Boyle Lectures


Boyle Lectures

The Boyle Lectures were named after Robert Boyle, a prominent Irish Natural Philosopher in the 17th Century. Boyle endowed a series of lectures in his will, which were designed as a forum where prominent academics could discuss the existence of God. The very first such lecture was given in 1692 by Richard Bentley, who turned to and received four letters from Isaac Newton. The first letter from Newton to Bentley begins

"Sir, When I wrote my Treatise about our System, I had an Eye upon such Principles as might work with considering Men, for the Belief of a Deity; nothing can rejoice me more than to find it useful for that Purpose." [ [http://www.bartleby.com/219/1304.html Scholars and Antiquaries ("The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21)")] ] [ "Notes on the Religious Orientation of Scientists" by Gerald Holton in "Science Ponders Religion", Harlow Shapley, Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1960, p. 59 ]

Their design, as expressed by the institutor, is to prove the truth of the Christian religion against infidels, without descending to any controversies among Christians; and to answer new difficulties, scruples, etc. To support the lectures, he assigned the rent of his house in Crooked Lane, to a learned theologian within the Bills of Mortality, to be elected for a term, not exceeding three years, by Archbishop Tennison, and others. But the fund proving precarious, the salary was ill-paid. To remedy this, Archbishop Tennison procured a yearly stipend of 50 pounds, forever, to be paid quarterly, charged on a farm in the parish of Brill, Buckinghamshire. [1728]

The Boyle lectures were revived in 2004 at St Mary Le Bow church in the City of London by Dr Michael Byrne. They take place annually in February.

The Lectures

* 1692 - "A Confutation of Atheism", by Richard Bentleycite book| title = J. H. Parker's Divinity Catalogue | year = 1837 | location = Oxford | page = 39 (titles might be trimmed)] [cite book| last = Bentley | first = Richard | title= Eight Boyle Lectures on Atheism | publisher = Garland | year = 1976 | isbn = 9780824017521 | location = New York] [Separate first editions of lectures #2-8: cite book| last = Bentley | first = Richard | title= Matter and Motion Cannot Think, Or A Confutation of Atheism from the Faculties of the Soul | url = http://dewey.library.upenn.edu/sceti/printedbooksNew/index.cfm?textID=bentley1&PagePosition=1 | publisher = T. Parkhurst and H. Mortlock | year = 1692 | location = London cite book| title = A Confutation of Atheism from the Structure and Origin of Humane Bodies | url = http://dewey.library.upenn.edu/sCETI/printedbooksNew/index.cfm?TextID=bentley2&PagePosition=1 | location = London | year = 1692 cite book| title = A Confutation of Atheism from the Origin and Frame of the World | url = http://dewey.library.upenn.edu/sceti/printedbooksNew/index.cfm?textID=bentley3&PagePosition=1 | location = London | year = 1693

The eight lectures, from 1735 edition, reprinted cite book| editor = Alexander Dyce | location = London | publisher = Francis Macpherson | year = 1838 | title = The Works of Richard Bentley, Vol. 3 | url = http://www.archive.org/details/worksbentley03bentuoft

