Living Theology - Llandudno


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Llandudno Living Theology 2019

Understanding your everyday beliefs - a summer school in Christian faith.

Loretox Centre, Abbey Road, Llandudno LL30 2EL. See map

Friday 7th - Sunday 9th June 2019

What is Living Theology?

The Living Theology Summer School has been organised by Jesuits and their associates in venues across the country for over 50 years. The courses continue to provide opportunities for Christians of all denominations to deepen their understanding of the Christian faith, and develop their personal reflection on Christian living and belief. No prior theological knowledge is required, just an open mind and willingness to engage.


For general information and details of arrangements are below, please click.

The Courses

All participants follow the three lectures given by Theodora Hawksley, the Key Note Speaker. Her Friday evening lecture is also a Public Lecture, so everyone is welcome, even if not attending the rest of the weekend. Participants then choose two other courses, one for Saturday and another for Sunday. Each course will consist of three presentations throughout the day. This makes it possible for those who are only able to attend on one day, to complete a full course.

Theodora Hawksley’s first lecture (at 7.30pm on Friday June 7th) is a public lecture, open to all even if not attending the rest of the weekend.

Religion, Violence and Peacebuilding.

This course explores popular and scholarly ideas about the connections between religion, violence and peacebuilding. We will look in particular at teaching on peace in the Catholic Church

Talk 1: Doesn’t religion cause war? When we look at the news or listen to commentators in the media, we get the impression that religion causes war, and that it is safest to reduce the influence of religion in the world, or banish it altogether. In this session, we will explore and discuss different understandings of the relationship between religion and violence.

Talk 2: Can religion be involved in peacebuilding? This session explores the characteristics of 21st century violent conflict, and looks at how strategic peacebuilding aims to address it. We will look at some examples of religious involvement in peacebuilding efforts worldwide.

Talk 3: Peacebuilding and the Catholic Church What does the Catholic Church teach about peace? Many people are familiar with the idea of ‘Just War’ reasoning, but the Church’s broader tradition of teaching on peace is not so well known. This session introduces some of its key concepts, and we will reflect on how Catholic Social Teaching on peace might need to develop in the light of 21st century challenges.

Theodora Hawksley CJ is a theologian by training, with a background in ecclesiology and social science. Her postdoctoral work at the University of Edinburgh focussed on peacebuilding and the arts, and she is currently finishing a book on Catholic Social Teaching on Peace. She entered the Congregation of Jesus in 2015, and is based in London.

Courses on Saturday June 8th - please choose one of these:

Course A: Teilhard de Chardin — his life and work.

Lecturer: Mike Smith SJ

Teilhard de Chardin was a Jesuit priest who devoted his life to science and realised that science is a revelation of God. As well as studying his chosen sciences — palaeontology and geology — he was a skilled theologian and a mystic. In this course we will follow three of his main writings to look at creation as the playing out of evolution, the revelation of Christ in evolution, and what it means for us to live in a universe where we are co-creators and given the task of bringing creation to its ultimate perfection.

Mike is a Jesuit priest who in involved in adult education, who also works with the Jesuit Refugee Service. His background is science, but he also has a great interest in scripture. He lectures in several places on theological topics, especially the links between science and faith, and tries to maintain this view of reality in all his work.

Course B: A Planet to Heal: Achieving a plan for our world that is holistic and human.

Lecturer: John Moffatt SJ

This course is a work in progress. It will look at the intellectual and human challenges of the Encyclical ‘Laudato Si’’. It aims to examine some of the big ideas from ethics and economics that lie behind the text and explore how human beings from very different traditions can come to agree on action for the common good.

John is a British Province Jesuit. He has taught and worked as a teacher and university chaplain, and is now working on a doctorate in Medieval Islamic thought at London University. Publications include The Resurrection of the Word (The Way Publications) and The Philosopher’s Friend and Tales of Detection (self-published on Lulu). He blogs occasionally on ‘Letting the Porcupine out of the Bottle’. Looking at some of the material on the latter is probably the easiest way of deciding whether you would want to sign up for a course led by him.

Course C: The Sermon on the Mount

Course C will run on Saturday and be repeated on Sunday, so you can choose to participate in it on either day.

Lecturer: James Crampsey SJ

The first discourse of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew goes by the name, The Sermon on the Mount. It is found in chapters five to seven of Matthew’s Gospel. Significant parts of Jesus’ teaching are gathered together here: the Beatitudes, the Antitheses and the Lord’s Prayer are the highlights. Some of this teaching is very radical and challenging. It has inspired people such as Martin Luther King and Dietrich Bonhoeffer to meet the challenges which they faced. This course will study closely the text in Matthew as well as looking at the parallel material in Luke’s gospel where it is used in different contexts.

Jim, a Glasgow-born Jesuit, lectured in Biblical Studies at Heythrop College , after which he became Provincial of the British Jesuits for six years. Then he was a parish priest in the multi- faith and multi-ethnic context of Southall in West London, after which he went to Edinburgh, where he was director of the Lauriston Jesuit Centre. He is currently involved in the work of the Chaplaincy at Manchester University.

Courses on Sunday June 8th —please choose one of these:

Course D: Jesus Christ came to save us.

Lecturer: Mike Smith SJ

Jesus Christ in his life, death and resurrection redeemed the human race. We often use other words to describe that: such as ‘saved’ or ‘justified’. By looking at the Gospels and other New Testament writings, we will focus on what that meant for Jesus Christ himself, what that means for each of us individually, and for the whole human race. We’ll try to understand more the meaning of phrases which we often hear and use, such as ‘ . .my body, given up for you’, and ‘Lord Jesus, you came to save us . .’

Course E: Three Reasons Why Medieval Islamic Thought is Really Rather Interesting

Lecturer: John Moffatt SJ

This course will offer a brief introduction to some intellectual strands of the Medieval Islamic intellectual tradition, which formed a creative bridge between the thought of antiquity and the world of Christian scholasticism. I want to suggest some ways in which that tradition has been a fertile source of ideas, religious and secular, that we think of as ‘western’, and that challenge the modern myth of the ‘clash of civilisations’.

Course C: The Sermon on the Mount

This course is repeated on Saturday and Sunday — see above.



The suggested donation for the full weekend is £70; if attending for just one day, we ask for £35. A £10 deposit with the booking form will secure your place. If attending residentially, the suggested donation is £170 and we ask for a £50 deposit.

A £5 donation is requested if atteninding the Friday night lecture only. This may be paid on the day. If attending any other part of the weekend, this lecture is included in your total donation.

Please senf your completed application form and deposit to:
Ewa Bem IBVM, Loreto Centre, Abbey Road, Llandudno, LL39 2EL.

Where possible, an acknowledgement of your booking will be made by e–mail. If you wish this to be sent by post, please include a stamped addressed envelope with the booking form.


 Friday June 7th Saturday June 15thSunday June 16th
18.00Supper for residents08.00Breakfast for residentsBreakfast for residents
(new participants)
19.15Introduction to weekend.09.30Morning prayerMorning prayer
19.30First key–note lecture10:00Lecture 1Lecture 1
20:45Tea and coffee11.00Tea and coffeeTea and coffee
  11.30Lecture 2Lecture 2
  15.00Tea and coffeeTea and coffee
  15.30Key–note lectureKey–note lecture
  16.45 Tea and coffee
  17.00Mass for Sunday
  18.00Supper for residents