Sarum Theological Lectures 2014: Glory and Longing

  • Course Dates: Monday, 9 Jun 2014, 7:00 PM - Thursday, 12 Jun 2014, 8:30 PM

ChristopherSouthgate_webSeries of four evening lectures beginning a fascinating exploration of the concept of glory from the imaginative scholar and published poet Christopher Southgate.

Monday 9 to Thursday 12 June 2014, 7pm each evening in Salisbury Cathedral.

Glory is a term that pervades Christian scripture and worship, yet its meaning is elusive. These lectures will begin from the Hebrew roots of the concept of glory in the underlying meaning of weight, substance. To understand divine glory as a sign of what is most deeply real opens the possibility of glimpsing glory in silence, in absence, in pain, as well as in blinding beauty. This helps us face the ambiguities in created reality – its beauty, its struggle and suffering. This theme will be explored in nature, in poetry, and in the Christian life, ‘being transformed from one degree of glory to another’.

Join in the discussion on Twitter using #SarumLectures

Christopher Southgate is Senior Lecturer in Theology at the University of Exeter and Principal of the South West Ministry Training Course.

He is the author of The Groaning of Creation, and the editor of God, Humanity and the Cosmos. His other work is as a poet, and the latest of his six collections is A Gash in the Darkness.


Monday 9 June: Day-Dreaming About the Way Things Really Are

We shall explore the roots of the concept of divine glory in the Hebrew Bible. Glory understood as a sign of the divine reality, calling for a response, but not necessarily associated with beauty or radiance. Glory in the Incarnation and Passion of Christ.

Tuesday 10 June: Learning to Dance on our Heels

Glory in the natural world, understood as a place of great beauty and creaturely diversity, but also of violence and pain. Glory explored through Gerard Manley Hopkins’ language of instress and inscape. Can God’s glory be seen even in the tsunami, even in the malarial mosquito?

Seminar: How Could a Good God Create Nature Red in Tooth and Claw?

Wednesday 11 June, 10.45am to 2pm. £20, includes lunch and refreshments

Wednesday 11 June: Bearing Reality

Our response to glory as dependent on facing up to the way things really are, noting Eliot’s conclusion that ‘human kind cannot bear very much reality’. Reality faced in the work of the poet RS Thomas, and the Holocaust victim Etty Hillesum.

Thursday 12 June: Being Transformed From One Degree of Glory to Another

The human calling to live in freedom from idolatry, and to long for what God longs for, explored through key Pauline texts such as Rom. 8.19-23 and 2. Cor. 3.18. What would lives of purified longing look like, and what difference might they make?


Price  £7 per lecture; £24 for the series of four

Contact Alison Ogden for booking enquiries
aogden@sarum.ac.uk  |  01722 424826  |  01722 424800 (main reception)


DSCF0463-200x146Those attending the lectures can stay B&B at Sarum College at the reduced educational rate one night before or one night after their lecture.

Educational B&B Rate
£48.85 single en-suite; £70.85 double/twin en-suite

Contact Alison Ogden or our hospitality team for details

Course Details:

  • Starts: Monday, 9 Jun 2014, 7:00 PM
  • Ends: Thursday, 12 Jun 2014, 8:30 PM

  • Tutor: Christopher Southgate

    • Christopher Southgate is senior lecturer in Theology at the University of Exeter. He is the author of The Groaning of Creation (Westminster John Knox Press, 2008) and the editor of God, Humanity and the Cosmos (Continuum, 2005). His other work is as a poet. The latest of his six collections is A Gash in the Darkness (Shoestring Press, 2012).