Can Christianity and Buddhism Remain Relevant to the 21st Century?


As two of the world’s leading exponents of, respectively, radical Christianity and radical Buddhism, Professor Lloyd Geering and Stephen Batchelor took part in a panel discussion on this topic. This event was jointly organised by SATRS and the Aotearoa Buddhist Education Trust.

Professor Sir Lloyd Geering is well-known to SATRS subscribers.

Stephen Batchelor has recently extended the material in his well-known Buddhism Without Beliefs in his spiritual autobiography Confession of a Buddhist Atheist. Stephen and his wife Martine (an author and teacher in her own right) were in New Zealand on a speaking and teaching tour organised by Aotearoa Buddhist Education Trust.

Both a DVD and an audio CD of the discussion were produced. Ordering details are here. 

The Human Ground of Compassion

Bill Cooke  Lloyd Geering  

A two-lecture series with this title was held in October, involved two of the speakers from the year’s Sea of Faith Network conference: Dr. Bill Cooke and Prof. Sir Lloyd Geering.

In a new venture SATRS is offering, at no charge, the papers as delivered. You can access them here

In Dialogue with Ecclesiastes

In a four-part series in August, Lloyd Geering continued his dialogue with the Old Testament sage, Qoheleth, the author of the book that we know as "Ecclesiastes". These dialogues are excerpts from his recent book Such Is Life, My Encounter with Ecclesiastes. Lloyd Geering showed how relevant are these insights to our current human problems, even though they were written some 2,300 years ago.

Book Launch: Such Is Life

Sir Lloyd Geering's book of that title was launched on March 24, 2010. It takes a critical look at the applications of the tenets of the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes to today’s world. It can be ordered from your local bookshop.

This short extract comes from pages 24 and 25:

More than any priest, prophet or even sage before him, Qoheleth [the author of the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes] examined the nature of human existence. He asked some basic questions: What does it mean to be human? In the absence of any certainty or permanence, how can we get the best out of life? In doing so he raised the pursuit of wisdom to a higher level. True sages had to do more than collect gems of wisdom, select the best, and pass them on to their students. Wisdom is not an immutable body of knowledge, and it is vain to imagine that it is. We must personally walk the path of wisdom for ourselves rather than expect to receive it from others ready-made. So the role of the sage was not to provide instant wisdom for the foolish and unlearned; the words of the sage, says the Book of Ecclesiastes, were to be like a sharp goad forcing hearers to shake off their complacency and to pursue wisdom for themselves.

Easter Series: Jesus Rediscovered

A series of lectures by Sir Lloyd Geering was given under the title Jesus Rediscovered. They reflect on Lloyd’s 1983 series Jesus Reconsidered which launched the St. Andrew’s Trust for the study of Religion and Society.

An audio CD set is available here. 

With or Without God by Gretta Vosper

Gretta Vosper is pastor of West Hill United Church in Toronto, and founder and chair of the Canadian Centre for Progressive Christianity, an organization that provides resources and support to those exploring the boundaries of Christian thought both within and outside of their congregations.

In a thoughtful and passionate discourse that speaks to a wide audience, Vosper tackled the issue that concerns so many of us today: how to find spiritual fulfillment, comfort and connection in the here and now.

In the vein of Tom Harpur’s The Pagan Christ, this is a book that dares to discard old doctrines but does so with respect and dignity. Vosper imagined a new church that leads in ethics – fostering relationships, meaning and values that are solidly rooted in our own best selves.

An audio CD set is available here.

The Geering Lecture Series: June 1, 3, 5, 8 and 10

The Geering Lecture Series for 2010

Details are here.