Greenbelt 09 | Christian Piracy | Theology and the New Physics


Really looking forward to being at Greenbelt again this coming weekend. The programme – from the talks to the music to the comedy to the campaigning is as strong as ever and, I feel, has a nice edge to it too. (Full talks listings here)

For those who are going to be there, I’m going to be doing two main talks, and chairing a panel discussion too.

The first talk is A Plea for Christian Piracy (Sat, 5:15pm), which ties in with a major article in this month’s Third Way magazine as well as a section in the new book. By examining piracy in all its forms – from Somali hijackers to DVD rippers to mythical Blackbeards – I’m making a case that what pirates ultimately do is blaze a trail into heresy which the establishment can later follow into orthodoxy… Which is why, eye patch and parrot and all, I’d like to make a case for Jesus as genuinely piratical, and also give some insight into why children are endlessly fascinated with pirates. If you’ve got any good pirate jokes I can use in the talk (fully credited of course!) then drop them here.

The second talk is entitled ‘God is Strange, We are Stranger: Theology and the New Physics’ (Monday 11:15am) and will be familiar to those who have followed this blog recently. I was really excited to have booked Manjit Kumar to speak at the festival, but when he had to pull out due to illness I thought it’d be good for someone to do something on this tip, so thought I’d give it a go. Expect some parallels between the development of physics and theology, and why we ignore scientific advancement at our peril.

Finally, I’m chairing a debate on priesthood, sacraments and emerging worship (Monday 2pm), with a great panel consisting of Pete Rollins, Beth Keith, Paula Gooder and Father Simon Rundell. It’s one of those topics that opens out onto some very rich and important themes, so should be very interesting.

There are so many other fantastic speakers I could mention here, but you’ll have to simply have a browse yourself, or download the talks after the festival. Do come and say hello though. I’ll hopefully be making some announcements about some exciting developments in the coming year too.


4 responses to “Greenbelt 09 | Christian Piracy | Theology and the New Physics”

  1. Definitely going to try to get along to your stuff at GB this year – as the garden aren’t taking on any all consuming contributions this year – may actually get to see some of the Festival – and Pete R often speaks of you. We in Brighton have also talked of trying to have a bit of contact between the garden and the seemingly re-emerging Vaux as we are only a short train ride apart.

    Not sure I know any pirate jokes but your post prompted the random thought that the British Empire, with its ultimate impact on global commerce, culture and religion had its beginning in piracy!!!!

  2. It’s important to reach young people and your topics are very current. So many young people see Christianity as something insanely boring because they can’t relate to any of it or better yet said, they don’t think it (Christianity) can relate to them. Keep up the good work, brother.


  3. Thanks UM. And nice work Alistair – you’ve second guessed part of the talk! Empires, nasty things they were 😉

    Be good to hook up with The Garden. Check for some forthcoming stuff.

  4. Sounds fascinating – wish I could be there but Slot 2009 was all I could afford. Maybe next year – fingers crossed. Break a leg.