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News article

When science and religion collide

Published: 21 March 2019

  •   Events
New series of Ebor lectures

This year’s Ebor lectures will take the theme of ‘Science: Wonder, Gift and Challenge’. Now in their thirteenth year, the Ebor lectures aim to promote a conversation between theology and public issues providing people with an opportunity to engage with topics such as politics, economics, contemporary culture, religion, spirituality and globalisation.

Dr Valerie Shrimplin will launch the series on Wednesday 3 April at York St John University, looking at how the beginning and end of the universe have been portrayed in art. She will draw on examples from ancient times, ranging from Michelangelo’s depiction of the Creation and Last Judgement in the Sistine Chapel, up to the present day. Dr Shrimplin has lectured on Byzantine, Medieval and Renaissance Art and Architecture and published widely on the influence of astronomy and cosmology on art and architecture.

Other speakers in the series include physicist, professor of natural philosophy and Anglican lay reader Tom McLeish, who will propose how the church can get on the front foot with science. Dame Ottoline Leyser, Professor of Plant Development and Director of the Sainsbury Laboratory at the University of Cambridge, will discuss the importance of dismantling the wall that has been built up between science and society.

Don’t miss Brother Guy Consolmagno, Jesuit brother and Director of the Vatican Observatory, who will look at the correlation between astronomy and God in an evening lecture, and also run a special family event where he will describe his role being a planetary scientist at the Vatican, how he collects meteorites in Rome and his work in Arizona using the Vatican telescope. Reverend Professor David Wilkinson, who trained first as a scientist and then as a theologian, will close the 2019 series in November.

The Ebor Lectures were established in 2006 by York Minster, York St John University, The Order of Carmelites, The Yorkshire North and East District of the Methodist Church and The C. & J. B. Morrell Trust.

Lectures take place either in Temple Hall at York St John University or in York Minster and all are free. 

Dr Valerie Shrimplin - Wednesday 3 April, 7pm, Temple Hall at York St John University
Professor Tom McLeish FRS – Wednesday 5 June, 7pm, Temple Hall at York St John University
Dame Ottoline Leyser – Wednesday 3 July, 7pm, Temple Hall at York St John University
Brother Guy Consolmagno Family event – Wednesday 21 August, 2.30pm, Temple Hall at York St John University
Brother Guy Consolmagno Evening lecture – Wednesday 21 August, 7pm, York Minster
Reverend Professor David Wilkinson FRS – Wednesday 6 November, 7pm, York Minster

Full details of all speakers and booking information can be found at

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