Wesley Methodist Church

A church for all in the heart of the city

Science Meets Faith

Second Monday of the month from October to June, 7.15 pm for 7.45 pm


We present world class lectures on issues of Science and Faith, sponsored by Cambridge University Press. 

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Our next meeting:

Monday 11 April 2017, at 7.45 p.m.

Why did that happen? Science, faith, and how we explain things 

Professor Ian McFarland

Regius Professor, Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge

A lay theologian of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Ian McFarland received his first degree in Classics from Trinity College (Hartford) before going on to study theology at the Union Theological Seminary (New York), the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, and Yale University, where he earned his doctorate.  He received his first academic appointment at the University of Aberdeen, where he taught from 1998-2005.  He then moved to Emory’s University’s Candler School of Theology in Atlanta, Georgia, where he was the inaugural holder of the Bishop Mack B. and Rose Stokes Chair in Theology and served as Associate Dean of Faculty and Academic Affairs, as well as teaching in the Graduate School.  He has held the post of Regius Professor of Divinity at Cambridge since the autumn of 2015.  He has written several books including, most recently, From Nothing: A Theology of Creation, which discusses how God interacts with the world science describes.

Human beings are talking beings.  We talk in many different ways, and we recognise that different kinds of talk follow different rules: for example, we know that ‘king’ doesn’t have the same meaning in chess as in politics, and that we use different criteria when we describe a novel and a newspaper article as a ‘good story’.  How do scientific speech and theology (which is just a Greek term for ‘God-talk’) fit together?  Both ways of talking make claims about the way the world is, but do they follow the same rules?  In this lecture Ian McFarland will use the doctrine of creation as the basis for thinking about how Christians deploy both scientific theories and the language of faith to make sense of human experience of the world around us.

Programme for 2016/17

Listen Again

Recordings of many of the lectures from last year's series are available to listen again.