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The fourth lecture in Dr Rowan Williams' Gifford Lecture series, "Making representations: religious faith and the habits of language", was given on Monday 11 November 2013 at the University of Edinburgh.
In his second of six Gifford Lectures on Tuesday 5 November 2013, Dr Rowan Williams landed some rather effective blows on a deterministic view of language, which renders free will obsolete and ends up
As the huge media coverage of internet abuse has made clear (not least the appalling targeting of women on Twitter and other social media platforms), when public conversation is debased, we all suffer - though those at the sharp end suffer most.
Given that the Church of Scotland, like all major Christian denominations, conducts a good chunk of its internal business in public these days (with the boundary between what is 'internal' and what is 'external' increasingly stretched), media and communications can no longer be thought of - if it ever could - as a specialist function alone.
As previously reported on Ekklesia, Professor Jolyon Mitchell from Edinburgh University delivered his inaugural lecture entitled 'How can weapons be turned into art? How can swords be transformed into ploughshares?' back in September last year. It is now available to view here on YouTube, and very well worth watching.
Church leaders have mostly been ducking for cover as the row over Occupy London on the steps of St Paul's has ratcheted up in recent days. The silence from Lambeth Palace until recently has been deafening.