Sir Lloyd Geering
Geering in September 2011
|Born||26 February 1918|
Rangiora, New Zealand
|Alma mater||University of Otago|
|Known for||1967 charges of heresy|
Sir Lloyd George Geering ONZ GNZM CBE (born 26 February 1918) is a New Zealand theologian who faced charges of heresy in 1967 for his controversial views. He considers Christian and Muslim fundamentalism to be "social evils". Geering is Emeritus Professor of Religious Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. He turned 100 in February 2018.
Heresy is any belief or theory that is strongly at variance with established beliefs or customs, in particular the accepted beliefs of a church or religious organization. A heretic is a proponent of such claims or beliefs. Heresy is distinct from both apostasy, which is the explicit renunciation of one's religion, principles or cause, and blasphemy, which is an impious utterance or action concerning God or sacred things.
Christian fundamentalism began in the late 19th and early 20th centuries among British and American Protestants as a reaction to theological liberalism and cultural modernism. Fundamentalists argued that 19th-century modernist theologians had misinterpreted or rejected certain doctrines, especially biblical inerrancy, that they viewed as the fundamentals of the Christian faith. Fundamentalists are almost always described as having a literal interpretation of the Bible. A few scholars label Catholics who reject modern theology in favor of more traditional doctrines as fundamentalists. Scholars debate how much the terms "evangelical" and "fundamentalist" are synonymous. In keeping with traditional Christian doctrines concerning biblical interpretation, the role Jesus plays in the Bible, and the role of the church in society, fundamentalists usually believe in a core of Christian beliefs that include the historical accuracy of the Bible and all its events as well as the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
Islamic fundamentalism has been defined as a movement of Muslims who regard earlier times favorably and seek to return to the fundamentals of the Islamic religion and live similarly to how the Islamic prophet Muhammad and his companions lived. Islamic fundamentalists favor "a literal and originalist interpretation" of the primary sources of Islam, seek to eliminate "corrupting" non-Islamic influences from every part of their lives and see "Islamic fundamentalism" as a pejorative term used by outsiders for Islamic revivalism and Islamic activism.
Geering was born in Rangiora, Canterbury, New Zealand, and "embraced" the Christian tradition in 1937.He holds a master's degree in mathematics and a Doctor of Divinity from the University of Otago. He was ordained as a minister of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand (PCANZ) in 1943 and practised as a minister in Kurow; Opoho, Dunedin (1945-1950); and St James, Wellington (1950-1956) before turning to theological teaching. He was the Honorary Associate Minister of St John’s Church in Wellington from 1971 to 1983. He was named Honorary Assistant at St Andrew’s in Wellington in 1989. Geering remains on the Register (Fasti) of New Zealand Presbyterian Ministers.
Rangiora is the largest town and seat of the Waimakariri District, in Canterbury, New Zealand. It is 29 kilometres (18 mi) north of Christchurch, and is considered a satellite town of the city. With a population of 18,300, Rangiora is the 25th largest urban area in New Zealand, and the fourth-largest in the Canterbury region.
Doctor of Divinity is an advanced or honorary academic degree in divinity.
The University of Otago is a collegiate university based in Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand. It scores highly for average research quality, and in 2006 was second in New Zealand only to the University of Auckland in the number of A-rated academic researchers it employs. In the past it has topped the New Zealand Performance Based Research Fund evaluation.
Geering has held the positions of Professor of Old Testament Studies Presbyterian Church Hall Brisbane Queensland, Australia (1956-1960, Professor of Old Testament Studies Theological Hall Dunedin (29 February 1960 - December 1963), and Principal of Theological Hall Dunedin (12 December 1963 - 31 May 1971). In 1971, Geering became the Foundation Professor of Religious Studies at Victoria University of Wellington and held this position until his retirement in 1984 when he was appointed Professor Emeritus. In 1983 he became a Lecturer at the St Andrew’s Trust for the Study of Religion and Society.
