A Learning Festival with Rev Dr Greg Jenks and Rev Dr Margaret Mayman

Audio files from the Learning Festival with Greg Jenks and Margaret Mayman are now available.

Files are available from all lectures:

Rev Dr Greg Jenks: “Unholy Use of the Holy Bible” (note: due to a recording glitch the quality of this recording is poor. It is being made available at zero cost for those who wish to attempt to listen to it. You will need to "purchase" the file as normal, and the system will act as if you have had a charge made to you (possibly including a follow up e-mail some weeks later to alert you to the charge coming to your card), but no charge will appear on your credit card.

Rev Dr Greg Jenks: An Exercise in Critical Imagination: "From Ash Heap to Golgotha” $4.00 AUD

Rev Dr Margaret Mayman: "Progressive Religion: Nourishing our hearts for the work our hands must do" $4.00 AUD

Rev Dr Margaret Mayman: “Dirty Hands: Faith communities engaging in community politics” $3.00 AUD

The original details of the learning festival are below....


A Learning Festival


Rev Dr Greg Jenks
Academic Dean & Lecturer in Biblical Studies at St Francis’ Theological college Brisbane


Rev Dr Margaret Mayman
Senior Minister at St. Andrew’s on The Terrace, Wellington NZ

Saturday 15thOctober 2011

10.00am – 4.00pm (registration opens at 9.15am)

At Kingswood College Senior School Centre, 355 Station St, Box Hill
(Melway Ref: Map 61, C1)

Parking and Entry: Enter from Piedmont Street, near the corner of Station Street or park on Piedmont Street. Then enter through the college grounds via the walkway from that car park. The senior school centre is the set of buildings closest to that car park.


9.15 am Registration Opens

10.00 Introduction

10.05 Lecture: Rev Dr Greg Jenks: “Unholy Use of the Holy Bible”

This lecture will explore some of the ways that the Bible is abused by those who claim to care about it deeply. In response to that misappropriation of Scripture, how might religious progressives reclaim and redeem the Bible so it functions as a source of spiritual wisdom for shaping holy lives in the twenty-first century?

11.00 Morning Tea/Coffee

11.30 Lecture: Rev Dr Margaret Mayman: "Progressive Religion: Nourishing our hearts for the work our hands must do"

The work of deconstructing the inherited theological tradition has provided a crucial foundation for progressives. However, progressive Christianity has moved beyond liberalism and secular Christianity in its recovery of spiritual practices which empower the living out of the ethic of Jesus. If progressive theology is to be more than ‘right thinking’ or a new theological orthodoxy, it needs to engage deeply with liberation theology and to take seriously the claim that another world is possible through active compassion."

12.30 pm Lunch (A light lunch will be provided)

1.30 Workshop: Rev Dr Margaret Mayman: “Dirty Hands: Faith communities engaging in community politics”

The next stage for progressive people of faith is to engage in our communities in light of our theological reflection and celebration. Churches involvement in communities has usually taken the form of service, but charity leaves the causes of social inequity unaddressed. An unexamined possibility of progressive faith communities is their potential as incubators of broader social engagement. In a recent work, American Grace: how religion unites and divides us, sociologist Robert Putnam (of Bowling Alone fame) found that people who belong to faith communities are more generous (to both secular and religious causes), and more likely to be involved in public life. What would it mean if we saw ourselves as communities that fostered citizens who engaged actively in community politics? How might we begin to do that? Can we risk dirtying our hands? The workshop will involve case studies, conversations, sharing our visions and dreams.

2.30 Afternoon Tea/Coffee

3.00 An Exercise in Critical Imagination: Rev Dr Greg Jenks: "From Ash Heap to Golgotha”

Reading with Critical Imagination invites participants to imagine a conversation between Job and Jesus. Freed from the western obsession with the question of what really happened, how can we work with an imaginary conversation between Job on his ash-heap and Jesus on his cross? Can we move into the open space of post-critical naiveté to exercise our imaginations in our reading of the Bible?

4.00 Close


Margaret Mayman has been senior minister at St. Andrew’s on The Terrace since February 2002. Margaret has studied at Victoria and Otago Universities in NZ and completed a PhD at Union Theological Seminary. Her doctoral dissertation was titled “Raising Voices: Re-Visioning Moral Agency in Intimate Violence Discourses.” She also taught feminist theology and ethics at Maryknoll School of Theology, and undergraduate Religious Studies at the New School for Social Research. During her ministry in Christchurch, Margaret came out as lesbian and has been involved in working to promote the inclusion of gay and lesbian people in the Presbyterian Church. She founded Christians for Civil Unions and advocated for the passage of the Civil Union Act.

Since 2006, Margaret has been working with the Kettering Foundation in the United States, a non-partisan foundation which fosters citizens’ participation in democracy. She has undertaken training in deliberative democracy and now applies this in interfaith dialogue and community justice work.

Gregory C. Jenks is Academic Dean at St Francis Theological College, Brisbane and Adjunct Lecturer in the School of Theology, Charles Sturt University, Australia. A long-time Fellow of Westar Institute, Greg is also a Co-Director of the Bethsaida Excavations Project in Israel.

He is the author of “The Once and Future Bible: An Introduction to the Bible for Religious Progressives” (Wipf & Stock, 2011) and editor of “The Once and Future Scriptures: Exploring the Role of Scripture in the Contemporary Church” (Polebridge Press, in 2012).

1 comment:

  1. From David Miller:

    If we were to imagine a conversation between Job and Jesus, we would have to start by telling the Jesus-story in the right way. But which way is the right way?
    There were umpteen versions of the Jesus-story in the first three centuries. The Roman Emperors selected one version, bought it out, and backed its adherents with the might of the Empire. All the other versions were suppressed.
    One group of versions (Adoptionists) believed that Jesus was purely human.
    Another group of versions (Docetists) believed that Jesus was purely divine.
    A third group of versions (Gnostics) believed that the divine Christ was merely using the human body of Jesus.
    And, of course, the winning version, summoned by the Emperor Constantine to the Council of Nicaea in 325 CE, and which eventually became the Imperial Catholic Orthodox Apostolic Church in 381 CE, believed that Jesus was both fully human and fully divine.
    So, is "Emperor's Choice" the right way?