Forming a Christian Mind 2014

“Connecting Faith and Academic Life”

Cambridge, Sat 26th April 2014

This day conference explores how the Christian faith interacts with intellectual development. It aims to help graduate students, postgraduates and post-docs to develop their capacity to think as Christians about their discipline and address the tensions between secular and Christian perspectives on their subject.

Plenary speaker:        Prof Julian Rivers on ‘Engaging the secular mind’

Seminar speakers:     Dr Jonathan Chaplin, Politics                           Dr Adrienne Chaplin, Art

Prof Russell Cowburn FRS, Physics                Dr Tom Simpson, Philosophy

Dr Sujit Sivasundaram, History                         Dr David Vosburg, Chemistry


10.30    Registration and coffee

11.00    Welcome and introduction

11.15     Plenary session with Prof. Julian Rivers

12.00   Six brief talks by the seminar speakers on how they engage their faith and work

13.00   Lunch and networking time (please bring your own lunch) with display stands from supporting organisations

14.00   Seminars with each seminar speaker, exploring biblical thinking in relation to their discipline

15.15    Panel discussion on personal challenges of being a Christian and a postgrad/postdoc

16.00  What difference will this make? Small group discussion

16.30  Closing challenge & departure


Forming A Christian Mind 2014 is organised by Jubilee Centre together with Christian Heritage, Cambridge Papers, KLICE, Christian Graduate Society and The Faraday Institute.

The conference is primarily for graduates and younger scholars who are researching or teaching in an academic discipline; however anyone who wants to think biblically about all of life, and encourage one another to do so, is most welcome.

Please bring your own lunch; tea and coffee will be provided.

The conference is free, and a collection will be taken to cover costs. Venue: St Andrew’s Street Baptist Church, 43 St Andrew’s St, Cambridge CB2 3AR.


Please register in advance to ensure a place. Email Sally Bertlin or phone 01223 566319.


Plenary talk:

In his plenary lecture, Prof Julian Rivers will examine the idea of a secular university. The vast majority of British academics work in institutions which are, or which they assume to be, ‘secular’. Sometimes that assumption is expressed in ways hostile to Christian contributions to the scholarly enterprise. This lecture explores how the concept of a secular university is best formulated, the extent to which Christians can support such an ideal, and some ways that believers might develop a distinctive voice in such a context.


Who’s Who:

  1. Prof Julian Rivers is Professor of Jurisprudence at the University of Bristol Law School and Warden of Wills Hall
  2. Dr Jonathan Chaplin is the Director of the Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics (KLICE), based at Tyndale House, Cambridge
  3. Dr Adrienne Chaplin taught philosophical aesthetics and is co-author of Art and Soul: Signposts for Christians in the Arts (IVP Academic, 2011)
  4. Prof Russell Cowburn FRS is the Director of Research of the Thin Film Magnetism group in the Department of Physics at Cambridge University
  5. Dr Tom Simpson is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford
  6. Dr Sujit Sivasundaram lectures in World and Imperial History since 1500 and is a Fellow of Gonville and Caius College
  7. Dr David Vosburg is Associate Professor of Chemistry at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California


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January, 2014

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