Natural Theology

  • George Gabriel Stokes
1891 to 1893
University of Edinburgh

Delivered over the course of 1891 and 1893, George Gabriel Stokes's Gifford Lectures focused on the question of Divine Design, which he defined as God's Will and creation itself. Stokes contrasts Design with materialism, which posits that all life and all inorganic phenomena are caused by natural laws, and nothing more. Stokes rebuts that view by arguing a materialistic conception of the universe cannot explain why certain natural laws exist, such as the law of gravitation. It can only describe the phenomena we observe in the form of mathematical theories.

Nature, Man and God

  • William Temple
1932 to 1934
University of Glasgow

In Nature, Man, and God, Archbishop Temple sets the groundwork for his “Philosophical Theology” by exploring issues related to the study of mind, and concluding with the person and work of Christ in what can be described as a Christocentric metaphysic.

Systematic Theology

  • Paul Tillich
1953 to 1954
University of Aberdeen

For Tillich, theology is required to serve the needs of the Christian Church. This involves both stating the truth of the Christian message and providing a satisfactory interpretation of this truth for each generation. These lectures establish a close correlation with philosophy through the organisation of subject matter in each section. The main theological problems discussed illustrate the systematic consequences of this correlation.

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