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Rex Murphy to rouse up church and society during the 2012 Laing Lectures

May 15, 2012
Rex Murphy has spent his career helping Canadians to communicate with each other and to attend to the highest ideals of civic life. As one of Canada's premier journalists, he doubtless will help all of us who listen to his Laing Lectures do the same.

Regent College is pleased to announce that the speaker for the 2012 Laing Lectures will be the astute political and cultural commentator Rex Murphy. Murphy will deliver a series of three lectures on the topic “From Doctrine to Doctrines: The Hollowing Out of the Christian Consensus” on October 25 and 26, 2012 at Regent College.

The Laing Lectures are intended to provoke discussion and debate on some topic of intersection between Christian thought and the contemporary cultural context. “The Laing Lectures have sought to feature powerful communicators with messages to rouse both church and society at large to greater fidelity to the things that matter,” says John Stackhouse, Sangwoo Youtong Chee Professor of Theology and Culture at Regent College. “Rex Murphy has spent his career helping Canadians to communicate with each other and to attend to the highest ideals of civic life. As one of Canada's premier journalists, he doubtless will help all of us who listen to his Laing Lectures do the same.”

Rex Murphy is best known for his biting wit, dry humour, and ability to get at the heart of the issues that matter to Canadians. Murphy appears regularly on CBC’s nightly television news program The National, offering his analysis of current affairs. He has produced a number of documentaries on subjects as varied as the collapse of the Newfoundland fisheries, the Second World War, Conrad Black, and William Shakespeare. He hosts the program Cross Country Checkup on CBC Radio, writes a weekly column for the National Post, and has published a collection of commentaries entitled Points of View.

Murphy studied English at Memorial University in his native Newfoundland, graduating with a BA at the age of 19. He then went on to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar to pursue law (he was in the same class as Bill Clinton). His direct involvement with politics in the early eighties included a stint as Executive Assistant to Frank Moores, the Tory leader of Newfoundland and Labrador, and three runs for office in provincial elections. He is the recipient of numerous broadcasting awards and of honorary doctorates from the University of Waterloo, Memorial University, St. Thomas University, and Nipissing University.

About the Laing Lectures

The Laing Lectures began at Regent College in 1999 in cooperation with Roger and Carol Laing and in honour of their father, William John Laing. The purpose of the lectures is to encourage persons recognized for scholarship, wisdom, and creativity to undertake serious thought and original writing on an issue of significance for the Christian church and to promote the sharing of such thoughts through a series of public lectures. The material presented by Laing Lecturers is intended to move beyond an analysis of historic and current concerns to provide proposals for alternative action for the Christian church. In doing so, lecturers will be invited to explore in an interdisciplinary way the relationship between Christianity and culture, and to suggest ways in which that relationship might lead to greater flourishing of the church, the larger human household, and the whole community of creation.

Past Laing Lecturers: Neil Postman (2000), Charles Taylor (2001), Peter Berger (2002), Margaret Visser (2004), Miroslav Volf (2006), Nicholas Wolterstorff (2007), Walter Brueggemann (2008), Susan Wise Bauer (2010), and Albert Borgmann (2011).

About Regent College

Regent College is an evangelical, international graduate school of Christian studies based in Vancouver and affiliated with the University of British Columbia, one of Canada’s premier research universities. Regent College was founded in 1968 as the first graduate school of theology in North America to make education of the laity its central focus. It is a place of academic rigour, cultural engagement, and vibrant faith that transforms intellect, imagination, and character. Here, people from around the world are inspired and enriched with a deep and practical Christian faith extending into all spheres of life and enabling them to live more thoughtfully in varied vocations in the church and the world.

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