Relevance of religion runs forum gauntlet



PHILOSOPHERS, scientists and theologists will come together in Grafton July 20-26 to discuss subjects from cloning to whether religion holds any relevance in the light of science.

The annual festival, which was the first of its kind to celebrate philosophy, science and theology at a popular and practical level, will be held at the Christ Church Cathedral.

It will include open circle discussions, storytelling, workshops, concurrent speakers and the festival club and festival-goers can come for one event, one day or become a full registrant for the entire week.

A variety of eminent speakers will appear this year, from a former Catholic nun to a Cree indian and a number of noted academics and authors, including Peter Bowler.

Mr Bowler is best known for his humorous non-fiction works including his series of Superior Person's dictionaries of weird and wonderful words.

He is also the author of a child development manual for parents and of the who-dunnit Human Remains and was for many years engaged in policy and administration work for the Commonwealth Department of Education and for St John Ambulance.

Professor David Scott, retired Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts and Fellow of the American Physical Society, will also return for this year's festival after appearing at the inaugural festival in 1999.

Other speakers will include Canadian Cree indian and ethical research specialist Willie Ermine, co-founder of Australians for a Just and Civil Society Brian Roberts, former consultant to Melbourne and Geelong Grammar schools in the field of Religious and Values Education and consulting editor of Dialogue Australasia Dr Peter Vardy, and physics lecturer at University of Mas- sachusetts Arthur Zajonc.



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