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Disasters, Faith, and Resilience

Westminster College: April 13-15, 2018

Deadline for applications: March 26, 2018

Aim of Course

This course explores the causes and effects of disasters on those caught up in them, and the role that religious faith has on those affected. We cover disasters with undoubted human causes, including the Lockerbie air crash murders and epidemics, and so-called ‘natural disasters’, such as the New Orleans hurricane and the Haiti earthquake which killed 230,000 people. It transpires that ‘natural’ disasters often owe their major impact to human factors. An international panel of expert speakers will address theological aspects thrown up by our experience of disasters and suffering; scientific causes and possible responses to disasters; and the practical ways in which we might respond as individuals and as communities to disasters both at home and abroad. The weekend will be enriched by personal testimonies from those who have been through deep disasters in Haiti, New Orleans, Lockerbie and Africa.

Course Fees

Full rate: £230 (£130 non-residential)

Post Doc: £190 (£120 non-residential)

Student: £140 (£90 non-residential)

Speakers (listed in alphabetical order) and topics

Click on a speaker's name to obtain brief biographical details.


The course will be held at Westminster College, Madingley Rd, Cambridge, CB3 0AA. Click here to obtain further details about the College.

Westminster College is housed in an impressive late 19th century grade II listed building situated in two acres of gardens within easy walking distance of Cambridge City Centre, the celebrated 'Backs' and other University Colleges. It is located a few hundred metres from St. Edmund's College, the home of the Faraday Institute.

Westminster College is on the main ring road within easy access off the M11 and A14 and has on-site parking. The College is a short taxi ride from the train and bus stations. Airport coach or train from Stansted Airport (the most convenient airport for Cambridge) takes 30-40 minutes. Location map for Westminster College.

Application Form

Course Schedule

Friday April 13
6.00 pmArrival and Registration
6.45 pmDinner
7.45 pmIntroduction
8.00 pmProf. Bob White FRS: Disasters: Natural or Unnatural?
9.00 pmQuestions and Discussion
9.15 pmBar and informal discussion
Saturday April 14
8.00 amBreakfast
9.00 amDr Jonathan Moo: A Different Way of Viewing the World
10.00 amQuestions and Discussion
10.30 amCoffee Break
11.00 amRevd Dr Roger Abbott: Disasters: What Good is God?!
12.00 pmQuestions and Discussion
1.00 pmLunch
2.00 pmDr Linda Mobula: Physician, Heal Yourself! Epidemics and Compassion.
3.00 pmQuestions and Discussion
3.30 pmTea Break
4.00 pmDr Amy Donovan: Volcanic Disasters and Christian Response
5.00 pmQuestions and Discussion
5.30 pmFree time
7.00 pmDinner
8.30 pmPersonal Testimonies of Disaster Experience and Q&A
9.30 pmBar and informal discussion
Sunday April 15
8.00 amBreakfast
9.00 amRevd Christopher Ash: A Biblical Perspective on the Natural World
9.45 amPastor Luc Honorat: Disaster: What Survivors Think, and How to Best Help
10.30 amCoffee Break
11.00 amDr Ken Taylor: The Church Community in Disaster Recovery
12.00 pmQuestions and Discussion
1.00 pmLunch
2.00 pmRevd John Mosey: Disasters, Blame and Forgiveness
3.00 pmQuestions and Discussion
3.30 pmTea and Depart
4.00 pmEnd of Day