Lloyd Geering : biography
Sir Lloyd George Geering (born 26 February 1918), is a New Zealand theologian, who faced charges of heresy in 1967 for his controversial views. He considers Christian and Muslim fundamentalism to be "social evils". TVNZ documentary, 12 Jan 2008. Geering is Emeritus Professor of Religious Studies at Victoria University of Wellington.
Geering was born in Rangiora, Canterbury, New Zealand, and "embraced" the Christian tradition in 1937.Morris and Grimshaw, 2008. He holds a Doctor of Divinity from the University of Otago and a master's degree in mathematics. He was a minister in the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand (PCANZ) and turned to theological teaching in 1956.
In 1967 Geering gained a high profile when he was charged with "doctrinal error" and "disturbing the peace and unity of the (Presbyterian) church".: "In 1967, Lloyd Geering’s writings on the resurrection of Jesus and the immortality of the soul, resulted in his being charged by the Presbyterian Church with "doctrinal error" and "disturbing the peace of the church" – which is more or less the same thing as a heresy charge – and we’ll shortly be hearing about what happened there. Since then, he’s gone on to challenge Christian orthodoxy perhaps even more profoundly, by questioning the distinction between the religious and the secular worlds." The case was brought before the 1967 General Assembly of the PCANZ, and dismissed without being much discussed.Geering says: "But before there had been very much time for any adequate discussion of the real issues, a motion was put to the House, and later carried firmly on the voices – and it said that “the Assembly judges that no doctrinal error has been established, dismisses the charges and declares the case closed”". The charges were brought by a group of conservative laymen and a conservative minister. During his church trial he claimed that the remains of Jesus lay somewhere in Palestine and that the resurrection had been wrongfully interpreted by churches as a resuscitation of the body of Jesus. He also rejects the notion that God is a supernatural being who created and continues to look over the world.The Last Western Heretic, produced in 2007 in New Zealand and Israel, aired on TV ONE, 12 January 2008
Geering is a member of the Jesus Seminar and a participant in the Living the Questions program, an alternative to the evangelical Alpha course, which he views as dangerous indoctrination sadly growing among even mainstream churches. He is also a member of the Sea of Faith Network (New Zealand), and as well as Principal Lecturer at
He was honoured in 1988 as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire and in 2001 as Principal Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. In the 2007 New Year Honours List he was made a Member of the Order of New Zealand. In 2009, his status as a Principal Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit was re-designated to that of Knight Grand Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
Geering is a patron of the Coalition for Open Government
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