The Catherwood Lecture

The Catherwood Lecture is held each year, normally in October or November, and explores an issue relating to Christian worldview or faith in the public square.

Ain’t gonna study war no more …

The 2016 Catherwood lecture was given by Alan and Elaine Storkey on 24 November 2016.

The accumulation of power by arms companies and the influence of militarism have continued for over a century. The time has come for people of faith to address these issues and to take seriously Jesus' words, "those who take the sword will perish by the sword. Dr Alan Storkey is an economist, sociologist and artist. He the author of War or Peace: The Long Failure of Western Arms. Elaine Storkey is a theologian, philosopher, social scientist and broadcaster. Norman Hamilton (OBE) is convenor for Public Affairs for the Presbyterian Church in Ireland and was previously the minister of Ballysillan Presbyterian Church.  

When words fail: religious literacy and post-multicultural possibilities

How do we reach out in compassion, and avoid a tabloid- type reaction to other faiths, whilst standing up for values that are important in our society (values often derived from a Biblical faith)? jenny_taylorDr Jenny Taylor is a cultural analyst, journalist, author and founder of Lapido Media, a consultancy specialising in religious literacy in world affairs. Jenny has reported from areas of conflict and poverty all over Asia and Africa, deciding to specialize in Islam and secularization. She speaks and writes on the connection between faith and culture, on which she has addressed parliamentary, Commonwealth and media gatherings. From 1988 to 1994 she was the editor of GO, the magazine for Interserve. She co- authored the book Faith and Power (1998), along with Professor Lamin Sanneh of Yale, and Lesslie Newbigin. She is a member of the Evangelical Alliance's Theological Advisory Group. A local perspective to Jenny's talk was given by two responders, Dr Gladys Ganiel (Research Fellow in the Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation and Social Justice at Queen's University) and Will Leitch (Journalist and Broadcaster at BBC Northern Ireland). Click here to listen to the responders. Click here for a transcript of the lecture.  

Re-Narrating Human Rights: Dispelling Myths, Challenging Hypocrisy (Vinoth Ramachandra)

vinoth_ramachandraThe 2014 Catherwood Lecture was delivered by Vinoth Ramachandra on 26 June. Vinoth Ramachandra lives in Sri Lanka. He holds both bachelors and doctoral degrees in nuclear engineering from the University of London. He currently serves on the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES) Senior Leadership Team as Secretary for Dialogue & Social Engagement. Vinoth has been involved for many years with the Civil Rights Movement in Sri Lanka, as well as with the global Micah Network and A Rocha (a world-wide biodiversity conservation organization). He is the author of several essays, articles and books including The Message of Mission (2003), Subverting Global Myths: Theology and the Public Issues that Shape Our World (2008) and Church and Mission in the New Asia (2009). Catherwood 2014 – Response Michael Wardlow

Justice, Mercy and Walking with God: The mission of the church and the future of reconciliation in Northern Ireland (David Porter)

On Thursday 10 October David Porter gave the 2013 Catherwood Lecture

Justice, Mercy and Walking with God: The mission of the church and the future of reconciliation in Northern Ireland

David Porter is well known as a co-founder and then Directorof ECONI (Evangelical Contribution on N Ireland). He has served on the N Ireland Community Relations Council, the N Ireland Civic Forum and the independent Consultative Group on the Past (Eames/Bradley). He represented N Ireland on the Evangelical Alliance UK Board, for three years as its chair. Since 2008, David has been the Canon Director for Reconciliation Ministry at Coventry Cathedral and in February 2013 was appointed the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Director for Reconciliation. In Lambeth he is one of three advisors supporting Archbishop Justin Welby. A response to the lecture was given by Rev Dr Heather Morris, President of the Methodist Church in Ireland. Below you can download the text of the lecture and the response, or listen to a recording. 2013 Catherwood Lecture Catherwood 2013 - Response Rev Dr Heather Morris

Signing up to the Covenant: An Alternative Vision for the Future? (Johnston McMaster)

Johnston McMaster delivered this year's Catherwood Lecture, speaking under the title of: Signing up to the Covenant: An Alternative Vision for the Future?



