Clive Marsh

  • Tuesday 6 February 2018
  • 5.30pm-6.30pm
  • Ken Edwards Building, Lecture Theatre 1

God and the Modern University: Religion, Radicalisation and the Future of Human Flourishing

What place is there for discussion about God in universities in the contemporary West? Why should the question even be posed in universities without departments of religion/religious studies or theology? Are not universities by definition secular institutions because of the open, critical enquiry that they promote? This lecture will examine examples from the history of university education in the West (e.g. medieval origins, the Reformation, 19th century Berlin) to address these questions, before going on to engage with recent research into developments in university life in Europe and North America.

The lecture will draw practical conclusions for understanding a university’s role in society today with respect to religion as a phenomenon. At a time when the ‘secularisation thesis’ has been found wanting, when religion is often in the news, when (still) most people in the world – including in universities – self-define as religious in some way, and the language of ‘radicalisation’ has become too narrowly defined, the lecture addresses a highly contemporary topic.

Professor Clive Marsh

Clive Marsh 200 x 266.jpg

Clive Marsh is Academic Head of the Vaughan Centre for Lifelong Learning at the University. He studied in Bangor (North Wales), Tübingen (Germany), Chicago (US) and Oxford, and with the Open University, and has been involved in lifelong learning and theological education for nearly thirty years. He taught in the Universities of York St. John, Sheffield and Nottingham prior to arriving in Leicester in 2009 and has been an examiner, assessor and theological consultant nationally and internationally in both church and academy. He has an international standing in the field of study of theology’s interaction with the arts and popular culture, having lectured in Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Korea, Sweden, Turkey and the US.

His publications include: Explorations in Theology and Film, co-edited with Gaye Ortiz (Blackwell 1997), Christianity in a Post-Atheist Age (SCM Press 2002), Cinema and Sentiment: Film’s Challenge to Theology (Paternoster Press 2004), Christ in Focus: Radical Christocentrism in Christian Theology (SCM Press 2005). Christ in Practice: A Christology of Everyday Life (Darton, Longman and Todd 2006), Theology Goes to the Movies: An Introduction to Critical Christian Thinking (Routledge 2007), Personal Jesus: How Popular Music Shapes Our Souls, co-written with Vaughan S. Roberts, (Baker Academic 2013) and Jesus and the Gospels (3rd edn.), co-written with Steve Moyise (Bloomsbury 2015). He is currently working on A Cultural Theology of Salvation (for Oxford University Press).

He is a Scouser by birth and his working-class Merseyside roots and experiences remain deeply significant for him in both personal and professional life.

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