Talks & Lectures

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Image of Shaw and sexuality

Talks & Lectures

Shaw and sexuality

Fri 25 Apr 2014,19.30

The Shaw Society presents

“Shaw and sexuality” –  Alan Knight

Alan Knight, the chair of the Shaw Society, will look at Shaw’s discussion of sexual relations in his plays, and considers the views of critics who have detected other less explicit strains in his work.

TICKETS: On the door £2 members £4 guests


Image of Sunday Lecture - The Idea of Israel

Talks & Lectures

Sunday Lecture - The Idea of Israel

Sun 27 Apr 2014, 14.00

The Conway Hall Ethical Society presents

The Idea of Israel: Ilan Pappé

A major new history of Zionism and Israel, by Ilan Pappé, renowned author of The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine.

Since its foundation in 1948, Israel has drawn on Zionism to provide a sense of self and political direction. In this groundbreaking new work, Ilan Pappé looks at the continued role of Zionist ideology in the creation of Israel. Join him as he discusses the way Zionism operates outside of the government and military in areas such as the country’s education system, media, and cinema, and the uses that are made of the Holocaust in supporting the state’s ideological structure.

Pappé has been attacked and received death threats since his work exposed the truth about how Palestinians have been treated, and the gruesome structure that links the production of knowledge to the exercise of power. The Idea of Israel is a powerful and urgent intervention in the war of ideas concerning the past, and the future, of the Palestinian–Israeli conflict.

Doors 13.30, £5 in advance, £2 concs./Free to Ethical Society members

(Entry is limited, so please book well in advance)

Tea & Coffee will be available.


Image of Sunday Lecture - The Dead Sea Scrolls: Contours of Belief

Talks & Lectures

Sunday Lecture - The Dead Sea Scrolls: Contours of Belief

Sat 27 Apr 2014, 11.00

The Conway Hall Ethical Society presents

Sunday Lecture - The Dead Sea Scrolls: Contours of Belief
Professor Philip Davies

The Dead Sea Scrolls, discovered in Palestine in 1947, are the only literary texts we have in Hebrew from the first century CE, when the sacrificial cult of Judaism ended, and different forms of Judaism took over, including the new religion of Judaism. The Scrolls contain texts of scripture and scriptural interpretation, as well as rules for sectarian communities. Of particular importance is the range of religious ideas that they betray, suggesting that the spectrum of beliefs at the time was much broader than was previously thought, and contains the seeds not only of orthodox forms of Christianity and Judaism, but of several strands of belief that lay on their fringes or were even hereticized. We still know very little for sure about the groups responsible for these scrolls, or their history. But we can use them to redraw the prehistory of Western (including Islamic) monotheism and its central problem, the origin and nature of evil. 

Philip R. Davies is Professor emeritus of biblical studies at the University of Sheffield. He was the Director for the Centre for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls. He is the author of numerous books and articles on ancient Israelite history and religion, including Scribes and Schools (1998) in the Library of Ancient Israel. He is an expert on the Dead Sea Scrolls, and has written four books on the subject.

Doors 10.30, £5 in advance, £2 concs./Free to Ethical Society members

(Entry is limited, so please book well in advance)

Tea & Coffee will be available.


Image of The Surveillance Society

Special Events

The Surveillance Society

Sat 3 Mar 2014, 10.30

Centre for Inquiry UK and Conway Hall Ethical Society presents
 
The Surveillance Society
 
Including Caspar Bowden, Tom Sorell, Judith Rauhofer.
 
Post Snowden, where do we go now? When is surveillance acceptable, and when is it wrong? Should whole swathes of public policy regarding surveillance now be junked? Three leading experts in the field present accessible and fascinating talks on our emerging surveillance society – and what to do about it.
 
Organized and chaired by Stephen Law
 
£10 (£5 students, Members of Conway Hall Ethical Society, and the British Humanist Association). Free to friends of CFI UK.
10.30 registration. 11.00 – 15.45
 
11.00 Caspar Bowden. Caspar Bowden is an independent advocate for information privacy rights, and public understanding of privacy research in computer science. For nine years he was Chief Privacy Adviser for Microsoft for forty countries.
12.00 Tom Sorell. Professor of Philosophy, University of Warwick. Tom will be talking about the relation between the power of an agent of surveillance and the prima facie wrongness of surveillance.
13.45 Judith Rauhofer. Is a lawyer and lecturer in IT law at the University of Edinburgh. She will be speaking about about surveillance and the rule of law, the different understandings of "lawfulness" and the concept of privacy as a common good.
14.45 Plenary.
15.45 END
 
CFI UK reserves the right to change the programme due to unforeseen circumstances.

Image of Sunday Lecture - The Ethics of Liberation Wars

Talks & Lectures

Sunday Lecture - The Ethics of Liberation Wars

Sun 18 May 2014, 11.00

The Conway Hall Ethical Society presents

Sunday Lecture - The Ethics of Liberation Wars
Dan Thea

Largely due to European colonisation and its aftermath, Africa is today the least developed, most marginalised and most misunderstood continent. As free peoples, Africans are increasingly redressing this situation. In this talk Dan Thea aims to make a contribution to raising awareness of this problem worldwide, and making a call for the necessary correction.

The talk will illustrate the justice of, and the will to conduct wars of liberation with particular reference to the Kenyan Mau Mau War, 1952-61; the Algerian National Liberation War, 1954-62, the Angolan Liberation war, the ANC war against Apartheid and the special case of the war for the secession of South Sudan from the Sudan.
The talk will, of course, also acknowledge the internationalist support given by the USSR, the (then) Eastern European socialist states and by Cuba.

