The St George's Cathedral lectures were inaugurated in 1995, under the patronage of the Archbishop of Perth, with the aim of contributing at a high level to the Cathedral's educational function, and to the intellectual life of the wider Perth community.
Each year, one or more distinguished scholars have been invited to present a lecture on a theme of their choice, exploring the connections between the Christian tradition and a wide variety of other fields of learning.
Some of these lectures may be downloaded from our Podcasts and Texts page.
The New Atheists (2009)
Former Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford, Keith Ward is a famous advocate of theistic evolution.
In this lecture, he dismantles the arguments put forward by one of the world's most famous and evangelical atheists, Richard Dawkins. At the same time, Professor Ward sets out a mesmerising vision of the universe as it is unfolding under the scrutiny of today's quantum physicists - concluding that belief in God is the most rational position.
Choral Music: The Case for Excellence (2009)
Peter Phillips, founder of the Tallis Scholars and Director of Music at Merton College, Oxford, argues the case that the worship of God deserves the best, and if achieving that best means sometimes leaving people out of the singing, is it possible that they too are able to converse with God through what they hear, even though they are vocally silent?
Music, above every other means of human communication, is capable of expressing the inexpressible.
The Myth of an Australian Spirituality (2009)
Hugh Mackay, Australia’s best-known social commentator, asks whether there is something unique about Australian spirituality, whether the drive to make sense of human existence and place ourselves in a cosmic context would be differently expressed or experienced in the Australian context.
Law and Religion (2008)
Kevin Parker, Vice President of the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, examines the relationship between law and religion and how far religion can influence legislation in a pluralist society.
The English Reformations and the Origins of the Anglican Church (2006)
Christopher Haigh, of Christ Church, Oxford, argues that the English Church experienced a series of reformations which led, over time, to the emergence of an Anglicanism which is tolerant, responsive and inclusive.
Justice and the Eucharist (2005)
Dr Nicholas Sagovsky, Canon Theologian of Westminster Abbey, has had a long term theoretical and practical interest in issues of social justice. His concern has been to penetrate beneath purely political perspectives and to ground issues of justice theologically.
This lecture sets the theme of justice within the context of the Eucharist as the central act of Christian worship.
Confirmation or Contradiction? Archaeology and Biblical History (2004)
The relationship between archaeology and the biblical texts has long been a matter of debate, with some claiming archaeology ‘proves’ the biblical narrative while others claim the opposite.
Drawing on recent archaeological excavations and contemporary scholarly debates about the nature of archaeological evidence and the biblical texts, Hugh Williamson, Regius Professor of Hebrew in the University of Oxford, explores where the issue of ‘The Bible and Archaeology’ currently stands.
Who was Thomas Cranmer? (2004)
Thomas Cranmer was a man at the heart of the English Reformation, and so he remains at the heart of worldwide Anglican identity. But the complex history of Anglicanism has produced many different Thomas Cranmers, as his story is told in different ways.
Professor MacCulloch probes behind these many images to look for the real man who was the friend of kings and who shaped Anglican worship over centuries.
Is there a Destiny Beyond Death? (2003)
John Polkinghorne, distinguished physicist and Anglican theologian, and winner of the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion for 2002, brings together scientific insights and Christian belief to discuss the coherence of the hope for a destiny beyond death, for humanity and for the universe itself.
Thinking About God: From Plato to Postmodernism (2002)
Max Charlesworth, one of Australia’s most distinguished philosophers, and a leading Roman Catholic layman, explores a wide range of philosophical approaches to the question of belief in God, from the ancient Greeks to contemporary movements of thought.
Exploration Towards God in a Scientific Age (2002)
Arthur Peacocke, distinguished scientist and theologian, winner of the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion for 2001, and a leading advocate for creative interaction between science and theology, presents the fruits of his reflections on this theme over the last thirty years.
Church Music at the Crossroads (2001)
Stephen Darlington, organist and choirmaster at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, reflects on the present status and future prospects of the traditions of Church music.
The Dynamics of Fundamentalism (2000)
James Barr, formerly Professor of Hebrew at Oxford and Princeton, discusses the nature of fundamentalism, within and beyond the orbit of Christianity, and ways of addressing the threat which it represents.
Delivered in 2000, his presentation has acquired a further dimension of significance since the events of more recent times.
The Book of Common Prayer and Anglican Identity (1999)
Robin Sharwood, a distinguished Professor of Law and leading Anglican layman, uses the occasion of the 450th anniversary of the BCP to address the question of what is distinctive about Anglican identity.
This is not a narrow study of the BCP, but argues that it retains a crucial normative role in the context of contemporary Anglicanism.
Why do we have Cathedrals? A Historian’s View (or How English Cathedrals survived the Reformation) (1998)
Christopher Haigh, of Christ Church Oxford, a leading historian of the English Reformation, presents a fascinating account of the fluctuating fortunes of Cathedrals in Anglican history, the elements of chance in their survival and the ways they were refashioned to assume new and creative roles.
Liturgical Principle and Cathedral Practice (1997)
Michael Perham, formerly Vice-Dean and Precentor of Norwich Cathedral and now Bishop of Gloucester, is a leading writer in the field of liturgy.
His lecture explores in detail the question, “what is worship for?” - and, while a short section of this lecture is devoted specifically to Cathedral worship, the lecture is equally applicable within the parish context.
The Future of Anglicanism (1996)
Alister McGrath, Oxford academic and prolific author, from the moderate evangelical wing of the Anglican Communion, argues here that the future of Anglicanism lies in forging a new kind of “middle way” between the extremes of fundamentalism and liberalism.
Canterbury Cathedral: Pilgrims and Tourists: Past and Present (1995)
Keith Robbins, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wales, was one of a team of scholars who combined to write the history of Canterbury Cathedral to mark the fourteenth centenary of the mission of St Augustine.
It is a scintillating and amusing account of the complex and changing role of the mother Church of the Anglican Communion.