$12.50 – $60

Common Dreams 2018 - Theology in the age of Trump - Prof Joe Bessler

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Pitt Street Uniting Church

264 Pitt Street

Sydney, NSW 2000


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Common Dreams 2018 - Following Jesus into the world

A weekend of theological inspiration and challenge, connecting the insights of scholars with the lives of contemporary people of faith.

Keynote Speaker:

Joe Bessler 'Theology in the Age of Trump: Christians challenging Religious Right support of injustice and exclusion under Trump'

Joe Bessler is Professor of Theology at Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He specialises in the interaction of religion and contemporary culture. He enjoys cross-disciplinary conversations that open up theological questions in new ways. He is the author of several books including A Scandalous Jesus: How Three Historic Quests Changed Theology for the Better. His forthcoming book is titled Moving Words: How Theology Proposes to Lead Beyond God. He has worked closely with the Westar Institute, most recently in the God Seminar.

Eco spirituality workshop leader:

Rev Dr Jason John

Jason John is a consultant for Uniting Earth Web ministry in the NSW/ACT Synod of the Uniting Church. He explores what it means to be a Christian informed and shaped by the new creation stories coming from the fields of evolution, ecology and cosmology. He values an intellectually credible faith, shaped by contact with contemporary thought and works for the reconciliation and renewal of our Earth family.

Friday 27 July

6.30 pm: Gathering, registration, refreshments
Music: Rachel Collis – lyrical voice, original songs

7.20 – 9pm: Professor Joe Bessler
Theology in the Age of Trump

“For theologians, exploring the event of Donald Trump’s candidacy and election will involve publicly and fearlessly exposing the ways that variations of Christian God language, which were operative in that event, have encouraged gross ignorance of science; dismissal of evidence-based news reporting; and disrespect for women, LGBTIQ people, and for people of colour. This work is necessarily public.”

Chair: Rev Dr Margaret Mayman

Saturday 28 July

9 am: Gathering, registration

9.30 am: Talk – Joe Bessler

The Rise and Fall of the Christian Myth
Why did early Christians begin to adopt a Platonic and imperial worldview and, after Constantine, subsume that worldview into imperialized Christian Platonism? This talk helps us understand how our modern questions of faith are connected to the collapse of that worldview.

11 am: Coffee/tea break

11.30 am : Concurrent Workshops

Joe Bessler –
Prayer and Practice for contemporary followers of Jesus

Jason John –
Telling a New Creation Story:
a spirituality for living and loving earth

12.45 pm: Lunch Break
lunch at local cafés or bring you own

1.45 pm: Concurrent sessions

Talk – Joe Bessler
Belonging to the World
How 20th century quests for the historical Jesus and the radical theologies of the 1960s led the way in turning theology “to the world” in the development of liberation, ecological, and post-colonial theologies, as well as challenges to the doctrine of God.

Workshop – Jason John
The futuresreligious and secular: craft a two minute story of solutions, with help from Donald Trump.

3 pm: Reflections on the future of theology– Joe Bessler

3:30 pm: Thanks and close – Margaret Mayman

Sunday 29 July

10 am: Pitt Street Sunday Gathering
Guest Preacher: Joe Bessler
Sermon: Seeking the body of God

11:15 am: Tea/coffee

11:45 am: Exploring Faith Conversation with Joe Bessler

No ticket required for Sunday events.


COMMON DREAMS is a network of Australian and New Zealand churches and organisations which promote the study, discussion and living out of progressive Christian theology and ethics in expressive and participatory forms of spirituality and a passion for justice.

Progressive Christianity is an open-minded, open-hearted, nondenominational approach to faith and spirituality. It seeks to understand Christian beliefs and doctrines in the light of contemporary biblical and historical scholarship and scientific knowledge.

Common Dreams Inc. contributes to the costs of bringing international speakers to Australia and New Zealand for the annual Common Dreams on the Road events and for the triennial Common Dreams Conferences.


Refreshments on Friday evening, and tea and coffee on Saturday, are included in the ticket price.

Participants may bring their own lunch on Saturday or buy it from one of the nearby cafes.

The closest train station is Town Hall.

The church is accessible for people with disabilities and there is a hearing aid loop.

Contact the organiser: office@pittstreetuniting.org.au

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Pitt Street Uniting Church

264 Pitt Street

Sydney, NSW 2000


View Map

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 7 days before event

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