Dan Thea was born in colonial Kenya and attended university in Britain. After a brief period of work in private sector his main career is now in local government.

A life-long trade unionist, prominent in equality campaigns; including contributing in the content of the Race Relations Act, an activist in equality struggles, and an initiator of equality monitoring in Britain. He has decades of experience in the Anti-Apartheid Movement, and also writes monthly articles for the Chartist and the Liberation Journal. He is a patron of Mau Mau Justice Network.

Thea last spoke at Conway Hall in his capacity as the Deputy Chair of the Anti-Apartheid Movement; and acknowledges Conway Hall’s contribution to that historic struggle. Africa continues to need your support. 

Door 10.30, £5 in advance, £2 concs./Free to Ethical Society members

(Entry is limited, so please book well in advance)

Tea & Coffee will be available.


Image of NOW Live Events: Do Improvise with Robert Poynton

Courses & Workshops

NOW Live Events: Do Improvise with Robert Poynton

Tue 27 May 2014, 19.00

NOW Live Events presents

Do Improvise

A self-development workshop with Robert Poynton.

In this live interactive workshop, you will learn how to deal with the unplanned and unexpected and to improve your natural ability to act with courage and conviction no matter what life throws at you, with creativity and improvisation coach Robert Poynton, author of Do Improvise (The Do Book Company, £8.99).

In this workshop you will learn:

  • Strategies for overcoming creative blocks
  • How to generate new ideas
  • Effective ways to respond fluently to all circumstances

Watch Robert’s Beyond Control talk on You Tube.

Tickets £15


Image of God in the Lab: The Science of Religious Belief

Talks & Lectures

God in the Lab: The Science of Religious Belief

Sat 14 Jun 2014, 10.30

Centre for Inquiry UK and Conway Hall Ethical Society present

God in the Lab: The Science of Religious Belief

What lies behind exorcism and speaking in tongues? How rational are atheists? Does morality depend on religion? Profs. Chris French, Jon Lanman and Glen Carrigan discuss some fascinating recent research and findings re. religious and atheistic belief systems.

Presented by Stephen Law

£10 (£5 students, Members of Conway Hall Ethical Society and the British Humanist Association). Free to friends of CFI UK.

10.30 registration. 11.00 – 15.45

11.00 Glen Carrigan.

An introduction to a morality where God is not at its centre. Using the 4 S’s of science, skepticism, sarcasm and satire whilst employing neuropsychological research and a humanistic world view, we’ll look at what the alternatives are to a pious moral code and why people and groups might make the decisions they do. 

Glen is a neuropsychology researcher and senior demonstrator at the University of Central Lancashire specialising in moral psychology, youth engagement and with an interest in all things science.

12.00 Chris French. 

Chris French is Professor of Psychology at Goldsmith’s College, London and will be talking about, among other things, possession, exorcism, and speaking-in-tongues. His latest book is Anomalistic Psychology: Exploring Paranormal Belief and Experience.

13.00-13.45 lunch

13.45 Jon Lanman. 

"Atheism: The View from Cognitive Science" Cognitive Science is the interdisciplinary study of the mind and is in principle and in practice relevant to our understanding of atheism. In this talk, I will review how cognitive science enriches our understanding of belief and rationality, challenges commonly discussed theories of religion and atheism, and provides a more empirically grounded account of the mind that we can utilize to better understand the causes and effects of atheism and anti-atheist prejudice.Dr Jonathan Lanman is the Assistant Director of the Institute of Cognition and Culture and Lecturer in Anthropology at Queen's University Belfast.

14.45-15.30 Roundtable and Q & A.

15.30 END 

CFI UK reserves the right to change the programme due to unforeseen circumstances.


Image of Sunday Sermon: Mary Anne Hobbs on Love & Loyalty

Talks & Lectures

Sunday Sermon: Mary Anne Hobbs on Love & Loyalty

Sun 22 Jun 2014, 11.15

The School of Life presents

Sunday Sermon: Mary Anne Hobbs on Love & Loyalty

Growing up in an isolated hamlet in Lancashire, in a house where music was banned by her father has lead Mary Anne to have a profound relationship with music and an extraordinary loyalty to her work. Listening to John Peel under her duvet and secreting away her 7” records for fear of her father smashing them up; this act of dedication to music, in the face of adversity, has led to her deep commitment to her career. But can work really replace family?

Many people are not part of a ‘conventional’ family and the numbers of people living alone in the UK are increasing. So where can we look to find the love and loyalty that we all need if our families are maybe far away or problematic? In this sermon Mary Anne will be leading us through the passions that have driven her to have the colourful life she has lead and what she has learnt along the way about what ‘family’ means to her.

Expect to hear stories of her remarkable adventures along with ideas she has never spoken about publicly before.

Mary Anne Hobbs hosts the Weekend Breakfast Show on BBC 6 Music and is probably best known for her 14-year career at BBC Radio1 hosting the Breezeblock, the Rock Show and BBC Radio1 Experimental. She worked on sound design for Darren Aronofsky and Clint Mansell on their Oscar winning film ‘Black Swan’ and the soundtrack was nominated for a Grammy. Less well known is her work as a mentor and speaker on the topic of passion and the power of music.

Tickets: £15


Image of Live, Love & