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Talking Theology

Author: Philip Plyming

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The podcast of Cranmer Hall, the theological college within St John's College, Durham University. We explore life’s big questions, and look to join the dots between theology, church, and the world. Philip Plyming, Warden of Cranmer Hall, is joined by a wide range of guests with a wealth of knowledge and experience.
40 Episodes
How have multiculturalism and evangelism been entwined since the first days of the Church’s mission? How is multiculturalism part of the Christian faith’s DNA? Why is the Church of today more tribal than it was 2000 years ago? How should an awareness of each others gifts change how we do Church and leadership? How is the medium the message?Harvey Kwiyani lectures in African Christianity and Theology at Liverpool Hope University and has previously taught courses in Theology, African studies, and Mission at several colleges across Europe and Africa, as well as in the U.S. He is the founding editor of Missio Africanus: The Journal of African Missiology and his latest book, published this year, is Multicultural Kingdom: Ethnic Diversity, Mission and the Church.For more information about Harvey Kwiyani see here. 
What's going on when the Bible talks about reconciliation? How does reconciliation with others really start with us? What do forgiveness, lament, and apology have to do with authentic reconciliation? What might it look like to be reconciled to the earth? And how do stories of reconciliation help us see God at work today?Sarah Hills is Vicar of the parish of St Mary's, Holy Island, in the Diocese of Newcastle and was previously Coventry Cathedral's Canon for Reconciliation Ministry. She's also a fellow of St John's College, Durham.For more information about Sarah Hills, see here.
How does asking tough questions about what we believe support and service our faith? When might we need to be surprised by new discoveries and new voices about who God is? How should major events in our world impact how we think about God? And how does it all come down to love?Mike Higton is Professor of Theology and Ministry in the Department of Theology and Religion at Durham University. He is the author of The Life of Christian Doctrine and the shorter Grove book: Why Doctrine Matters.For more information about Mike Higton, see here
What does it feel like to exercise power as a Christian? What's the Bible got to say about government and power? What's the vocation of speaking truth to power? How does our identity as a child of God shape our engagement with politics? What difference does it make to pray for political opponents? The Reverend Baroness Maeve Sherlock OBE is a Labour Party life peer and shadow minister for Work and Pensions in the House of Lords. She is also an Assistant Curate at St Nicholas’ Church Durham, and a Fellow of St Chads College. 
Who was Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and why is he still important? How can we think and make decisions ethically, and what was Bonhoeffer's unique contribution to this? Why does our character matter as much as our obedience? How can we do the right thing when we don't have a template? How does trust in God's mercy free us from the paralysing fear of making the wrong decision?Revd Dr Jennifer Moberly is a tutor at Cranmer Hall, and teaches ethics and Christian spirituality. More about Jenny can be found here.
What does it mean to hope for the kingdom of God? Is hope for the present, or for the future, or can it be both? What in the Bible helps us to have hope for the future without losing concern for the present? And in our challenging world, how does hope help us both lament and praise? Dr Samuel Tranter is is a visiting fellow at Cranmer Hall, John’s College and will be taking up the role of Director of Postgraduate Studies at Cranmer Hall from August. For more about Sam, click here. 
Is ambition something Christians can have? What was Jesus ambitious for? What's the relationship between ambition and humility? Does our excellence always mean being better than others? How does prayer shape our ambition?The Right Reverend Dr Emma Ineson is the Bishop of Penrith in the Diocese of Carlisle, and was previously principal of Trinity College, Bristol.You can follow Emma on Twitter here.This episode was recorded 03/03/2020. 
What questions does living through a pandemic invite us to ask as people of faith? What difference does it make that all are made in the image of God? How does faith expand the landscape in which we can live? Why is it more important to be forgiven than to succeed? What new things of faith are stirring in the Body of Christ at this time?The Right Reverend and Right Honourable Lord Williams of Oystermouth, or Rowan Williams as he is better known, is Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, and was previously Archbishop of Canterbury from 2002-2012. For more about Rowan, see here.
