Device is incompatible to play the video
Thursday, 14 March 2019, 6:00PM - 7:00PM
Museum of London

How to be a Puritan Atheist

Professor Alec Ryrie

Early ‘atheism’ did not always mean angry rejection of religion. The most earnest believers were often ones who wrestled most seriously with doubts. 

This lecture will look at how and why Christians in the seventeenth century first began seriously to wrestle with unbelief, whether troubled by feelings that God was absent, worries about religious variety or fear of damnation. What made these doubts so powerful was that their roots were not philosophical, but emotional.

No reservations are required for this lecture. It will be run on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.
Doors will open 30 minutes before the start of the lecture

ryrie.jpg

Alec Ryrie is Gresham Professor of Divinity. He is also Professor of the History of Christianity at Durham University, President-elect of the Ecclesiastical History Society for 2019-20 and Co-Editor of the Journal of Ecclesiastical History. From 2015-17 he was Visiting Professor in the History of Religion at Gresham College and gave two series of lectures on the history of Protestant Christianity.

He studied History as an undergraduate, at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, before completing a Master's in Reformation Studies at St. Andrews and a D.Phil. in Theology at St. Cross College, Oxford. From 1999-2006 he taught at the University of Birmingham, moving to Durham in 2007. Having been Head of the Department of Theology and Religion from 2012-15, he is currently completing a three-year Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship (2015-18). He is on the editorial boards of St Andrews Studies in Reformation History (Ashgate) and the Royal Historical Society's Studies in History and New Historical Perspectives. Since 1997 he has been a Reader in the Church of England, and he is licenced to the parish of Shotley St. John (diocese of Newcastle).

Professor Ryrie is a historian of the Reformation era and of Protestantism more widely, with a particular focus on England and Scotland in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. He is an expert on the emergence and development of Protestant and radical beliefs, identities and spiritualities, and on the history of Protestant missions and missionaries. He has written several prize-winning books and his 2017 book Protestants: The Radicals Who Made the Modern World gives an overview of the history of Protestantism from Luther to the present. Much of the book was prefigured in his lectures at Gresham College in 2015-17. You can watch the lectures in full here.

His current research is on the early history of doubt, scepticism and 'atheism' before such things became intellectually respectable. His book on this subject, Unbelievers: The Religious Quest to Abolish God, will be published in 2019. Many of the book’s themes will be explored in his first series of lectures as Gresham Professor of Divinity on The Origins of Atheism.

Current Gresham Professor of Professor of Divinity

Read More
Read Less
Related Future Lectures
Related Past Lectures
WATCHED
Part of a series

Sir Thomas Gresham, London, and Europe

Dr Ian Archer
Wednesday, 9 January 2019 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Sacred Listening: The Voices and Music of the Gods

Professor Tom Service
Monday, 14 January 2019 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

How to be a Shakespearean Atheist

Professor Alec Ryrie
Thursday, 24 January 2019 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Evolution since Sir Thomas Gresham: How Changes Over The Past Five Centuries Have Moulded Evolution

Professor Steve Jones
Tuesday, 29 January 2019 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Architecture, Images and Image-Making Under The Stuarts

Professor Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 30 January 2019 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Gresham's World: Global Traffic, Trade, and the Metamorphosis of England

Professor Nandini Das
Wednesday, 6 February 2019 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Understanding Violent People

Professor Joanna Bourke
Thursday, 6 December 2018 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

The Theatre of Dionysus

Professor Edith Hall
Thursday, 29 November 2018 - 1:00PM
WATCHED

Has the Internet Changed News for Better or Worse? 250 Years of Technology

Professor Steve Schifferes
Thursday, 15 November 2018 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Enormous Volcanic Eruptions

Professor Sir Stephen Sparks CBE
Wednesday, 14 November 2018 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Money: The Root of All Evil, Or Our Salvation?

The Revd Canon Professor Richard Burridge
Thursday, 8 November 2018 - 1:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

The Ending of World War I: The Road to 11 November

Professor David Stevenson
Wednesday, 7 November 2018 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Jesus, Hitler and the Abolition of God

Professor Alec Ryrie
Thursday, 9 May 2019 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

The Spiritual Quest Against Religion

Professor Alec Ryrie
Thursday, 4 April 2019 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

How to be a Shakespearean Atheist

Professor Alec Ryrie
Thursday, 24 January 2019 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

How the Reformation Trained Us to Be Sceptics

Professor Alec Ryrie
Thursday, 1 November 2018 - 6:00PM
WATCHED

Haunted by Christ: Modern Writers and the Struggle for Faith

The Rt Revd Lord Harries
Thursday, 25 October 2018 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

How To Be An Atheist In Medieval Europe

Professor Alec Ryrie
Thursday, 27 September 2018 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Jesus, Hitler and the Abolition of God

Professor Alec Ryrie
Thursday, 9 May 2019 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

The Spiritual Quest Against Religion

Professor Alec Ryrie
Thursday, 4 April 2019 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

How to be a Shakespearean Atheist

Professor Alec Ryrie
Thursday, 24 January 2019 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

How the Reformation Trained Us to Be Sceptics

Professor Alec Ryrie
Thursday, 1 November 2018 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

How To Be An Atheist In Medieval Europe

Professor Alec Ryrie
Thursday, 27 September 2018 - 6:00PM