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Traditional beliefs versus modern thinking

The University of Aberdeen is to host a series of distinguished lectures that has gained a reputation as one of the world’s foremost intellectual events in philosophy and religion.

Leading thinker and published author in the field of philosophy and religion, Professor John Haldane, will deliver The Gifford Lectures 2005, on Monday, February 28, Tuesday, March 1, Monday, March 8, Monday, March 14, and Tuesday, March 15.

In this series of lectures, Professor Haldane will examine the traditional belief that human beings are possessed of immortal souls and that they have been brought into existence by a superior creator with the purpose of coming to share, in some manner and to some degree, in its perfect existence.

Professor Haldane said: “I aim to redress the balance in serious thinking about human nature, restoring philsophical thought to a central position and responding it ill-conceived applications of scientific and cultural theories.

“Science has an important part to play in understanding the material composition and behaviour of human beings, and social theory has a place in interpreting human institutions, but the ancient question ‘what is the nature of the human and its realtion to the material world is a philosophical question requiring a philosophical answer and promising a religious one”.

The Gifford Lectures, established in 1888 – 1889, are given in the universities of St. Andrews, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, and achieve significant stature in the intellectual world. The lectures have included a prestigious and broad cross section of scholars from such fields as religion, philosophy, physics, and history.

The 2005 Giffords will bring a contemporary perspective to this consistently thought-provoking series.

The first in the series of lectures at the University of Aberdeen will be held on Monday (February 28), entitled Philosophy and its relation to Thought. This opening lecture will review the place of philosophy in the effort to understand human beings and the cosmos in which they find themselves.

The second lecture on Tuesday (March 1) will explore Thought and its relation to Mind.

The subsequent four lectures will explore Mind and its relation to Nature; Soul and its Relation to Life; Life and its Relation to World; World, Soul and Mind and their relation to Deity.

Professor Haldane is Professor of Philosophy at the University of St. Andrews, Director of its Centre for Ethics, Philosophy and Public Affairs, and has held position at universities across the UK and in the US.

He has published widely on subjects including theology, philosophy, aesthetics, and ethics. His published works include An Intelligent Person's Guide to Religion, Faithful Reason: Essays Catholic and Philosophical and Atheism and Theism which was listed by Blackwell in its "Tomorrow's Classics" list. He is also widely known as a social commentator through frequent contributions to press and broadcasting.

All six Gifford Lectures will be held in King’s College Centre, University of Aberdeen, at 6.00pm. The lectures are free and open to the public.

To reserve a free place call (01224) 273726, or email events@abdn.ac.uk. Further information on the lecture series is available by visiting www.abdn.ac.uk/gifford .

ENDS

Notes to Editors

Issued by the Communications Team, Office of External Affairs, University of Aberdeen, King's College, Aberdeen. Tel: (01224) 272014.

Issued on: Friday 25th of February 2005

Ref: 1604gifford

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