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. Below you will find the video recordings from various events we have held.
In 2023 the Kirby Laing Centre hosted Bill Browder for an event in Cambridge exploring his life and work. This video consists of the interview portion of the event between Bill Browder and KLC Director, Rev Dr Craig Bartholomew. It begins with a reading of George Hobson’s poem, Afgan Woman, read by KLC Fellow and Trustee Genevieve Wedgbury. Bill Browder is the Founder and CEO of Hermitage Capital Management and Head of the Global Magnitsky Justice Campaign. Bill is the author of the best-sellers Red Notice and Freezing Order. Both books are riveting, searing, and essential reading. Bill was the largest foreign investor in Russia until 2005, when he was denied entry to the country and declared “a threat to national security” for exposing corruption in Russian state-owned companies. In 2008, his lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, uncovered a massive fraud committed by Russian government officials. Sergei testified against state officials and was subsequently arrested, imprisoned without trial, and systematically tortured. He spent a year in prison under horrific detention conditions and died in prison in 2009. His crime was that as a Christian he would not bear false witness. As Bill writes in chapter 29 of Red Notice, “Sergei was religious and he would not violate God’s ninth commandment: ‘Thou shalt not bear false witness.’” Since then, Bill has sought justice outside of Russia and started a global campaign for governments around the world to impose targeted visa bans and asset freezes on human rights abusers and highly corrupt officials.
This Part 2 is a continuation of the discussion of the book begun in Part 1: Introducing the Book. In this video Dr Bartholomew sits down with Dr Chip Hardy and together they take a deep dive into the content of the book. Among other things, they discuss the history of the study of the Old Testament and of the Ancient Near East in the academy; Craig’s exploration of Ancient Near Eastern worldviews in the book; the similarities and differences between Israel’s worldview, as expressed in the OT, and their Ancient Near Eastern neighbours; the importance of Israel’s ancient context for understanding the OT; why Craig believes Old Testament studies needs philosophy; as well as his employment of a critical realism framework when approaching the question of the Old Testament and God.
In late 2022 Craig Bartholomew’s The Old Testament and God was published, the first in a projected four volume series on Old Testament Origins and the Question of God. Designed as something of a companion to N. T. Wright’s big series on the New Testament, in this book Craig calls for a paradigm shift in OT studies, and charts a course in this direction. In this Part 1 of 2 live Zoom events, Dr Bartholomew introduces us to the main arguments of the book.
On 15 March 2023 KLC hosted this Zoom gathering to hear retired UK diplomat, Michael Shipster, reflect and update us on his important article in The Big Picture Issue 05, “Hinges of History”: How the War In Ukraine Has Changed the World. His reflections were then followed by a response from KLC Director, Craig Bartholomew.
What is the proper relationship between Scripture and Doctrine? How are we to conceive of the precise relationship between biblical exegesis and Christian dogmatics? For several decades, theologians and biblical scholars alike have explored what it would mean to reintegrate these crucial disciplines. But attempts at a reunion have sometimes been characterized by a lack of cohesion, rigor, and concrete specificity. From a certain perspective, the new book Biblical Reasoning: Christological and Trinitarian Rules for Exegesis (Baker Academic, 2021) by R. B. Jamieson and Tyler Wittman serves as a kind of remedy to these deficiencies. Exploring seven “principles” and ten “rules” for exegesis, the book shows how the relationship between exegetical reasoning and dogmatic reasoning is reciprocal and reinforcing, even if asymmetrical. Drawing on the seminal work of the late John Webster (but also ranging widely in the fathers, the medieval doctors, the Reformers, the post-Reformation scholastics, and modern scholarship as well), Biblical Reasoning has been called a “book of generational significance” and “a master class in how to read the Bible directly and accurately.” This online forum featured the authors introducing us to the book, and a respondent, Fred Sanders, in what was a lively and instructive discussion of theological exegesis.
