Saturday, February 19, 2011

Atheism for Lent in Birmingham: Provisional Programme

So I've come up with a provisional programme for Journey's "Atheism for Lent" Course, which will start running on March 13th.

For the first three weeks, I'm going to write a few thousand words (probably between 3,000 and 5,000) on the work of three great atheist critics of religion: Freud (March 13th), Marx (March 20th) and Nietzsche (March 27th).

For the fourth and fifth weeks, we'll host a film viewing and discussion using Derren Brown's "Messiah" (April 3rd) and (when I'm away in Syracuse) Ricky Gervais' "The Invention of Lying" (April 10th) I'll write a little blurb for each of these sessions too.

Then we'll end with a session in the sixth week (April 17th) on Pete Rollins' notion of "a/theism" (slightly different to what I mean by "a/theism" but I'll post about that nearer the time). This final session will be something of an overview and conclusion to the Course, putting everything that we've looked at in the context of thinking about the absence of God, about the type(s) of atheism at the core of Christian theism, and especially placing this in the biblical context of God's experience on the Cross, when Jesus' "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" marks a moment in which God seems forsaken by God, when God confesses a kind of atheism and experiences the absence of the presence of God.

Hopefully we'll also end the Course with a Good Friday transformance art service - possibly entitled "Forsaken by God" - which will help us reflect on the content of the Course and on our own experiences of doubt, disbelief and the absence of the presence of God.

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