Dr Barton Public Lecture and Seminar
After the highly successful ANZATS conference, St Barnabas College had the pleasure of having Dr Stephen Barton, one of the keynote speakers of the event, present two public addresses for us.
On Thursday the 13th July, at St Bartholomew’s Anglican Church in Norwood, Dr Barton gave a public lecture entitled:
‘The resurrection and practical theology with particular reference to death and dying’.
Dr Barton set out to sketch out a practical theology of the resurrection – a necessary task because of the fact that the resurrection is often viewed through the lens of its historical veracity or for its contemplative benefit.
In his words, the purpose of his talk was “to consider the Christian practice of death and dying in the light of faith in the resurrection of Christ” by situating “every aspect of human life within that mystery with a view to the ever-greater participation of human life in the divine life.”
To this end, Dr Barton outlined the contemporary Western approach to death, engaging with it from a Christian perspective and offered a profound conclusion:
Death and dying he argued is “a performance of the living”, and is something “practised throughout life, and not just at life’s end.” It is a Christian discipline, fostered by the liturgical community that is the Church, in its common, sacramental life.
It was a stimulating address, with ample Q&A time and concluded with some light refreshments and chit-chat. Having an attendance of 30 or so people from various academic and professional backgrounds, the event was most certainly a success!
The next day Dr Barton presented an academic seminar at St Barnabas College for graduate students entitled:
‘Food Rules, Sex Rules, and the Prohibition of Idolatry: What’s the Connection?’
The seminar was a great opportunity to learn more about Dr Barton’s research interests in the intersection of first century culture, food laws, sexual mores and religious prohibitions surrounding these, and how they shape and constitute community and individual identity. There was, yet again, ample time for questions and answers afterwards, followed with plenty of refreshments and fellowship.
It was an absolute pleasure having Dr Barton present for us, contributing to and highlighting our own pursuit of academic excellence, being a community grounded and rooted in the encouragement of learning.