The Catholic Church across Yorkshire's historic West Riding since 1878

The Catholic Church across Yorkshire's historic West Riding since 1878

The God Who Gives Life Speaker Series 2020


Audio Recordings & Slides of Lectures at Hinsley Hall


For all our recording and podcasts, visit our dedicated Diocese of Leeds – Year of the Word Youtube Channel.

9 January – Dr Simon Hewitt (University of Leeds) The Psalms & Mental Health

Using insight from his personal experiences, Simon explores ways in which reciting the Psalms as part of the Church’s prayer gives Catholics the chance to express negative emotions which modern culture often encourages us to hide. Equally, the psalms allow us to express feelings of joy which might seem distant from our present experience.

13 February – Fr Richard Ounsworth OP (University of Oxford) How Christ Teaches us to be Human

Fr Richard’s intricate presentation explored how Christ is much more than an example of how we can lead conventionally moral lives. Rather, Jesus invites us to follow Him in challenging contemporary values and embracing his complete self-surrender to God. Yet Christ also makes possible our liberation from sin, and enables us to become fully human by allowing us to share in His victory over death. United to Jesus’ passion, we receive a measure of His divine glory.

12 March – Dr Margaret Barker – “The God who Blesses the Earth: Care for Creation as Liturgical Action”

Temple Theology Expert Dr Margaret Barker explores the biblical idea of the earth as a temple and human beings as being the high priests of this temple. Dr Barker traces the six day Book of Genesis creation account into the Book of Exodus description of the ritual assembly of the tabernacle, a ritual which was performed each year. The outer area of the temple represented the visible material world – the Garden of Eden – and the inner part was the holy of holies, the invisible world of the Glory of God and the angels – heaven. As such, all temple worship was concerned the relationship of the Creation to God. According to Dr Barker, for the Ancient Hebrew mindset, everything – the visible natural world, human society and the invisible world of the angels – was part of one system created by God. The role of the human as a “priest” is to serve and preserve this system which is to honour the “covenant of eternity” (of which the legal covenant of Moses is a subset).  Indeed in the Jewish tradition, Adam is remembered as the first High Priest, and not as a “steward” with its legalistic associations, which according to Barker has no Biblical basis.  Using this framework, Dr Barker posits that action by humans which breaks the bonds between creation (for example through ecological degradation) violates the “covenant of eternity” and our role as High Priests of creation. New Testament writers use these concepts. St Paul for example says that the Spirit who is given through new life in Christ, the new Adam, allows us to restore the eternal covenant with creation. 

EVENT POSTPONEMENT- PLEASE NOTE THAT IN RESPONSE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, WE ARE POSTPONING THE TALK BY DR GEMMA SIMMONDS ON FEMALE LEADERSHIP IN THE OLD TESTAMENT, WHICH WAS DUE TO TAKE PLACE ON TUESDAY 31ST MARCH. WE HOPE THAT GEMMA’S TALK WILL TAKE PLACE LATER IN THE YEAR, AND WE WILL CONFIRM ARRANGEMENTS FOR FUTURE TALKS IN THE SERIES IN DUE COURSE.