In May 2019, the Edward Cadbury Centre and the School of Philosophy, Theology, and Religion at the University of Birmingham held the Edward Cadbury Lectures with Professor Miroslav Volf titled 'The World as God's Home'.
Professor Mirsolav Volf is the Henry B Wright Professor of Theology at Yale Divinity School and the Founder and Director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture. He was educated in his native Croatia, the United States, and Germany, earning doctoral and post-doctoral degrees (with the highest honors) from the University of Tübingen, Germany. He has written or edited more than 20 books and over 100 scholarly articles.
The prestigious lecture series took place on three consecutive evenings in the heart of Birmingham city centre, in the Grade II listed church of St Martin in the Bull Ring. It is the original parish church of Birmingham and stands between the Bullring shopping centre and the markets. Video recordings of all three lectures can be found below.
Lecture 1: Modern Homelessness
Tuesday 28 May 2019
As the unprecedented levels of migration and displacement illustrate, many people are without a home today. Tied to this social homelessness is an existential homelessness. For moderns, the world should be our one and only home, but we are alienated from it: not at home on the planet, not at home in our countries, cities, and dwellings, estranged even from ourselves.
Lecture 2: God’s Love, God’s Home: A Brief Story of Everything
Wednesday 29 May 2019
A certain kind of homelessness, an experience of being a pilgrim on the way home, is central to the Christian imagination. Many have interpreted this pilgrimage as a journey into God – a kind of discarding of the world in movement toward God. In the wake of modernity, Christian pilgrimage was at times taken as growth into human independence, a divine parent setting humanity free to create its own worldly home. An important strand of biblical traditions presents an alternative: the story of humanity is a pilgrimage toward the world that has become God’s home and therefore our true home.
Lecture 3: On Being at Home in the World
Thursday 30 May 2019
What would it mean to be at home in the world? More specifically, what would it mean to have a home in a world that has not yet become God’s home and our home in one? Ambivalence toward home – both its affirmation and its contestation – is central to the Christian imagination, starting with the relation of Jesus Christ to his own home. What shape might this ambivalence take today, given both our pervasive social homelessness and our existential homelessness?
The Edward Cadbury Centre for the Public Understanding of Religion was established in 2014 to enhance the public understanding of religion regionally, nationally and internationally through distinctive, strategic and engaged interdisciplinary research. We deliver innovative, interdisciplinary, impact-driven and internationally-excellent research exploring the significance of religious belief and practice for public and professional life, working with faith communities and policymakers to develop informed agendas for social transformation.