Professor William G. Naphy

Thursday, April 25 2013 at 7:30PM

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35 Rosemount Viaduct
City Centre, Aberdeen AB25 1NE

Professor William G. Naphy

What's the talk about?

For most people, the Catholic Church’s hierarchy seems opposed to a wide range of modern activities: same-sex marriage; IVF; contraception.  What is less well-known is how strongly the Church also rejects things like divorce, premarital sex, and most kinds of sexual activities even when practiced within marriage between husband and wife.  This talk will attempt to explain how the Church’s basic and fundamental understanding of ‘what sex is for’ informs all these positions and how anyone wishing to disagree with the Church’s views on one of these issues must combat this underlying presupposition about sexual activity.

Professor Naphy received his doctorate (in Reformation History) from the University of St Andrews in 1993.  He was appointed a lecturer at the University of Manchester in 1993 and, in 1996, at Aberdeen where he was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1999.  He was awarded a personal chair in 2007.  He is the author of six books with translations into six languages (including an up-coming translation into Bosnian for an NGO raising awareness of homosexuality in Bosnia) as well as numerous edited volumes and articles in scholarly journals.

He has made frequent appearances in the media (Channel 4; Grampian TV; BBC-Scotland; BBC-Radio 4: Start the Week) as a specialist on the history of witchcraft, plague, and sexuality.  He contributed extensively to the media in the discussions surrounding the Kirk's position on gay ministers.  Most recently he was the historical consultant for Out in the World, a four-part series on the history of sexuality.

He is a leading authority on Calvin's Geneva during the sixteenth century as well as the history of crime and punishment in the early modern period.  He also is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.