Posted: 22 September 2013

What’s theology got to do with children’s welfare?

How did we make theology so boring?

That's a question Canon Dr Angus Ritchie, Director of the Contextual Theology Centre, asked - and addressed - in our seventh annual Edward Rudolf Lecture on Thursday.

The speech, delivered at St Martin-in-the-Fields in London, was titled 'What’s theology got to do with children’s welfare?'. He discussed how theology is not only deeply relevant to how we treat children and young people but how this should be exciting and accessible.

Angus Ritchie said: 'In his words and in his deeds, [Jesus] places the youngest and the poorest at the heart of the Kingdom. He tells his disciples that when they welcome children and when they care for those who lack food or shelter, they are welcoming and caring for him. . . But he goes further than this. He suggests that if we are to speak of God – to do theology, as it were – we must adopt their perspective.'

St Martin's-in-the-Fields ChurchDrawing on The Heart of the Kingdom

The lecture drew on The Heart of the Kingdom, a series of essays on Christian theology and children living in poverty that we published earlier this year. Edited by Dr Ritchie, the collection included essays from the Rt Revd Michael Ipgrave, Professor John Millbank and Krish Kandiah.

Dr Ritchie said: '[W]e have heard Jesus’ own words that it is not to the wise and learned, not to the rich and powerful that God has made himself known, but to little children. The real question to ask is not how we can make theology relevant to children and their wellbeing, but how we got ourselves into a state where it seemed remote.'

It was a thought-provoking, very interesting speech - please take a look at Dr Ritchie's speech, 'What’s theology got to do with children’s welfare?', and find out more about The Heart of the Kingdom.

By Sophie Brightwell - Church team

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