David Boulton’s talk tonight – don’t miss it!

Viewing the video on Wittgenstein posted by Rhiannon Grant in the course materials for ’Nontheist Approaches to Religious Language’ led me to view 2 short video clips about Wittgenstein on youtube from Don Cupitt’s 1984 TV series and then to listen to this:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m00036kp Giles Fraser (1984 – ‘a passionate atheist’ – later Canon Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral – thanks to Cupitt perhaps) on Don Cupitt and the TV series ’The Sea of Faith’. (28 minute radio programme). A very interesting and, I think, fairly balanced assessment of Don Cupitt’s work.
Don Cupitt was one of our speakers at NFN Conference in 2012 (10 years ago!) and a post from 2017 (Five years on) says:
“Our 3 speakers then were Philip Gross, Quaker poet from Wales; Don Cupitt from the ‘Sea of Faith’ and James Riemermann from Twin Cities Friends Meeting, St. Paul, Minnesota. I (Trevor) remember this conference very well and how James’ presentation of ‘coming out’ as a ‘non-theist’ in his meeting moved me to tears. A search for ‘Riemermann’ on the Twin Cities’ website reveals a multitude of papers including this interesting piece on Theological Diversity from 2009.”

Giles Fraser is an interesting maverick, perhaps a little like Cupitt, apparently voted Conservative (for Brexit) in 2019 though saying at about the same time: “all my political energy has been a reaction to Margaret Thatcher. I hated and continue to hate Thatcherism with a passion that remains undimmed”, and having resigned as Canon Chancellor in 2011 as a result of refusing to sanction using force to remove Occupy London (remember that?) from outside the cathedral.

That’s a warm up, I hope, for our 10th Creative Conversation presented tonight by David Boulton on ‘Friends and the Secular World’. Don’t miss it!


10 thoughts on “David Boulton’s talk tonight – don’t miss it!”

  1. Trevor,
    You have caught my attention and could be interested in listening.

    However, you say it is “tonight” but does that mean the night of 3-3-22. Or was it last night! Tomorrow it will still say “tonight”.

    Further, you don’t say where or how to hear it.

    Can you please confirm date, tome and medium.

    I confess to my hackles still rising at the memory of Mr Boulton at the Conference at Bournville at the time of Brexit. He was so dismissive of me and my deeply considered ideas that I still feel pain at his name. I have just listened to the Don Cupitt piece you copied. I recognise in his sense of unjustified rejection leading in his case to mental welfare issues my own case albeit not to the same end.

    However, if it is sensibly practical for me to “attend” tonight I will try to give him a try. whether I last the course is moot.

    Thank you. I would like sometime to talk clocks and time with you: there ate several new ideas you might find interesting.


  2. Yes, thanks Malcolm, tonight at 7pm!.
    It’s always a bit tricky using today, tomorrow etc. but the post is clearly dated 3 March and the intention was to catch attention of anybody who may have overlooked the date or the email. Tomorrow I should change it to ‘Yesterday – you missed it’!
    If you have registered or attended any of the previous talks you should have the zoom link. If not you must email clerk@nontheist-quakers.org.uk to register/ask for the zoom link.
    I very much hope to see you there.


  3. May I suggest that we all join The Secular Society. Its statement of intent is well worth reading. Also, in relation to the peace testimony: sometimes the price of clean hands is too high.


      1. I couldn’t find any ‘statement of intent’ Lee, are we looking at the same Society? Where does all that money come from? Memberships or donations? Friends might like to consider support if looking at work ‘overseas’, but I would want to see their accounts. Also the site is not https secure:


      2. Thanks Ken
        As moderator I have passed this on this occasion but in general I think comments should include comments and not just a link or links. (I assume you think this is the right ‘secular society’ referred to by Lee, rather than the American link I found – I still see no ‘statement of intent’).


  4. Dear David Boulton: Thank you for your talk at the Nontheist Friends’ Network on the 3d of March. Another help towards the secularisation of Friends may have been some Friends’ being in heavy industry in the 1700s and early 1800s – such as the bridge builder and ship makers – and in banking – the families in Britain and some in the US as well, and these and the late-1800s chocolate-makers, especially with Cadbury’s almost utopian community, may have helped change Friends’ outlooks on what we might all do with our lives. Also, there were Friends in astronomy (John Dalton and others in Cumbria) and earth sciences who must have changed many people’s outlooks and contributed to what you were talking about. Many thanks, -John Maynard

    On Thu, 3 Mar 2022 at 09:18, Nontheist Friends Network wrote:

    > Trevor posted: “Viewing the video on Wittgenstein posted by Rhiannon Grant > in the course materials for ’Nontheist Approaches to Religious Language’ > led me to view 2 short video clips about Wittgenstein on youtube from Don > Cupitt’s 1984 TV series and then to listen to thi” >


  5. Comment: After David Boulton’s excellent talk on March 3rd. some people remained to ‘chat’. Talk turned to the Ukrainian conflict and my one attempt to communicate something of the complexities of confronting Putin was frustrated by a male who insisted on reiterating his own opinions as I tried, twice to speak. Several people asked him to stop talking which he was unable to do so I left the virtual room. This cogent article may be of interest:



  6. Lynne
    I am sorry you had that experience and I too left the ‘chat’ suddenly because I didn’t like the way things were proceeding.
    Our clerk Tim intervened at one point (just before I left) to suggest that perhaps what was happening was not what was intended but unfortunately that didn’t bring the one or two intrusive participants to heel as it were.
    I am also passing this to Tim and the working group for the creative conversations and hope we can discourage this from happening in the future, perhaps by managing any informal ‘chat’ in the same way as the discussion after the talks.

    I am certainly looking forward to David Parlett’s talk on 7 April ‘A Theist Cuckoo in the Nontheist Nest’
    and hope you will decide to join us then:

    In Friendship


Leave a Comment or Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.