What’s going on in the depiction of science in the present corona virus pandemic, and how does theology play into this? How does our language, political, scientific and theological, shape how we understand the world? Are there examples of science and faith coming together to provide hope for our creation? What does listening to the science and walking by faith look like in this season? David Wilkinson holds PhDs in astrophysics and theology, and is principal of St John's College, Durham. For more about David, see here. 
How did death become so important in the Christian tradition? How did the death of Jesus speak to the early Christians, and how does it speak to us today? How do the ways we think about death help us engage with life? How does our care for creation challenge our approach to death? Professor Douglas Davies is an anthropologist and a theologian, a fellow of both the Academy of Social Sciences and the British Academy, and a Professor in Theology at Durham University. For more about Douglas, see here. This episode was recorded 19/02/2020. 
What does the Bible story say about racial diversity as a God-given gift? Does who we worship with say something about the Gospel we believe? How does a clear sense of identity in Christ help us encounter people different to ourselves? How can those with power use it faithfully?Dr. Guli Francis-Dehqani is the Bishop of Loughborough, in the Diocese of Leicester.You can follow Bishop Guli on Twitter here.Recorded 04/02/2020.
Why is liturgy good for us? How can we make sure that our worship practices point to Jesus, not to the person in the pulpit or at the table?How does pouring ourselves out give us a framework for the life of faith? What does it mean to start and end the day open to God? The Rev'd Dr Glenn Packiam is associate senior pastor at New Life church in Colorado Springs, USA. For more on Glenn, see here. 
What does the Bible have to say to those who work outside the church? What is a theological perspective on resilience in leadership? How is the church's commitment to education part of building the kingdom of God? Is Theology just about answers to be found, or also questions to be asked?Andy Wolfe is is the Deputy Chief Education Officer in the Church of England. For more about Andy, see here and follow him on Twitter here. Called, Connected, Committed can be found here.
Is there more to charismatic worship than lively singing and hands in the air? What do Rowan Williams, John Calvin, and Karl Barth have to do with contemporary worship? How does the idea of being united with Christ help us understand what worship is all about? What's the Spirit doing in the singing, in the preaching, and at the table? Nick Drake is associate pastor at Gas Street Church, Birmingham, and has long been involved in leading worship and writing songs. For more about Nick, see here. 
What are we to make of a God who calls? Is vocation something for Vicars, or all who follow Jesus? How can a vocation change over time? How can we be part of recognising vocation in ourselves and others? Can children be part of the journey too?Charlie Allen is Canon Chancellor  at Durham Cathedral, and was previously Salisbury's Diocesan Director of Ordinands.
How does storytelling help make sense of the stuff that happens? How does story and meaning connect with how we see ourselves? What is God's story, and how does it connect with our story?Why is being part of a church community good for our mental health? Jocelyn Bryan is the Academic Dean of Cranmer Hall, holds a doctorate in Psychology, and is also a Licensed Lay Minister in the Church of England. For more about Joss, please see here. 
How are people coming to faith today? What do Christians and viruses have in common? How do we speak about Jesus in a society where words are cheap? What is the Good News of Jesus in a culture that says 'It's all about me'?Rachel Jordan-Wolf is HOPE Together's assistant director, and was previously the Church of England's National Mission and Evangelism Advisor.You can follow Rachel on Twitter here.
What is the job of the church in relation to the world? Is there a theology of the parish church? Is church planting replacing the parish church, or do both have a part to play? Why does God work through communities rather than through individuals? Our guest is Will Foulger, who is the Director of Mission and Evangelism at 2019. Prior to this, Will served his curacy as part of the planting team of Trinity Church Nottingham. To find out more about Will, click here. 
How can be both receive and share faith through journeying? What does enough look like as we walk the path of life? Can we go on pilgrimage without leaving behind our everyday lives? What can pilgrimage teach us about Christ?Stephen Cottrell is Bishop of Chelmsford. For more about him, see here.
How do we become forgiving people? What's the relationship between God's forgiveness of us, and the way we should treat others? Can forgiveness happen when there's no repentance? What's the relationship between forgiveness and justice? Anthony Bash is a Professor in Theology at the University of Durham. To find out more about Anthony, click here. 
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