In 1967 Geering gained a high profile when he was charged with "doctrinal error" and "disturbing the peace and unity of the (Presbyterian) church".The case was brought before the 1967 General Assembly of the PCANZ, and dismissed without being much discussed. The charges were brought by a group of conservative laymen and a conservative minister. During his church trial, he claimed that the remains of Jesus lay somewhere in Palestine and that the resurrection had been wrongfully interpreted by churches as a resuscitation of the body of Jesus. He also rejects the notion that God is a supernatural being who created and continues to look over the world.
Palestine is a geographic region in Western Asia usually considered to include Israel, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and in some definitions, parts of western Jordan.
The resurrection of Jesus, or anastasis is the Christian belief that God raised Jesus after his crucifixion as first of the dead, starting his exalted life as Christ and Lord. In Christian theology, the death and resurrection of Jesus are the most important events, a foundation of the Christian faith, and commemorated by Easter. His resurrection is the guarantee that all the Christian dead will be resurrected at Christ's parousia. For the Christian tradition, the bodily resurrection was the restoration to life of a transformed body powered by spirit, as described by Paul and the Gospels, that led to the establishment of Christianity.
Geering is a member of the Jesus Seminar and a participant in the Living the Questions program, an alternative to the evangelical Alpha course, which he views as dangerous indoctrination sadly growing among even mainstream churches.[ citation needed ] He is also a member of the Sea of Faith Network (New Zealand), and St Andrew's On The Terrace as well as Principal Lecturer at St Andrew's Trust for the Study of Religion and Society
The Jesus Seminar was a group of about 50 critical Biblical scholars and 100 laymen founded in 1985 by Robert Funk that originated under the auspices of the Westar Institute. The seminar was very active through the 1980s and 1990s, and into the early 21st century.
Living the Questions is a "DVD and web-based curriculum ... designed to help people wrestle with the relevance of Christianity in the 21st century." Growing out of two United Methodist congregations in Arizona, the curriculum is part of the larger movement of Progressive Christianity and is distributed through the Internet and through several denominational publishing divisions like Cokesbury and Logos Productions. Created to resource moderate to more liberally-minded Christians, Living the Questions (LtQ) offers an alternative to the Alpha Course. As of 2016 the LtQ curriculum is in use in nearly 5000 churches across North America, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.
The Alpha course is an evangelistic course which seeks to introduce the basics of the Christian faith through a series of talks and discussions. It is described by its organisers as "an opportunity to explore the meaning of life". Alpha courses are being run in churches, homes, workplaces, prisons, universities and a wide variety of other locations. The course began in Britain and is being run around the world by various Christian denominations.
He was honoured in 1988 as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, and in the 2001 New Year Honours as a Principal Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to religious studies.In the 2007 New Year Honours, he was appointed a Member of the Order of New Zealand. In 2009, his status as a Principal Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit was re-designated to that of Knight Grand Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
The 2001 New Year Honours in New Zealand were appointments by Elizabeth II in her right as Queen of New Zealand, on the advice of the New Zealand government, to various orders and honours to reward and highlight good works by New Zealanders, and to celebrate the passing of 2000 and the beginning of 2001. They were announced on 30 December 2000.
The 2007 New Year Honours in New Zealand were appointments by Elizabeth II in her right as Queen of New Zealand, on the advice of the New Zealand government, to various orders and honours to reward and highlight good works by New Zealanders, and to celebrate the passing of 2006 and the beginning of 2007. They were announced on 30 December 2006.
The Order of New Zealand is the highest honour in New Zealand's royal honours system, created "to recognise outstanding service to the Crown and people of New Zealand in a civil or military capacity". It was instituted by royal warrant of 6 February 1987. The order is modelled on the British Order of Merit and Order of the Companions of Honour.
Geering is a patron of the Coalition for Open Government.
The Catholic Church in New Zealand is part of the worldwide Catholic Church under the leadership of the Pope in Rome.
The Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand (PCANZ) is a major Christian denomination in New Zealand. A part of the Reformed tradition, it is the largest Presbyterian denomination in New Zealand, and known for its relatively progressive stance on doctrine and social issues in comparison with smaller Presbyterian churches in the country. Presbyterianism was introduced to New Zealand by early 19th century settlers, particularly from Scotland and Ireland. It was historically most prevalent in the Otago region. The PCANZ was formed in 1901 with the amalgamation of southern and northern Presbyterian churches. It claims around 29,000 members.
