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St James' Institute

Adoption by Grace/Disgrace

Date and Time

Sat 12th Oct 2019, 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm


St James' Hall
Level 1, 169-171 Phillip Street, Sydney NSW 200

Event description

Presented by The Rev’d Canon Professor Scott Cowdell


Leading Australian theologian Scott Cowdell has accepted our invitation to reflect on his experience of being given up for adoption by his single natural mother, of growing up in an adopted family, of meeting his natural parents and half-sisters, and of what he has learned from all this. His experience of living long-term in a childless marriage has added a further dimension. In a world of natural belonging in which family has a talismanic quality, but also a world of widespread estrangement and endemic urban loneliness, what might someone who does not experience life in terms of natural belonging have to say about this condition? And what about the gift of baptism, which sacramentalises our adoption as God's own beloved children by the grace of Jesus Christ? Come and hear a theologian thinking out of his heart, on behalf of that other 'stolen generation": the more than sixty-thousand Australians given up for adoption in the 1960s and 1970s.

Scott Cowdell is Research Professor in Public and Contextual Theology at Charles Sturt University, Canberra, and Canon Theologian of the Canberra-Goulburn Diocese. A priest for 30 years, he has served in parishes, theological colleges and universities. He is the author of eight books, most recently René Girard and the Nonviolent God (The University of Notre Dame Press, 2018).

The Choir of St James’ concert performance of Haydn’s The Creation follows at 5pm (tickets for the concert must be purchased separately).

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