“The Political Samaritan: What a Parable Tells Us About Politics and Religion Today.”
Nick Spencer delivers the 2018 Edgar W. Conrad Memorial Lecture.
Why is it – in our supposedly secular age – that so many politicians like to quote Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan? From Left, Right and Centre, MPs and PMs have used the famous story – although not all in the same way! Drawing on his highly regarded book, The Political Samaritan, Nick Spencer looks at how the parable has been used (and abused), and what that says about religion, politics and public speech today. And then he asks the killer questions: what does the parable actually mean and which – if any – of the politicians actually get it right?
The Sydney based Centre for Public Christianity (CPX) has a keen interest in the interface between politics and the Christian heritage of Western society, so we are delighted at the Emmanuel Centre that the CPX have brought Nick out to Australia and made this event here in Brisbane at the Emmanuel Centre possible. IASH(UQ) has also assisted in bringing Nick to Brisbane.
Nick Spencer is the Director of Research at Theos, a religion in society think tank based in London. Nick is an acclaimed author of books and reports, including The Political Samaritan: how power hijacked a parable (Bloomsbury, 2017), The Evolution of the West (SPCK, 2016) and Atheists: The Origin of the Species (Bloomsbury, 2014). Outside of Theos, Nick is Visiting Research Fellow at the Faiths and Civil Society Unit, Goldsmiths, University of London and a Fellow of the International Society of Science and Religion.
The Edgar W Conrad Memorial Lecture
This lecture is held in loving memory of Ed Conrad, who was an internationally recognised scholar in the Religious Studies Department at the University of Queensland for many years. His text “Reading Isaiah” was a ground breaker in thinking about the way biblical texts are read in the context of living communities. Ed always had a keen interest in the Bible and Contemporary culture. Linda Conrad, Ed’s widow, and an accomplished scholar in her own right, sponsors this lecture at the Emmanuel Centre in order to promote ongoing interest in this very important field, here in Queensland.