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Science Festival Choral Evensong at Great St Mary's, the University Church

Sunday 17 March: 5:30pm - 6:30pm

University Church, Great St Mary's Senate House Hill, CB2 3PQ

At this beautiful candlelit service, the address will be given by Professor Alister McGrath, the Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion at Oxford University. In this sermon he will consider recent and possible future developments in our thinking about science and faith. Everyone, of all faiths, and of no faith, is most warmly welcome.

Great St Mary’s has been witnessing to Christian truth in the centre of Cambridge for over 800 years. It is a welcoming, inclusive, friendly church, with a large gathered congregation of all ages, great music and preaching, and a particular calling as the spiritual heart of the University of Cambridge. We seek to reach out beyond these walls in many ways, supporting many local and international projects, and working with people of all faiths and none to bring hope and light to our world.

Great St Mary’s is renowned for its great debates, many on science and religion, and this theme was echoed in the memorable funeral service here for Professor Stephen Hawking last April.

We are delighted to welcome Professor Alister McGrath to preach the 2019 Science Festival Evensong sermon. Alister McGrath is Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion at Oxford University. After studying chemistry as an Oxford undergraduate, McGrath did his doctoral research under Professor Sir George Radda in the field of molecular biophysics, before moving on to the study of theology.

McGrath’s research interests focus on the interaction of science and faith, both historical and contemporary. He has a long-standing interest in the field of natural theology, and has been engaged in public debates about the relation of science and faith, especially with representatives of the “New Atheism”. He holds priest’s orders in the Church of England. He is the author of many books, including the market-leading Christian Theology: An Introduction, now in its sixth edition. His most recent book is The Territories of Human Reason: Science and Theology in an Age of Multiple Rationalities (Oxford University Press, 2019).

Sermon title: “Rapturous Amazement: Reflections on Science and Faith”
In this sermon, Professor McGrath will consider the classic Renaissance view of science and religion as different yet potentially enriching ways of making sense of our world and our lives. He will consider alternative ways of viewing this relationship, such as the popular through now scholarly discredited notion of the “warfare” of science and faith, before considering intellectual frameworks that encourage engagement between science and faith, while respecting their distinct identities. As 2019 marks the centenary of the confirmation of a core prediction of Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity, McGrath will explore Einstein’s reflections on the relation of science and religion in his sermon. The title of the sermon is taken from Einstein’s famous 1939 lecture on science and religion at Princeton.

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Age: All ages, Talk, Arrive on time, Free, retiring collection