The Churches and the Natural World is Theme of Conference

Friday, 25 July 2008

NUI Galway was host this week to the 47th summer conference of the Ecclesiastical History Society. The conference theme this year was 'God's Bounty? The Churches and the Natural World', and over 75 delegates attended the four-day conference. With some 950 members, the UK based Ecclesiastical History Society (EHS) aims to foster interest in, and to advance the study of, all areas of the history of the Christian Churches. Membership of the Society is open to any scholar or scholarly institution. According to the President of the EHS, Dr Bill Sheils from the University of York: "As concerns about our use and abuse of natural resources increase, this year we have chosen the impact of scientific knowledge on religious understanding as a central conference theme. The question of 'stewardship of the world' has exercised some of the finest theological and philosophical minds in the past, and continues to inform contemporary discussion of mankind's global responsibilities and the development of 'a social gospel of mutual dependence". Dr Alison Forrestal, Lecturer in History at NUI Galway, and a board member of the EHS, stressed the importance of understanding this particular area of history. "The Christian Churches shaped so many aspects of political, social and religious history, and played an integral part in many social and societal movements. The conference offers the opportunity to explore topics ranging from the interpretation of omens in medieval England, to early Irish Christian interpretations of creation, and to Jesuit conversions in the Americas in the 1600s, and through modern understandings of the environment". For further information on the Ecclesiastical History Society visit http://www.ehsoc.org.uk/
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