join us for an interview with Senator Coltart followed by an hour of Q&A.

There is much at stake in this discussion and we ask you to join us in promoting the event far and wide.

Past Events in 2022

April 2022

SAHS Virtual Event: How Can We Sing a Song in a Strange Land? Hermeneutics of Song, Poetry, and Lament in the 21st Century

ZOOM EVENT: WEDNESDAY 20 April, 2–4pm UK time (9–11am Eastern Time)

The Kirby Laing Centre is hosting a special event on the psalms of lament. In light of the ongoing tragedy in Ukraine, this event could not be more timely as we consider how, as Christians, we respond faithfully to crisis and tragedy. Organised by the Scripture and Hermeneutics Seminar, this event focuses on hearing and interpreting the psalms of lament for today. The session will include reflections by Old Testament scholars and musicians in the form of papers and special music.

March 2022

Movies are prayers: Film and Faith with Josh Larsen

ZOOM EVENT: THURSDAY 24 March 2022, 5:30-6:30PM UK TIME

“Movies are our way of telling God what we think about this world and our place in it. . . . Movies can be many things: escapist experiences, historical artifacts, business ventures, and artistic expressions, to name a few. I’d like to suggest that they can also be prayers.”

In his wonderful book Movies are Prayers film critic Josh Larsen paints a vivid and compelling picture of how films can voice our deepest longings, giving powerful expression to God of our lament, praise, joy, confession, and more.

In this moment in global history, many of the prayers we find ourselves praying are those of lament, searing “how long, O Lord” prayers, prayers of longing, anger, and difficult hope.

In this KLC online event Josh will introduce us to this notion of films as prayers, how they can function to enrich and deepen our faith and engagement with God and his world, take us through an example of how film can act as a prayer of lament and difficult hope, and end with time for Q&A. 

Josh is a Chicago-based film critic, the editor of Think Christian, and co-host of the radio and podcast show Filmspotting. You can find out more on his website.

The Church in society event

ZOOM EVENT: THURSDAY 17 March 2022, 5:30-7:30PM UK TIME

Scattered as the church is among the nations, we cannot but reflect on our relationship to the societies of which we are a part. In 1989 as a young Anglican minister in apartheid South Africa, Craig Bartholomew gave a keynote address at the Church of England in South Africa (now REACH SA) Synod on The Church in Society. Now some 30 years later this talk, published in rough form as a booklet, is receiving fresh attention. You can download and read the paper here. This event will use Craig’s talk as the basis for a fresh exploration of the relationship between church and society. Craig will update his perspective 30 years on, and several South Africans and thinkers from other contexts will share their thoughts, as together we wrestle with this perennially important issue.

Ash Wednesday Call to Prayer - and action - for Ukraine

ZOOM EVENT: WEDNESDAY 2 March 2022, 6:00PM UK TIME

As we agonise over what is happening in Ukraine we are not as those without help. We invite you to join us for 45 minutes of prayer and a briefing about the situation in Ukraine (15  minutes) this Wednesday 2 March at 6pm UK time.  

In the last edition of The Big Picture, I wrote about Jesus’ call to his followers to be salt  and light. Now is a time for salt – to restrain the evil – and light – to flood the situation with  light and truth. As has been said, for evil to triumph all that is required is for good people to  remain silent. Let us not be such people. Join us for a briefing on the situation in Ukraine, to continue praying for it, and to reflect on what we can do to assist. 

            – Craig Bartholomew, KLC Director 

January 2022

KLC Gathers for 2022

ZOOM EVENT: THURSDAY 13 JANUARY 2022, 5:30-7:30PM UK TIME

In the second week of January 2022 we will be gathering as a KLC community to connect with one another and to hear about the vision for the Kirby Laing Centre for 2022. It will be an exciting and important time together as we enter our second year as an independent charity, and we warmly invite you all to join us as we anticipate in hope the year ahead.

Past Events in 2021

December 2021

KLC Gathers for Advent

Zoom Event: Tuesday 14 December from 6:30PM-7:30PM UK Time

At KLC we try and let our year be shaped by church time rather than that of our cultures. During Advent and on into Christmas we slow down as we prepare to receive Christ again. We invite you to join us on Tuesday 14 December from 6.30-7.30 for our Advent event. As we enter Advent we also come to the end of KLC’s first year in existence. Advent candles will be lit, liturgy said, short reflections on the year shared, and Craig will speak on “One Thing Necessary.” We look forward to celebrating this important time of year together.

