Festival of the mind
HUNDREDS of Clarence Valley residents and visitors are expected to attend the fourth International Philosophy, Science and Theology Festival in Grafton's Christ Church Cathedral from Monday.
According to organiser Heather Roland, people still wonder what the festival, which continues daily until Sunday, June 26, is all about.
"Many ask whether it is a religious festival," she said, "but the answer is no."
"The name may be academic, but in reality this is not the case. Each speaker treats his or her subject as just one of the issues we all face in our lives."
Mrs Roland said an example was the session, 'How Green is my Mallee ? A Treatise on Land Use and Theology'.
Professor Brian Roberts will ask whether theologians take ecology seriously and whether the Christian concept of dominion over nature is at the heart of Western environmental decline.
"This is such a current issue that we must all think about," Mrs Roland said.
The ABC will be organising a 'Cafi Scientific' next Thursday night at Roches Family Hotel. The theme will deal with space. The ABC's regional manager, Martin Corben, will introduce the night's presenter, Dr Rachael Kohn, who produces and fronts the national religious program, 'The Spirit of Things'.
Dr Matthew Colless, Director of the Anglo Australian Telescope in Sydney, is one of the guests the ABC will bring to Grafton. Dr Colless attended Grafton High School, so it is a homecoming of sorts.
Next Friday, Dr Kohn will present a talk at the festival, as will Sister Veronica Brady, who is travelling to Grafton from Western Australia.
That Friday night, Casella Winery is holding a wine tasting in the festival tent from 5pm. There will be a civic welcome by Clarence Valley Council mayor Ian Tiley at 6.45pm, following by 'The Great Debate' in the Cathedral.
The Great Debate always is a light-hearted exchange between speakers. Mr Corben will be the master of ceremonies.
The festival is sponsored by Clarence Valley Council, The Daily Examiner, Radio 2GF, and ABC 2NR as well as the Scottish Arts Council, which has paid for one of the speakers, Marita Luck, to attend the festival. Marita was a speaker at the festival in 2003. The Anglican Diocese of Grafton and the Parish of Christ Church Cathedral also are sponsors. For information and inquiries, contact 66428684 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The web address is: www.pstf.com.au