|Birth:||26 February 1918|
Rangiora, Canterbury, New Zealand
|Age:||103 years, 117 days|
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". Geering is Emeritus Professor of Religious Studies at Victoria University of Wellington.
Childhood and studies
Geering was born in Rangiora, Canterbury, New Zealand, and "embraced" the Christian tradition in 1937. He holds a master's degree in mathematics and a Doctor of Divinity from the University of Otago. He was ordained as a minister of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand (PCANZ) in 1943 and practised as a minister in Kurow Opoho, Dunedin (1945-1950); and St James, Wellington (1950-1956) before turning to theological teaching.
Geering has held the positions of Professor of Old Testament Studies Presbyterian Church Hall Brisbane Queensland, Australia (1956-1960, Professor of Old Testament Studies Theological Hall Dunedin (29 February 1960 - December 1963), and Principal of Theological Hall Dunedin (12 December 1963 - 31 May 1971).
In 1967, Geering gained a high profile when he was charged with "doctrinal error" and "disturbing the peace and unity of the (Presbyterian) church". The case was brought before the 1967 General Assembly of the PCANZ, and dismissed without being much discussed. 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.
In 1971, Geering became the Foundation Professor of Religious Studies at Victoria University of Wellington and held this position until his retirement in 1984 when he was appointed Professor Emeritus.
He was also the Honorary Associate Minister of St John’s Church in Wellington from 1971 to 1983. He was named Honorary Assistant at St Andrew’s in Wellington in 1989. Geering remains on the Register of New Zealand Presbyterian Ministers.
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 and St Andrew's On The Terrace as well as Principal Lecturer at St Andrew's Trust for the Study of Religion and Society
In the 1988 New Year Honours, Geering was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, and in the 2001 New Year Honours he was made a Principal Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to religious studies. In the 2007 New Year Honours, he was appointed a Member of the Order of New Zealand.
In 2009, he accepted redesignation as a Knight Grand Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, following the restoration of titular honours by the New Zealand government.
He has published numerous books and bibliographies. He celebrated his 100th birthday in 2018.
Geering currently lives in New Zealand, at the age of 103 years, 117 days.