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The Colin Gunton Lecture 2017
Tue 16 May 2017, 18:00 – 19:30 BST
This year's Colin Gunton Lecture will be given by Professor Oliver O’Donovan (Professor Emeritus, Christian Ethics and Practical Theology, University of Edinburgh) at 6pm on 16 May 2017, in K2.31 (Nash Lecture Theatre, King’s Building, Strand Campus). There will be a wine reception in the Staff Common Room in the King's Building before the lecture from 5.15pm.
Title: "Hugo Grotius, Theologian?”
Abstract: Hugo Grotius (1583-1645) enjoyed a Europe-wide reputation in his lifetime and close on two centuries after his death as a figure of towering importance in early modern religion and morality. Today his legacy is recalled, and contested, in two contexts: in the history of jurisprudence as the so-called “Father of International Law”, and, in modernity-narratives, as the supposed pioneer of a purely secular ethics and subjective rights. Usually ignored in these treatments are his contributions to the theological issues of the post-Reformation era as a defender of the role of civil authority in Reformed church-government, the elaborator of a penal theory of the atonement, an advocate of ecumenism in an unecumenical age and the author of one of the earliest modern commentaries on the whole Bible. In this lecture we shall look into the contents of the four volumes of his Opera Theologica, and ask what light they shed upon a complex thinker in an age of strident oppositions.