The Presbyterian Reformed Church (PRC) is a Presbyterian denomination in Australia. The denomination was formed in 1967, as a result of growing theological liberalism within the Presbyterian Church of Australia, prior to the formation of the Uniting Church in Australia in 1977.
Grace Presbyterian Church of New Zealand (GPCNZ) is a Presbyterian denomination in New Zealand which was formed in 2002. It currently consists of 21 churches and missions, which are in the process of becoming fully established churches.
The Synod of Otago and Southland is a synod of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand (PCANZ). Originally independent, the Synod merged with the northern Presbyterian church in 1901 to form the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand.
Don Cupitt is an English philosopher of religion and scholar of Christian theology. He has been an Anglican priest and a professor of the University of Cambridge, though is better known as a popular writer, broadcaster and commentator. He has been described as a "radical theologian", noted for his ideas about "non-realist" philosophy of religion.
The Sea of Faith Network (SoF) is an organisation with the stated aim to explore and promote religious faith as a human creation.
Brian Newton Davis was the Anglican Bishop of Waikato from 1980 to 1985 and Archbishop and Primate of New Zealand and Bishop of Wellington from 1986 to 1997.
Kaikorai Presbyterian Church is a Presbyterian congregation of the PCANZ Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand located in Kaikorai, a suburb of Dunedin, New Zealand.
Thomas Burns was a prominent early European settler and religious leader of the province of Otago, New Zealand.
Religion in New Zealand encompasses a wide range of groups and beliefs. Christianity is the most common religion with almost half of the population at the 2013 New Zealand census declaring an affiliation. Around six percent of the population is affiliated with non-Christian religions, with Hinduism being the largest at over two percent, while 42 percent of New Zealanders stated they had no religion in the most recent census, and 4 percent made no declaration.
Christianity in New Zealand dates to the arrival of missionaries in the early 19th century. It became New Zealand's largest religious group, but no one denomination dominated and there was no official state church. Today, slightly less than half the population identify as Christian. The largest denominations are Catholic, Anglican and Presbyterian. Christian organisations are the leading non-government providers of social services in New Zealand.
Philip George Connolly was a New Zealand politician of the Labour Party.
Vincent Gerard O’Sullivan, DCNZM is one of New Zealand's best-known writers. He is a poet, short story writer, novelist, playwright, critic, editor, biographer, and librettist. The recipient of many literary prizes and residencies, in 2000 O’Sullivan was made a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. He was awarded the Creative New Zealand Michael King Writer’s Fellowship in 2004 and the Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement in 2006. He was the New Zealand Poet Laureate for the term 2013–2015. The son of Timothy O'Sullivan and Myra O'Sullivan, O'Sullivan is the youngest of five. His first marriage was to Tui Rererangi Walsh, with whom he had two children, Dominic O'Sullivan (1970) and Deirdre O'Sullivan (1973).
The 2009 Special Honours in New Zealand were announced in August 2009 as a result of the reinstatement of the appellations of "Sir" and "Dame" to the New Zealand Royal Honours System by passing Special Regulation 2009/90 Additional Statutes of The New Zealand Order of Merit, a legally binding regulation with the force of law in New Zealand.
The Very Reverend John Spenser Somerville was a New Zealand Presbyterian leader.
Shona Katrine Dunlop MacTavish was a New Zealand dancer, teacher, author, choreographer and pioneer in liturgical dance in the Asia-Pacific. She was known as "the mother of modern dance in New Zealand".
Elizabeth Allo Isichei is a Nigerian author, historian and academic. Her parents are Albert and Lorna Allo. On 23 July 1964 she married Uche Peter Isichei and they have five children. In 1959 she earned her BA from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, B.A. In 1961 she completed her M.A. at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, and in 1967 she completed her PhD at Oxford University. She was a Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Otago. She has been a professor in the Department of History, University of Jos in Jos, Nigeria since 1976. She is the general editor for Jos Oral History and Literature Texts.
Helen Margaret Aitken Reid, also known by her married surname Reid-Martin, was a New Zealand religious leader. She was the first woman in New Zealand to be ordained as a Presbyterian minister, and the second woman to serve as moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand.
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