News & Events

Join our Opening Lecture via live-stream
13 February 2017

ALC's new academic year will commence with worship at 9am in the college Chapel on Monday, 27 February. This will be followed by the Opening Lecture, which will be given by Dr Wendy Mayer - ALC's new Associate Dean for Research. Her lecture is entitled: 'Preaching schism: Why what good people say can have unintended consequences for the Church.'

As Christians we pray for unity, confess our belief in the “holy catholic Church”, and embrace the language of communion. Our best intentions, however, often have the opposite effect. From the beginning Christians splintered into groups and throughout history the resulting factions have often been adversarial and hostile. What will be argued in this lecture, is that this phenomenon has little to do with theology or belief. What matters is the language that we use to express those beliefs, with significant implications for how we phrase the doctrines of the Church and for our teaching and preaching. In making this case Dr Mayer will introduce current research from the cognitive and neuro- sciences. What she will argue is that the domain of moral psychology in particular offers explanatory models that are both cautionary and instructive.

Dr Mayer is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and known internationally for her research on early Christian preaching and the life and works of John Chrysostom. Her research currently embraces two additional strands: the reception of Greek medicine in Christian thought in Late Antiquity (for example, why Lenten fasting is literally good for both the body and soul, or what it means when the bishop is said to be the brain of the church); and the root causes of religious conflict and radicalisation in both past and present. For examples of her publications see

All are welcome to attend. For those unable to attend in person, the lecture will be live-streamed via a link on the ALC website.