Dr David Newheiser of ACU moderated a lively discussion between panel members: Professor Denys Turner (Yale University and ACU); Associate Professor Mark Kelly (Western Sydney University); Dr Robyn Whitaker (University of Divinity); and Dr Jon Roffe (Deakin University).
The panel discussion was part of the IRCI project: 'Atheism and Christianity: Moving Past Polemic'. True to the spirit of the project, the conversation moved beyond the typically hostile confrontations between atheists and Christians into a space of shared philosophical and theological interest. One of the points of dialogue concerned the possibility of “absolute death" - defined philosophically as the erasure of all remnants of a person’s existence. For Christians, absolute death is not an option, because even if a person is forgotten by humanity, that person is remembered by God. This raises interesting questions about the enduring nature of self-identity in the case when a person can no longer remember him- or herself.
'A Dialogue on Death' panel members: Associate Professor Mark Kelly (Western Sydney University), Professor Denys Turner (Yale University and Australian Catholic University), Dr David Newheiser (Australian Catholic University, panel moderator), Dr Robyn Whitaker (University of Divinity), and Dr Jon Roffe (Deakin University).