The Annual Theological Lecture at Queen’s 2018

The 2018 Lecture

Julian RiversThe annual Church of Ireland Theological Lecture at Queen’s University, sponsored by the Board of Education, will be given by Julian Rivers, Professor of Jurisprudence at the University of Bristol.

Chaplain, Rev Barry Forde, has expressed his delight that Professor Rivers has taken up the invitation, saying, “Professor Rivers is an expert in the field of religion and law, having written and spoken extensively on the increasing number of issues pertinent to people of faith that interface, and at times may conflict with, the interests of secular law”.



When and Where?

This year’s lecture will be held on Tuesday 20th March 2018 at 6pm.

We’re delighted to return this year to the beautiful Isdell Courtyard at QUB’s Riddel Hall.

Free parking is available on site, and information about reserving free tickets can be found below.


Religion, Equality and the Constitution

The title for this year’s lecture is “Religion, Equality and the Constitution’. Professor Rivers observes, ‘In recent years, religious individuals and groups have been found on a number of occasions to have acted in breach of new legal obligations designed to secure equal treatment for all. A Jewish school is told that it cannot select pupils according to an orthodox test of Jewish identity; Christian hoteliers are fined for refusing a room to a same-sex couple; an Islamic school is held to have acted unlawfully in segregating boys and girls. In this lecture I will consider these, and other, examples of new legal tensions between religion and equality. When are we right to insist on the requirements of equality even in the face of deeply-held moral or social convictions to the contrary? When can the claims of religion justify a departure from principles of equality? If equality has, in some sense, become a fundamental constitutional requirement, what does this ‘equality’ mean and require of us? And if there is a balance to be struck, is the law helping us to get that balance right?’


Follow-up lunchtime event for students

Professor Rivers will also be undertaking a second engagement during his visit, as the chaplaincy hosts a lunchtime event in conjunction with the School of Law aimed primarily at students (information to follow). Rev Forde observes, ‘In recent years we have sought to vary the format of the Theological Lectures to engage with a range of different audiences. Whilst most years the lectures have been publicly over two evenings, it is hoped that directing a second engagement towards the student community will increase theological discourse on campus’.

Further information will be announced soon.


Free Tickets for the Lecture

Tickets will be available from 10am on Monday 19th February.

The ticket page is here: #TLQ18: Law, Equality and the Constitution

Tickets will be restricted to four per person.