Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 28, No. 3. 1965.
"Man is marvellous and nothing is more marvellous than man."
This quote from Socrates was the concluding statement of Archbishop Ramsey's lecture entitled "Christianity and Humanism,' in which he married the two beliefs. He stated: "There are people who call themselves Christians and there are people who call themselves humanists without calling themselves Christians—I claim to be both."
He went on very convincingly to put down the many barriers that have arisen between these two beliefs which—by definition—are very far apart: Christianity—the doctrines of Christ and His apostles; humanism—the system concerned with human (not devine) interests or with the human race (not the individual).
He believes that humanism without Christianity is full of contradictions and misconceptions about the nature of the world. But he also believes that Christianity without humanism could be misleading, too, and very harmful. Dr. Ramsey said the proposition that Christians could not be humanists should be avoided at all costs "because if we lapse even by implication into such a negative statement it only invites the contrary negative statement—that humanists cannot be Christians.
The Right Honorable and Most Reverend Michael Ramsey, 100th Archbishop of Canterbury, was addressing an audience in 006 and —by closed-circuit television— crowds in rooms 619 and 620 in Easterfield on Monday evening. The address given at this University was the only public address given by His Grace during his short stay in Wellington in the course of his visit to Australia and New Zealand this month.
The conciseness the clarity, and he deep and strong belief with which the lecture was delivered ended to make one think of the person of the Archbishop as much as of the content of the lecture itself.
Firstly Dr. Ramsey appears as one might expect an Archbishop to appear: his stature is impressive and he looks venerable—although he is only 60. He is accepted by the other bishops throughout the worldwide Angilican Communion as the first among equals.
He is a very competent lecturer and was himself once Dean of Divinity at Cambridge University. The lecture was presented in a warm, friendly, yet persuasive manner and one felt that he was really at home in the University. He has a quiet humour and a gregarious nature.
One feels that it was a pity that since he came to lecture to the University more students could not have been able to actually hear the lecture in the lecture hall, which was seated by ticket only. The Archbishop did, however, visit the two upstair rooms at the conclusion of the lecture.
This was the only public lecture given in Wellington, and to provide so poorly for a person whose visit could have been calculated to arouse the maximum public and student interest indicates some lack of organisation.—E.H.