First full edition, in [http://www.newtonproject.sussex.ac.uk/catalogue/viewcat.php?id=THEM00242 html] .]
* 1693-4 - "A Demonstration of the Messias, in which the Truth of the Christian Religion is proved, especially against the Jews", by Richard Kiddercite book | title = Boyle Lectures (1692-1732): A Defence of Natural and Revealed Religion, being an Abridgement of the Sermons preached at the Lectures founded by Robert Boyle. Philosphy and Christian Thought in Britain 1700-1900 | editor = Burnet, Gilbert (fl. 1737) | isbn = 9781855068131 | location = Bristol | publisher = Thoemmes | year = 2000] cite book| title = A Catalogue of the Library of the College of St. Margaret and St. Bernard: Commonly Called Queen's College, in the University of Cambridge | url = http://books.google.com/books?id=SwwDAAAAYAAJ | first = Thomas Hartwell | last = Horne | authorlink = Thomas Hartwell Horne | publisher = S. and R. Bentley | location = London | year = 1827 | pages = 301-304]
* 1695-6 - "The Possibility, Expediency, Necessity and Perfection of Divine Revelation", by John Williams (Bishop of Chichester) [Williams, J., "Five Sermons at the Boyle Lectures"]
* 1697 - "The Certainty of the Christian Revelation and the Necessity of believing it, established", by Francis Gastrell (Bishop of Chester)
* 1698 - "The Atheistical Objections against the Being of God and His Attributes fairly considered and fully refuted", by John Harris [citation| url = http://digital.library.unt.edu/permalink/meta-dc-5134:1 | title = Aliens and Atheists: The Plurality of Worlds and Natural Theology in Seventeenth-Century England | last = Oliver | first = Ryan | date = December 2007 | page = 66 | accessdate = 2008-09-09] [citation| title = The Encyclopædia Britannica | edition = 11th | year = 1911 | location = New York | volume = 13 | page = 20 | url = http://www.archive.org/details/EncyclopaediaBritannica1911HQDJVU]
* 1699 - "The Credibility of the Christian Revelation, from its intrinsick Evidence", by Samuel Bradford (Bishop of Rochester)cite web| url=http://www.stmarylebow.co.uk/?Boyle_Lecture | title=St Mary le Bow Church, London - Boyle Lectures | accessdate=2008-09-04]
* 1700 - "The Sufficiency of a Standing Revelation", by Offspring Blackall
* 1701 - "Truth and Exellency of the Christian Religion", by George Stanhope
* 1704 - "A Demonstration of the Being and Attributes of God", by Samuel Clarke [cite book| title =A Discourse Concerning the Being and Attributes of God, the Obligations of Natural Religion, and the Truth and Certainty of the Christian Revelation, in opposition to Hobbes, Spinoza, the author of the Oracles of Reason, and other Deniers of Natural and Revealed Religion | last = Clarke | first = Samuel | authorlink = Samuel Clarke | url = http://www.archive.org/details/discourseconcern1725clar | accessdate = 2008-09-06 | edition = 1823 edition] citation| title = The Encyclopædia Britannica | edition = 11th | year = 1911 | location = New York | contribution = Clarke, Samuel]
* 1705 - "The Evidences of Natural and Revealed Religion", by Samuel Clarke
* 1706 - "Arguments to Prove the Being of a God", by John Hancock
* 1707 - "The Accomplishment of Scripture Prophecies", by William Whiston
* 1708 - "The Wisdom of God in the Redemption of Man, as delivered in the Holy Scriptures, vindicated from the chief Objections of Modern Infidels", by John Turner
* 1709 - "Religion no Matter of Shame", by Lilly Butler
* 1710 - "The Divine Original and Excellence of the Christian Religion", by Josiah Woodward
* 1711-2 - "Physico-Theology, or a Demonstration of the Being and Attributes of God from his Works of Creation", by William Derham
* 1713-4 - "On the Exercise of Private Judgment, or Free-Thinking", by Benjamin Ibbot
* 1717-8 - "Natural Obligations to Believe the Principles of Religion and Divine Revelation", by John Leng
* 1719 - " [http://www.archive.org/details/enquiryintocause00clar An Enquiry into the Cause and Origin of Evil] ", by John Clarke [cite book| last = Clarke | first = John | year = 1720 | location = London | publisher = James Knapton | title = An Enquiry into the Cause and Origin of Evil | url = http://www.archive.org/details/enquiryintocause00clar | accessdate = 2008-09-18]
* 1720 - "On the Origion of Evil", by John Clarke [http://www.ilab.org/db/detail.php?booknr=350617182]
* 1721-2 - "The pretended Difficulties in Natural or Revealed Religion, no Excuse for Infidelity", by Robert Gurdon
* 1724-5 - "A Demonstration of True Religion, in a Chain of Consequences from certain and undeniable Principles; wherein the Necessity and Certainty of Natural and Revealed Religion, with the Nature and Reason of both are explained, and in particular the Authority of the Christian Revelation is established", by Thomas Burnett
* 1730-2 - "The Gradual Revelation of the Gospel from the time of Man's Apostacy", by William Berriman
* 1736-8 - "The History of the Acts of the Holy Apostles, confirmed from other Authors, and considered as full Evidence for the Truth of Christianity", by Richard Biscoe
* 1739-41 - Leonard Twells [cite book| title = Twenty-four Sermons Preach'd at the Parish Church of St. Mary Le Bow: London, in the Years 1739, 1740, 1741, at the Lecture Founded by the Honourable Robert Boyle, Esq; and Eight Sermons Preach'd at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, in the Years 1738 Ad 1739, at the Lecture Founded by the Honoured Lady Moyer. To which are Added, A Visitation Sermon, A Sermon before the Religious Societies and a Charity Sermon | location = London | year = 1743 | last = Twells | first = Leonard, [http://www.archive.org/details/twentyfoursermon01twel Vol. 1] ; [http://www.archive.org/details/twentyfoursermon02twel Vol. 2] ]
* 1747-9 - "Christianity justified upon the Scripture Foundation; being a Summery View of the Controversy between Christians and Deists", by Henry Sttebing
* 1750-2 - John Jortin