KLC Day Of Prayer

Zoom Event: Friday 10 December 2021

At our best we accompany the Spirit on his mission. Thus KLC punctuates its year with days of prayer, days of being open to God and listening to what the Spirit is saying to us. We invite you to join us for our final prayer day of 2021 on Friday 10 December. Each attendee will receive a psalm to pray with during the day. At our final service time will be made available to share with one another what we discern the Spirit is saying. 

Note that we understand that due to difference in time zones some will only be able to attend some of the services. Where possible we do encourage you to set aside the day in order to benefit from the cumulative effect. 

  • 9.30am UK time – Morning Prayer
  • 12 noon UK time – Midday prayer
  • 6.30pm UK time – Eucharist and Reflections 

November 2021

The Importance and Impact of George Steiner's Real Presences | Jenny Taylor

Zoom Event: Tuesday 2 November 2021, 5:30PM-7:30PM UK Time

Real Presences is an extraordinary book by George Steiner, which every thinker should be familiar with. Steiner argues that the waters have been thoroughly muddied in our engagement with art and literature, provides a profound diagnosis of the causes, and proposes a surprising, theological solution. Our Research Fellow in Media, Journalism and Communications, Dr Jenny Taylor, will lead us through the argument of the book and set the framework for engagement with it. Not to be missed! 

October 2021

The Robot Will See you Now: Artificial Intelligence and the Christian Faith

ZOOM EVENT: THURSDAY 21 OCTOBER 2021, 5:30-7:30PM UK TIME

KLC invites you to join us for a fascinating discussion of the intersection of Artificial Intelligence and the Christian faith. 

John Wyatt and Stephen Williams will introduce their recently published, edited book, The Robot Will See You Now: Artificial Intelligence and the Christian Faith (SPCK, 2021). Derek Schuurman and Jason Thacker will respond to the book. The presentations will be followed by a time of Q&A. 

Presenters:

John Wyatt is Emeritus Professor of Neonatal Paediatrics, Ethics and Perinatology, University College London, and Faraday Associate at the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, Cambridge. He has a special interest in the interface between medical ethics, technology and Christianity, and co-led a research project on the social, ethical and theological implications of advances in artificial intelligence and robotics based at the Faraday Institute. He is the author of Dying Well, Right to Die: Euthanasia, Assisted Suicide and End-of-life Care and Matters of Life and Death: Human Dilemmas in the Light of the Christian Faith (all published by IVP in 2018, 2015 and 2009 respectively).

Stephen N. Williams is Honorary Professor of Theology at Queen’s University, Belfast, and was a participant in the research project based at the Faraday Institute, Cambridge. His books include The Election of Grace: A Riddle Without a Resolution? (Eerdmans, 2015), The Shadow of the Antichrist: Nietzsche’s Critique of Christianity (Baker Academic Press, 2006) and Revelation and Reconciliation: A Window on Modernity (Cambridge University Press, 1995).

Derek Schuurman Derek C. Schuurman worked as an electrical engineer for several years and later completed a Ph.D. at McMaster University in the area of robotics and computer vision. He has taught at Dordt University and Redeemer University and is currently professor of computer science at Calvin University. He is a fellow of the American Scientific Affiliation and an Associate Fellow of the Kirby Laing Center for Public Theology in Cambridge. He is the author of the book Shaping a Digital World: Faith, Culture and Computer Technology and coauthor of the upcoming book A Christian Field Guide to Technology for Engineers and Designers, both published by InterVarsity Academic Press.

Jason Thacker serves as chair of research in technology ethics at The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. He also serves as an adjunct instructor of philosophy, ethics, and worldview at Boyce College in Louisville, KY. He is the author of the forthcoming, Following Jesus in the Digital Age with B&H Publishing, as well as The Age of AI: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humanity with Zondervan. He also serves as the editor of a forthcoming volume with B&H Academic on Christian ethics and the digital public square, focused on content moderation and online governance. He is the project leader and lead drafter of Artificial Intelligence: An Evangelical Statement of Principles, and his work has been featured at SlatePoliticoChristianity TodayThe Gospel Coalition, and World Radio.

KLC & Lawyers' Christian Fellowship: Service for the New Legal Year

Zoom Event: Thursday, 14 October 2021 at 5:15 PM UK Time

The new legal year will start at the beginning of October in England, when judges historically prayed for guidance for the coming term.  On Thursday, 14 October 2021 at 5:15 UK Time, KLC is pleased to host, in partnership with the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship, a special one hour service like no other to mark this important event in the calendar of all lawyers.

