We continue our Christian Voices programme with Professor Nigel Biggar.
Nigel studied religion, theology and ethics in North America. He has since been Chaplain and Fellow at Oriel College, Chair of Theology at University of Leeds, and Chair of Theology and Ethics at Trinity College Dublin. Since 2007, Nigel has been Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology at the University of Oxford. To get to know more about him we asked him a few questions.
Q: Hello Nigel, what have you been doing over the last 6 months?
A: Over the last twelve months I have lectured globally on political forgiveness, the ethics of remembering, Christian pacifism and 'just war’, Christianity and patriotism, and military proportionality and the Battle of the Somme. I have written about Cecil Rhodes and taken part in a debate about the ‘Rhodes Must Fall’ campaign in the Oxford Union. I have published articles on Charlie Hebdo and the freedom of speech, Japanese 'blame' culture and the Second World War, and the rise of British identity among the Scots. Recently I ran a McDonald Centre conference – in association with Policy Exchange – on “How Can Realpolitik be Ethical?”.
Q: What difference has Christian faith made in your life?
A: I became a Christian at the age of 13 at school, to the benign bemusement of my non-churchgoing parents. Since then, Christian faith has made my life, both the good bits and the bad, a moral and spiritual adventure. It might not always be fun; but it is always meaningful.
Q: If you could go for dinner with one famous person dead or alive today, who would it be and why?
A: I would choose Tony Blair, to talk with him about Iraq.
Q: What was the first thing that made you passionate about your topic?
A: Tragic stories about ‘mercy-killing’ in time of war, eliciting sympathy both for the killed and the killer.
Q: In ten words or less, what can people expect from your talk?
A: Issues surrounding physician-assisted suicide, no perfect solutions and applied Christian views.
You can hear Nigel speak on the subject of: Matters of Life and Death: A Christian Response to Assisted Suicide at 7:30pm on Wednesday 15 March at Ecclesall All Saints’ Church.