Scottish independence seems like a false god

8 09 2014

Scottish independence seems like a false godChurch Times, 05 Sep 2014

Breaking up the UK would not help anyone, argues Nigel Biggar

IN A COUPLE of weeks’ time, on 18 September, the residents of Scotland will vote whether or not to leave the United Kingdom (Comment, 2 November 2012, 14 March 2014; Paul Vallely 29 August). One way or another, the outcome will affect all of us on these islands.

The Churches in Scotland have remained officially neutral, readying themselves for the work of reconciliation which will be needed to tackle the bitter disappointment that the referendum’s verdict is bound to generate.

Individual Christians, on the other hand, have ranged themselves on opposing sides of the debate. I am among them. As an Anglo-Scot, I am a visceral supporter of the Union between England and Scotland, and an opponent of Scottish separation. I am not impartial. Nevertheless, as a Christian, I have a duty to test my convictions against the moral implications of my faith. Read the rest of this entry »





Scottish independence: a faith without sufficient reason

1 09 2014
Alex Salmond

Alex Salmond: Where’s the substance?

by Nigel Biggar

“Scottish independence is a solution in search of a problem. Rather than the cogent conclusion of a rigorous analysis of particular woes afflicting the Scottish people, it’s an article of faith.

That’s why supporters of a Yes vote in September 18th’s referendum struggle to make a clear profit out of the empirical data, why they are wont to distort history, and why they so often react to criticism by tackling the man and not the ball. It’s also why the latest policies of the separatists — to keep the Queen, the pound, and membership of NATO — are so opportunistic.”

Read Full Article





Registration Open: In Defence of War?

5 05 2014

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REGISTER HERE  |  VIEW PROGRAMME

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Podcast: “How Much is Enough? The Love of Money and the Case for the Good Life”

22 04 2014

SkidelskyBookIn this McDonald Centre conference, Robert and Edward Skidelsky debate their controversial book about work, wealth, and human well-being with Rowan Williams, Cecile Fabre, John Thanassoulis, and other theologians, philosophers, economists and journalists.

Lecture Series Podcast





Yes, war can be just

28 03 2014

And just war reasoning is as sound as ever

TheWeekLogo

“In a recent column here at The Week, Damon Linker responded to my book In Defence of War by concluding that ‘just war thinking, even at its very best, is an intellectual, moral, and theological fraud.'”

Read Nigel Biggar’s response to Damon Linker’s critique in The Week.





Give War a Chance? Day Conference

28 03 2014

Contesting Themes from In Defence of War
1 May 2014

A One Day Conference on the Law, Ethics, and History of Armed Conflict
St Mary’s College
The School of Divinity
University of St Andrews 

BiggarInDefenceOfWarScholars from both sides of the Atlantic, and representing a range of disciplines, will engage In Defence of War, which has quickly been regarded as one of the most important recent books on the morality of war. In it, Oxford theologian and priest Nigel Biggar challenges what he regards as wishful thinking: the increasingly fashionable view that war has become unnecessary. He contends that war can be morally legitimate, legally justified, and indeed Christian. Arguing from a range of sources including military history, real-life battle accounts, philosophy, theology, and international law, In Defence of War is the book with which future pacifists and realists will have to contend.

Speakers:

  • John Milbank, University of Nottingham (Theology)
  • Mary Ellen O’Connell, University of Notre Dame (Law)
  • David Rodin, University of Oxford (Philosophy)
  • Anthony Lang, University of St Andrews (International Relations)
  • Nigel Biggar, University of Oxford (Theology)

Registration is now open. The conference is free, but space is limited, so please register by emailing gwac.conference@gmail.com.  Include your name and, if applicable, your institution and field of study. The event will run from approximately 10am to 5pm. Refreshments, but not lunch, will be provided. Confirmation of your place, as well as further details of the event, will be sent in April. Full details at http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/divinity/rt/conf/givewar/.





Where’s the Virtue in the Humanities?

20 02 2014

Virtue and HumanitiesWhether in banks or on the battlefield, in the NHS or in national newspapers, the need for virtuous leadership is now patent. An education in the humanities is, in fact, an education in virtues that are at once intellectual and civic, underscoring its importance for non-economic public flourishing. Such moral formation would be much more effective, however, were it openly professed and discussed. But the predominant liberal ideal, aspiring to neutrality on the Good Life, tends to suppress such profession. How, then, can Liberal Humanities own up to – and promote – its public service as a matrix of civic virtue?

Tuesday 25th February 2014 | 13:00 – 14:00 (lunch from 12:45) 
Seminar Room, Radcliffe Humanities, Woodstock Road

Presenter:  Nigel Biggar, Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology, and Director of the McDonald Centre for Theology, Ethics, and Public Life, University of Oxford

Respondents:  Dr. Donald Drakeman (author of The Value of the Humanities)
Steven Biel, Executive Director of the Humanities Centre at Harvard University

Chair:  Jonathan Bate, Provost of Worcester College and Professor of English Literature at University of Oxford (author of The Public Value of the Humanities)

This seminar is part of “Humanities and the Public Good“, a special series of events bringing together leading scholars in the arts and sciences and influential figures beyond academia, to consider the role of the Humanities in addressing contemporary challenges.

Free and open to all, just turn up.
Visit www.torch.ox.ac.uk for more information.








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