We will follow a liturgy written especially for lawyers starting the new legal year by David McIlroy, practising barrister, visiting professor at Notre Dame and chair of trustees of KLC, with a short talk from Psalm 82 by Jon Hyde, practising solicitor, associate fellow of KLC and chair of trustees of the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship.

We trust this event will help Christian lawyers to re-orient themselves to God at the start of the new legal year, to reflect on their calling and be encouraged to minister faithfully for Him.  It will be held over Zoom to make attendance as convenient as possible for all lawyers.

September 2021

Craig Bartholomew: Yahweh, the gods of the ane, and law: an engagement with psalm 82

Zoom Event: Thursday 23 September 2021, 5:30PM-7:30PM UK Time

Psalm 82 is dynamite. We suggest you prepare for this session by spending time with this psalm. Craig will expound this psalm with a view to opening up the unique view of law in OT Israel, and its implications for today.

Craig Bartholomew: The Doctrine of Creation and The Disciplines

This webinar will be HOSTED BY SOCIETY OF CHRISTIAN SCHOLARS: Thursday 16 September 2021, 2PM UK Time

Form the Society of Christian Scholars Event Page:

Approaching the world as God’s creation changes everything! Yet, how does it change the way we approach our academic disciplines as Christians? On Thursday, 16 September 2021 at 1400 UTC/GMT, Dr Craig Bartholomew, Director of the Kirby Laing Centre for Public Theology in Cambridge, UK, will discuss how a full-orbed doctrine of creation is of vital importance today and why we need to have it operational within our studies and research. He will also explore some of the ways in which it transforms and shapes individual disciplines, enables us to engage in dialogue with scholars who hold very different worldviews, and opens up the interrelationship among the disciplines. In the end, he argues for seeing the world as it really is as ‘charged with the grandeur of God’ (Gerard Manly Hopkins), bringing hope to a jaded world. In preparation for the webinar, take some time to read the introduction and various chapters to his most recent book, The Doctrine of Creation (IVP Academic, 2020). Register TODAY to engage in this important conversation!

The Kirby Laing Centre Weekly reading group

Zoom gathering: Thursday 2 September – Thursday 9 December 2021 (70 min per week for 15 weeks)

The KLC centre is deeply committed to doing our work in community and grounded in deep spirituality. You are invited to join us for this 15-week group, meeting – at this stage – every Thursday at 8pm-9.10pm UK time. This time is chosen to make it possible for our North American friends to participate as well as UK and European and southern African, etc., members of our community. At our first meeting we will discuss the best day and time for the group as a whole, as well as how the group will operate. The group will be led by Craig Bartholomew. 

Our main book will be Margaret Silf’s Landmarks: An Ignatian Journey (London: DLT, 1998). Silf’s book is widely recognized as one of the best introductions to Ignatian spirituality. If you buy it do buy the UK DLT edition – for some reason the US edition removed the great line drawings from their edition. We will ground our work in Scripture, and aim at developing our practice of Christian spirituality in relation to the particular circumstances of our lives.

The group is open to all but as you reflect on joining it a few caveats: 

  • Our preference is to keep the group relatively small at around 25 people. 
  • Our request is that if you sign up for it you commit to attend and to be an active participant. We understand that circumstances arise where one cannot make a meeting, but we are looking for a committed group to go on this journey together. 

The course will culminate in a KLC prayer day on Friday 10 December, led by Ken Herfst, and an event with a leading authority on Christian spirituality – still to be confirmed. All in all the course should position us well to journey on into Advent.

June 2021

READING & PREACHING EXODUS
A Reciprocal Response: Bartholomew on Chris Wright, Exodus, and Chris Wright on Bartholomew, Sinai

Zoom Event: Thursday 24 June, 4-6.30pm UK time – 11am-1.30pm EST

We recently hosted a rich event with Leon Kass on his commentary on Exodus. Chris Wright has also recently published a commentary on Exodus (Zondervan Academic) and in this event Wright will reflect on Bartholomew’s God Who Acts in History: The Significance of Sinai (Eerdmans, 2020), and Bartholomew will reflect on Wright, Exodus (2021). There will be an hour after each author’s response for questions and discussion. In the final 30 minutes Robby Holt will lead a reflection on preaching a series on Exodus.

