God and evolution: Are atheists denying the right god?

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Well-known atheist Richard Dawkins declared that evolution clears the world of the need for God, but was he denying the right god?

ACU Professorial Fellow Professor Denys Turner argues that, according to the medieval theologian Thomas Aquinas, there is no contradiction between divine providence and blind evolution. According to Turner, this means that Dawkins does not deny the God that Christians believe in.

Professor Turner, who holds a dual role between ACU and Yale University, will explore the relationship between atheism and Christianity as part of the Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry’s (IRCI) public lecture Atheism: On denying the right God taking place on Thursday 11 August at ACU’s Melbourne campus.

“I think the IRCI research project, Atheism and Christianity, is exciting: the scope of the project is very ambitious, and the support ACU has provided is extraordinarily generous. I am delighted to work with the IRCI's strong team of researchers to make a lasting contribution to the debate over the place of religion in the modern world,” Professor Turner said.

Turner’s month-long visit kicks off a major ongoing research project, Atheism and Christianity: Moving Past Polemic, which is embedded in the IRCI and spearheaded by him.

Regarded as one of the leading voices in the philosophy of religion, Professor Turner completed his Doctrine of Philosophy at Oxford University, going on to hold chairs at Cambridge University and Yale.

IRCI Director Professor James McLaren said it was excellent to have someone of the calibre of Professor Turner working with the Institute’s talented academics and researchers on the topic of atheism.

“At IRCI we are developing a team of world-class academics and researchers, who are at the forefront of some of the most topical issues of our time in the fields of philosophy and theology,” Professor McLaren said.

“To have Professor Turner here, in his capacity as ACU Professorial Fellow, talking to the public and working with our leading academics is a significant development for the Institute and will enhance our future research outcomes.”

Find out more about Atheism: On denying the right God public lecture (PDF, 591KB) and the Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry’s research projects at www.irci.acu.edu.au.

Atheism: On denying the right God public lecture

When: 6pm-7:30pm Thursday 11 August 2016

Where: The Christ Lecture Theatre, ACU Melbourne Campus, 115 Victoria Pde Fitzroy (Map)

Contact: ACUFTPRSVP@acu.edu.au