Lecture 2: Human Spirit and Divine Spirit

Senior Professor Michael Welker gave the second of his six Gifford Lectures earlier this evening. The video of Welker’s lecture is embedded below (followed by a short summary) for those who were unable to attend in person, or for those who’d like to watch it again. An audio only version can be found at the end of this post. In order to further facilitate discussion Dr Clement Wen will offer his initial reflections on the lecture. Wen currently serves as Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology at China Evangelical Seminary in Taiwan and holds a PhD in Systematic Theology from the University of Edinburgh. We’d like to reiterate that we warmly welcome anyone wishing to engage with Welker’s lectures to contribute their comments and questions below.

The topic of Welker’s second lecture was the human spirit and the divine Spirit. At the outset he outlined the path that this lecture would take. First, he stated that he would “unfold a natural theology of the divine Spirit by means of a contemporary example” before, second, moving on to discuss the human spirit and the divine Spirit as “multimodal powers.” Thirdly, he stated he would discuss “observations on early-childhood mental development” in order to demonstrate the complexity and richness of the human spirit. Fourthly and finally he mentioned that he would engage Hegel’s “natural theology of the human spirit and of the divine Spirit” since the early Hegel helpfully “developed a theological and moral concept of these spirits that ultimately focuses on freedom and justice” in a multimodal manner.

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2019 Gifford Lectures Quickly Approaching

The 2019 Gifford Lectures at the University of Edinburgh are only 3 weeks away! Dame Mary Beard will give the first of her six lectures on Monday, 6 May. As she herself describes the lectures, “This lecture series explores why the classical world still matters and what ethical dilemmas the study of classics raises (and has always raised). Taking six particular themes, it hopes to show how antiquity can continue to challenge the moral certainties of modernity.”

The lectures will be held in the Gordon Aikman Lecture Theatre at the University of Edinburgh and seats are already filling up quickly. Like in past years this blog will be active alongside the lectures to facilitate further discussion of Beard’s lectures online. The videos (and audio) of each lecture will be posted here shortly after they have been given and a number of contributors will offer their reflections to further facilitate conversation. Whether you are able to attend the lectures in person or are only able to engage from a distance all are most welcome to join in on the online discussion. For further details on how to join the conversation see How to Engage.

Dame Mary Beard’s lectures entitled “The Ancient World and Us: From Fear and Loathing to Enlightenment and Ethics” promise to be of interest to a wide-ranging audience and to be a timely opportunity for reflection on current ethical situations in light of what we can learn from the ancient world.