The thirteenth series of Ebor Lectures has got underway at York St John University with the theme of “Science: Wonder, Gift and Challenge”.

The lectures promote a conversation between theology and public issues and contribute to the creation of personal and collective decision-making in economic, political and social spheres.

Lecturers come from a wide array of fields and will explore the extraordinary possibilities offered by science to examine the beauty, fragility and complexity of the world and consider what it means to be human in a rapidly changing technological society.

The first lecture, by former registrar and secretary at Gresham College, London, Dr Valerie Shrimplin, discussed how the beginning and end of the universe have been portrayed visually.

She considered examples of art from ancient times through to Michelangelo’s depiction of the Creation and Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel and up to the present day. 

Before the lecture, the two winners of the Ebor Lectures Eassy Competition were presented with their prizes by the chair of the Lectures Committee, Canon Dr Christopher Collingwood.

The prize is given to students who submit essays on any aspect of “Theology and Public Life”.

Isobel Hedley-Jones, from York, is pictured receiving a prize for her essay on environmental issues and climate change.

Future lecturers in the series include two prominent Catholic scientists, Dame Ottoline Leyser, of the University of Cambridge, on Wednesday July 3, and Brother Guy Consolmagno, director of the Vatican Observatory, who will give both a lecture and presentation for families on Wednesday August 21.

The next lecture is on Wednesday June 5 when physicist, natural philosopher and Anglican lay reader Professor Tom McLeish speak on “Science as Gift not Threat: An Essential Culture-Change for the Church”.

The Ebor Lectures is an ecumenical project jointly organised by York Minster, York St John University, the Order of Carmelites – British Province, the Yorkshire North and East District of the Methodist Church, and the C & JB Morrell Trust.

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