He started by explaining that his grandfather had signed the covenant, and continued to question throughout the talk whether he would have signed it if he’d lived 100 years ago. Looking back at history and at the same time looking forward from today was a key tenet of his lecture, and mirrored the twin directions of memory and hope that are also at the hearth of Christian worship. Parallels were drawn between the 1912 Covenant and the 1916 Proclamation. Both documents were “theologically deliberate”. The text of Johnston McMaster's lecture is available as a PDF download. Stephen Johnston - minister of Kilkeel Presbyterian - responded at the close of the lecture with some pertinent questions.

2011 Catherwood Lecture: Money, Magic, Greed and the Power of Illusions

Money, Magic, Greed and the Power of Illusions:

A Christian Critique of our time

The 2011 Catherwood Lecture was given by Bob Goudzwaard on 1 December 2011. Economics is a major issue of our time. The economic system operates at an international level. Each one of us is also part of the system as consumers or investors. As Christians we should be actively considering one of the most pervasive aspects of our world. Bob Goudzwaard brought a Christian critique of our current economic situation. Philip McDonagh, a local economist with over 30 years experience and currently a Charity Commissioner, gave a response to Bob's lecture from the local perspective. Click below to hear the lecture and the response: The text of the lecture can be downloaded by clicking here: Catherwood_2011_text   Bob Goudzwaard is professor emeritus at the Free University in Amsterdam. He was elected to the Dutch Parliament in the 1970s and served for a time in a Christian policy research institute in The Hague. He is the author of numerous books including ‘Idols of Our Time’, ‘Capitalism and Progress’ and ‘Hope in Troubled Times'.

2010 Catherwood Lecture – Contemporary Art and the Return of Religion

Adrienne Dengerink Chaplin delivered the 2010 Catherwood Lecture, looking at the subject of Contemporary Art and the Return of Religion. She spoke in the University of Ulster’s Magee campus on Wednesday. The video below is from the Thursday night in University of Ulster’s Belfast campus. Amongst the blocks of colour, unmade beds, sheds and rubble, do you see any aspect of religious expression or faith in modern art? Was it a positive representation? Was the art any good? Adrienne suggested that after several centuries of mutual distrust, mainstream contemporary art from Andy Warhol and Andres Serrano to Damien Hirst and Chris Ofili can now be seen to incorporate the kind of religious references which since the origins of modern art had been largely absent. This raises some interesting questions: How do these images relate to their historic, traditional meanings? To whom do religious stories and symbols belong? And how should Christians respond to such works? Dr Adrienne Dengerink Chaplin studied art history and violin in the Free University in Amsterdam, taught philosophical aesthetics at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto, and was president of the Canadian Society for Aesthetics. Her research interests are the problem of meaning in art, art and embodiment, and theological aesthetics. Published in various books and journals and co-author of Art and Soul: Signposts for Christians in the Arts (IVP, 2002), Adrienne is a free-lance writer and speaker, currently writing on the relation between faith and art.

Catherwood Lecture 2009- Paul Moore

On Thursday 26 November, Paul Moore spoke at the annual Catherwood Lecture on the subject "Finance and Faith: Can Mammon and the Common Good be Reconciled?". Paul Moore is the former Head of Group Regulatory Risk at HBOS and was the only senior risk and compliance executive in the UK banking sector to speak out publicly in the aftermath of the financial crisis about what he saw from the inside of a bank. His influential evidence given to the Treasury Select Committee in February 2008 was widely publicised in the media and led directly to the resignation of Sir James Crosby, the Deputy Chairman of the FSA. He maintained that failures in governance, risk management, compliance and regulatory supervision were at the primary causes of the banking crisis. Prior to HBOS, Paul was a Partner at KPMG in London advising banks, insurance companies and asset managers on regulation, risk management and compliance. He has 25 years of experience in the financial sector in these areas which encompasses both working in industry as a "coal-face" practitioner as well as in professional services as an adviser to the largest financial sector clients. Paul was educated at Ampleforth College, an independent school run by a Benedictine Monastery. He re-found his faith in the last ten years. This has given him the strength he needed to speak up.