2017 Barry Marshall Lecture
Professor Peter Sherlock, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Divinity, gave the 2017 Barry Marshall Lecture.
Peter’s lecture entitled ‘Why Australia Needs Theology’ examined the past and present place of Christian theological scholarship in Australian politics and society, showing how theology is almost entirely discredited as a result of the failure of the churches in a wide range of areas, most notably the sexual abuse of children. It proposed that Australia still needs theology, and explored how theological scholarship might contribute in the future.
Held annually near the anniversary of his death, the Barry Marshall Memorial Lecture presents an eminent speaker in Theology.
The memory of Barry Russell Marshall, a former College Chaplain and lecturer in the Theological School, is commemorated by an annual memorial Eucharist and a Lecture. Barry died suddenly at Oxford on 12 August 1970 from head injuries received in a serious fall. He was shortly to have become Principal of Pusey House, a centre for theological scholarship and research.
Born in Sydney on 18 July 1923, Barry spent his early childhood in central western New South Wales, and developed there that love for the outback which had so profound an influence upon his life. He was Dux of his correspondence school and later of Shore in Sydney. From 1941 until the end of the War he served with the RAAF as a wireless operator, and survived one forced landing in the sea. He entered Trinity College in 1946, graduating in Arts with First Class Honours in History in 1948. Then followed two years at St John’s College, Morpeth, NSW, from which he graduated with First Class Honours in Theology.
He was ordained by the Bishop of Bathurst in 1950, and as Brother Timothy served with the Brotherhood of the Good Shepherd in ministering in the far inland of New South Wales. In 1952 he proceeded to Oxford as Lucas-Tooth Scholar, graduating DPhil from Christ Church in 1955. Barry then returned to the Brotherhood and served until 1961 as priest-in-charge of Bourke. The joy of these Brotherhood years never left him, and many a later University vacation saw him reverting to the role of a bush pastor as he happily relieved some outback priest.
In 1961 a significant new era began for him, when he was called to the Chaplaincy of Trinity College. His was a most notable ministry, not only to the College but to the University and the general community. Within the Anglican Church, and beyond, he was widely known, not only for his scholarship and the originality of his mind, but also for his great priestly qualities. Warm, vital, spontaneous, with a rich sense of fun, he was a man of remarkable influence, deeply involved with persons and causes and much loved.
Barry’s main field of study was historical and liturgical, with a special interest in Christian initiation. He was a consultant member of the Anglican Liturgical Commission.