Modern society is complex and if we are to engage it as salt and light then we need an understanding, a theory, of how society works. Catholics have developed a sophisticated theory of society that we all need to be familiar with. Thus, we are delighted to partner with Catholic Conscience, our Canadian friends, for this event. The main speakers will be Matt Marquardt, Peter Copeland, and Brendan Steven of Catholic Conscience, with Craig Bartholomew as respondent.
In this KLC Online Event, authors Michael Goheen and Timothy Sheridan introduce us to their new book, Becoming a Missionary Church: Lesslie Newbigin and Contemporary Church Movements. In this recording of the event, held on 18 August 2022, KLC Director Craig Bartholomew provides an introduction followed by Mike and Tim as they present the central arguments of the book. They are then followed by Cas Monaco and Hugo Herfst who provide constructive responses to the book.
Erich Auerbach’s book Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Thought is a classic and one that all Christian thinkers should be familiar with. We are delighted that in this video Dr Andrew White, a literary scholar and Fellow of KLC, introduces us to the argument and relevance of this extraordinary book.
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.
The Kirby Laing Centre hosted 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 focused on hearing and interpreting the psalms of lament for today. The sessions included reflections by Old Testament scholars and musicians in the form of papers and special music.
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.
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. In this event KLC Research Fellow in Media, Journalism and Communications, Dr Jenny Taylor, lead us through the argument of the book and set the framework for engagement with it.
John Wyatt and Stephen Williams recently co-edited a volume entitled, The Robot Will See You Now: Artificial Intelligence and the Christian Faith, in which they along with their co-authors explore the intersections between AI and Christianity and the plethora of questions and implications that arise. In this KLC Online Event Dr Wyatt and Dr Williams introduce us to their work, opening up various areas of promise and critique. They are then followed by Dr Derek Schuurman and Dr Jason Thacker who respond to the book and the theme more broadly.
In this presentation Craig Bartholomew, Director of KLC, engages deeply with Psalm 82 with a view to opening up the unique view of law and justice in OT Israel, and its implication for today.
C. Stephen Evans is a world authority on Søren Kierkegaard and in this series of lectures we engage with his most recent work, Kierkegaard and Spirituality: Accountability as the Meaning of Human Existence, as well as explore Kierkegaard’s contribution to Christian Spirituality more broadly.
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. In this event Kass introduces us to his new book, On Founding God’s Nation, followed by a number presentations by biblical scholars and theologians all engaging with his excellent work.
In this event Chris Wright and Craig Bartholomew engage with and reflect on each other’s recent work on Exodus in an effort to help us read Exodus better. Wright reflects on Bartholomew’s God Who Acts in History: The Significance of Sinai (Eerdmans, 2020), and Bartholomew reflects on Wright’s Exodus (2021). In the final part of the event Robby Holt, Senior Pastor at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Alabama, will lead a reflection on preaching a series on Exodus.
In this event Craig Bartholomew, Director of the Kirby Laing Centre and co-author of the recently published The Doctrine of Creation: A Constructive Kuyperian Approach, explores the significant and pervasive impact a healthy doctrine of Creation should have on pastoral ministry.
“Apart from the doctrine of God, no doctrine is as comprehensive as that of creation. It is woven throughout the entire fabric of Christian theology. It goes to the deepest roots of reality and leaves no area of life untouched.”
In this event hosted by the Kirby Laing Centre eight scholars from different fields engage with and reflect on Bartholomew and Ashford’s recently published volume: The Doctrine of Creation: A Constructive Kuyperian Approach.
Robert Tatum is Professor of Economics and Cary Caperton Owen Chair in Economics at the University of North Carolina, Asheville. In this KLC online event he reflects on the “anthem of economic growth [that] has been sung loudly by economists” along with some of its impacts, for good and for ill, and then begins to explore what may be a more wholistic and theologically informed vision for economic activity in our world. You can find the PDF manuscript at https://kirbylaingcentre.co.uk/nuances/.