Commentaries - Spiritual

Matters of Cosmic Importance

2018 saw the passing of Stephen Hawking, who will surely go down in history as not just one of the world’s greatest cosmic thinkers but also one of the most courageous humans: always looking for the best, in spite of his huge physical handicap.  It is also good to see Philip Pullman receiving a knighthood in the New Year Honours, who has brought to literature the same enquiring mind as Stephen Hawking did for science.

Both were challenged by, and unable to see, the logic of faith in God. Perhaps they should have read more of St John’s writing in his first letter who, at the end of his long life, concluded that the nature of God is love.

Originally published on 31/12/2018

Intolerance can damage your wealth. Does faith help or hinder?

Research from the Universities of Bristol (UK) and Tennessee (US) led to The Times carrying the headline 'Losing religion can be seriously good for your wealth' on its front page. The research set out to test contrasting ideas about the impact of religion on economics and vice versa as put forward by Max Weber and Emile Durkheim.

This commentary considers whether the headline writer of The Times was right to draw that conclusion, and whether the research itself is sufficiently well-founded to merit the attention it attracted.

Originally published 23/7/2018

Can unconditional love go viral?

At the Royal Wedding Bishop Michael Curry spoke of love advocating that, just as humanity had driven its development with the power of fire, so it should now do so with unconditional love: a powerful parallel indeed. But the key thing about unconditional love is that needs to flow like water – to go viral, and its benefit, unlike fire, will rise exponentially as it spreads uncontrollably.   

This commentary looks at seven of Bishop Curry’s ‘Imagine’ areas, and draws connections with the themes developed in other Share Radio commentaries.

Originally published 21/5/2018

What does it mean to be human? Artificial Intelligence and the Soul

As the world of Artificial Intelligence pushes ever closer, it's appropriate to consider what it means to be human, as a House of Lords Select Committee has been doing with the help of the Bishop of Oxford.

This commentary, written a couple of months before publication of its report, raises some thoughts inspired by the termly lecture at the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion in Cambridge.

Originally published 19/2/2018