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Thursday, 15 February 2001, 12:00AM

The Myth of Justification

Professor Richard Holloway

There may be objective elements in theology such as the claims of revelation and historical debates over their meaning, but the work of theology is an inescapably human work. Theologians, in spite of the claims they make to the contrary, do not have access to metaphysical reality from which they can make deductions and conduct experiments in a manner equivalent to science's connection to the external world. Everything theologians have to deal with comes from within the human envelope. Theology is more like psychology than geology; its another way of describing human experience and its struggles with itself.

This lecture was given as a part of the series of lectures on The Myths of Christianity.

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Richard Holloway was the Gresham Professor of Divinity between 1997 and 2001.

Professor Holloway was educated at KelhamTheological College, EdinburghTheological College and the Union Theological Seminary, New York City. Between 1959 and 1986 he was a curate, vicar and rector at various parishes in England, Scotland and the United States. He was Bishop of Edinburgh from 1986 and was elected Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church in 1992.

Professor Holloway is renowned for his support of progressive causes, including campaigning on human rights for gay and lesbian people in both Church and State. He has questioned and addressed complex ethical issues in the areas of sexuality, drugs and bio-ethics. He has written extensively on these topics, being the author of many books exploring their relationship with modern religion.

A Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, from 1990 to 1997, Professor Holloway was a member of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and held the position of chair of the BMA Steering Group on Ethics and Genetics. He was also a member of the Broadcasting Standards Commission and is currently chair of the Scottish Arts Council and of Sistema Scotland.

During his time was Gresham Professor of Divinity, he resigned from his position in the Church in 2000 and has since established himself as one of the most outspoken and controversial figures in the Church.

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