KLC Weekly Reading Group in June 2021

Zoom gathering: Thursdays, 9:00PM UK time / 4:00PM ET, starting thursday 3 june, 1 hour max.

Following the completion of Leon Kass’ excellent book on Exodus – Founding God’s Nation: Reading Exodus – the KLC Reading Group will continue to dig into the book of Exodus itself and explore some key themes raised in Kass’ work throughout the month of June. We will then conclude with KLC’s virtual webinar featuring Dr Craig Bartholomew and Dr Chris Wright on Exodus on 24 June.

Schedule:

3 June: William Abraham, “Divine Action and Skepticism in the Book of Exodus.” In ibid., Divine Agency and Divine Action, Vol IV (OUP, 2021). Led by Meghan Roberts.
10 June: Reading Exodus politically for today (picking up some threads from our reading of Kass). Led by Craig Bartholomew. 
17 June: Demaracting Kass’s hermeneutic – Gary Cockerill has written up some of his own reflections on Kass’ hermeneutic. We will be distributing his reflections to the group in advance of our discussion and we should all come with our own reflections (you might read Dave Beldman’s reflections here). Led by Dave Beldman.
 24 June: Online webinar (via zoom) with Craig Bartholomew and Christopher Wright on Exodus.

The Reading Group is open to all interested and you do not need to have to have read Kass to participate, so please do RSVP below. 

KIERKEGAARD & SPIRITUALITY
An Engagement with C. Stephen Evans' New Book

Zoom Event: Tuesday 1 June, 5:30-7:30PM UK time

Søren Kierkegaard is one of KLC‘s favourite philosophers, and C. Stephen Evans is one of the world authorities on Kierkegaard.

Join us for a Zoom event with a major group of contemporary philosophers as we engage with Evans’s recent book: Kierkegaard and Spirituality: Accountability as the Meaning of Human Existence (Kierkegaard as a Christian Thinker) where Evans describes Kierkegaard’s contributions to spirituality – both Christian and more generally human.

May 2021

KLC VIRTUAL CONCERT
Full Circle: From Lament to Praise and Back Again

Zoom Concert: Saturday, 15 May, 7-9PM UK time

Leon Kass observes that “The artists are God’s prophets for the eyes. The beauty they cultivate becomes the skin of the good and the holy.” 

KLC warmly invites you to join us for our first Concert entitled Full Circle: From Lament to Praise and Back Again. Hosted in partnership with Deus ex Musica, this virtual concert will feature a smorgasbord of rich music, dance, drama, and poetry. Book your ticket now and join us as our artists help us to see and develop skins of the good and the holy amidst our current challenges. 

April 2021

On Founding God's Nation: An Engagement with Leon Kass and His New Book on Exodus

Zoom event: Tuesday 6 April, 5-7:30PM UK time

If you are looking for biblical interpretation that opens out onto all of life, then Leon Kass’s work is in a class of its own. We invite you to join us for a 2.5-hour zoom event to respond to this exciting new work, with an introduction by Leon Kass and a lineup of presentations given by biblical scholars and theologians engaging with the book. The event will conclude with a time for Q&A with the speakers and Leon Kass.

Founding God's Nation: Reading Exodus Weekly Zoom Reading Group

Zoom gathering: Thursdays, 8:00PM UK time, 1 hour max

Leon Kass’ new commentary on Exodus, Founding God’s Nation: Reading Exodus, published in January 2021 (Yale University Press), is a tour de force of biblical interpretation—an example of deeply thoughtful, academically rigorous, accessibly written, profoundly creative work that opens up the riches of the book of Exodus for contemporary life. Recognizing the uniqueness and significance of this achievement, KLC’s Scripture and Hermeneutics Seminar is hosting a reading group to systematically work through Kass’ book and process his work communally. 

KLC Day of Prayer: Accompanying Jesus in Holy Week

Zoom Event: Thursday 1 April 2021, Maundy Thursday in Holy Week

We invite you to join us in spending the day in prayer as we accompany Jesus to the cross, and beyond to his resurrection. We will be hosting three moments of prayer on the day: Morning prayer, Day prayer, and Virtual Eucharist. Select Learn More to see all times and to RSVP.

Thank You! We've received your RSVP for KLC's upcoming event:

The Battle for the Soul of Southern Africa and Why It Matters: An Interview with Senator David Coltart of Zimbabwe

You will receive an email the day before the event with the access details. For any further queries, please contact us below.