* 1756-8 - Thomas Newton [cite book | title = The Third Force in Seventeenth-century Thought | chapter = Prognostics from Nostradamus to Hume | page = 299 | isbn = 9789004093249 | publisher = BRILL | year = 1992 | last = Popkin | first = Richard Henry | authorlink = Richard Popkin]
* 1763 - "A Discourse upon the Being of God against Atheists", by Ralph Heathcote
* 1766-8 - "The Evidence of Christianity deduced from Facts and the Testimony of Senses throughout all Ages of the Church to the present time", by William Worthington
* 1769-71 - "The Intent and Propriety of the Scripture Miracles considered and explained", by Henry Owen
*1778-80 - "An Argument for the Christian Religion, drawn from a Comparison of Revelation with the Natural Operations of the Mind", by James Williamson
* 1802-5 - "An Historical View of the Rise and Progress of Infidelity, with a Refutation of its Principles and Reasonings", by William Van Mildertcite book| last = Hunt | first = John | title = Religious Thought in England in the Nineteenth Century | pages = 38, 338-342 | isbn = 9781421265452]
* 1812 - William Van Mildert
* 1821 - "The Connection of Christianity with Human Happiness", by William Harness
* 1845-6 - "The Religions of the World; and Their Relations to Christianity Considered in Eight Lectures" - Frederick Denison Maurice
* 1854 - Christopher Wordsworth
* 1857-8 - William Gilson Humphry
* 1861 - "The Bible and its Critics", by Edward Garbett
* 1862 - "The Conflict between Science and Infidelity", by Edward Garbett
* 1863 - "The Divine Plan of Revelation", by Edward Garbett
* 1864 - "The conversion of the Roman empire", by Charles Merivale
* 1865 - "The Conversion of the Northern Nations", by Charles Merivale
* 1866-7 - "Christ and Christendom", by Edward Hayes Plumptre [ [http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/encyc09.html?term=Plumptre,%20Edward%20Hayes New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Vol. I: Aachen - Basilians | Christian Classics Ethereal Library] ]
* 1868-70 - "The Witness of St. Paul to Christ", by Stanley Leathes
* 1871-2 - "Moral Difficulties Connected with the Bible", by James Augustus Hessey
* 1874-5 - " [http://www.archive.org/details/christianitymora00waceuoft Christianity and Morality Or the Correspondence of the Gospel with the Moral Nature of Man] ", by Henry Wace [cite book| url = http://www.archive.org/details/christianitymora00waceuoft | title = Christianity and Morality Or the Correspondence of the Gospel with the Moral Nature of Man | last = Wace | first = Henry | authorlink = Henry Wace | publisher = Pickering | location = London | year = 1882 | edition = Fifth edition]
* 1876 - "What is Natural Theology?", by Alfred Barry [http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/encyc01.html?term=Barry,%20Alfred New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Vol. I: Aachen - Basilians | Christian Classics Ethereal Library] ]
* 1877-8 - "The Manifold Witness for Christ", by Alfred Barry
* 1879-80 - "The Evidential Value of the Holy Eucharist", by George Frederick Maclear
* 1884 - "Scientific Obstacles to Christian Belief", by George Herbert Corteis
* 1890 - " [http://www.archive.org/details/oldtruthsinmoder00bonn Old Truths in New Lights] ", by T. G. Bonney
* 1893 - "Ascent of Faith or the Grounds of Certainty in Science and Religion", by Alexander James Harrison
* 1895 - " [http://www.archive.org/details/thegospelofexper00newbuoft The Gospel of Experience Or the Witness of Human Life to the Truth of Revelation] ", by W. C. E. Newbolt [cite book| last = Newbolt | first = William Charles Edmund | title = The Gospel of Experience Or the Witness of Human Life to the Truth of Revelation | url = http://www.archive.org/details/thegospelofexper00newbuoft | year = 1896 | publisher = Longmans, Green & Co. | location = London, New York and Bombay]
* 1903-5 - " [http://www.archive.org/details/thetestimonyofsx00knowuoft The Testimony of St. Paul to Christ Viewed in Some of its Aspects] ", by Richard John Knowling [cite book| last = Knowling | first = Richard John | url = http://www.archive.org/details/thetestimonyofsx00knowuoft | title = The Testimony of St. Paul to Christ Viewed in Some of its Aspects | year = 1905 | location = London | publisher = Hodder and Stoughton] [ [http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/encyc06/Page_360.html Schaff, P. & Herzog J. J. , "New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge", Volume VI, Innocents - Liudger, p. 360-1 | Christian Classics Ethereal Library] ]
* 2004 - " [http://www.stmarylebow.co.uk/?Boyle_Lecture:2004 Darwin, Design, and the Promise of Nature] ", by John F. Haught
* 2005 - " [http://www.stmarylebow.co.uk/?Boyle_Lecture:2005 Darwin’s Compass: How Evolution Discovers the Song of Creation] ", by Simon Conway Morris
* 2006 - " [http://www.stmarylebow.co.uk/?Boyle_Lecture:2006 The Emergence of Spirit: From Complexity to Anthropology to Theology] ", by Philip Clayton, response by Niels Gregersen
* 2007 - [http://www.gresham.ac.uk/event.asp?PageId=45&EventId=583 'Cosmology of Ultimate Concern'] , by John D Barrow, with a response by Martin Rees, Baron Rees of Ludlow
* 2008 - [http://www.gresham.ac.uk/event.asp?PageId=45&EventId=721 'Psychologising and Neurologising about Religion: Facts, Fallacies and the Future'] , by Malcolm Jeeves, with a response by The Revd Dr Fraser Watts

References

External links

* [http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/encyc02.html?term=Boyle,%20Robert,%20and%20the%20Boyle%20Lectures Boyle, Robert, and the Boyle Lectures] , in The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Vol. II (CCEL)


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  • Boyle, Robert — born Jan. 25, 1627, Lismore Castle, County Waterford, Ire. died Dec. 31, 1691, London, Eng. Irish born English chemist and natural philosopher. The son of Richard Boyle, the Great Earl of Cork (1566–1643), he settled at Oxford in 1654 and, with… …   Universalium

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