In his book, ‘The Grand Design’, Stephen Hawking says that ‘philosophy is dead’, and that ‘we have no need of a God to light the blue touch-paper’. But he also seems to expound a philosophical view, based on quantum physics, that consciousness is the basis of physical reality. Keith will explore this view, and suggest that it strongly implies something very like God.
Prof Keith Ward is an Idealist philosopher who thinks that the material universe is an expression or creation of a Supreme Mind. He sees religions as very ambiguous but probably necessary ways of giving humans some awareness of this Supreme Mind. He is a priest of the Church of England, has an interest in the many diverse ways in which humans have sought spiritual truth, and tries to understand what these various paths may have to teach. He thinks the main task for religious believers today is to ensure that their beliefs are conducive to human flourishing and, so far as is possible, to the flourishing of all sentient beings; to relate ancient religious beliefs to the modern scientific world view; and to see their own faith in a truly global context.
Prof Ward has taught philosophy, theology and religious studies at various times in his life and is the author of more than 25 books and numerous articles. Amongst the various posts held he was Regius Professor of Divinity at the University of Oxford, is a Fellow of the British Academy, was on the editorial boards of various publications and is the Former President of the World Congress of Faiths. His website is www.keithward.org.uk.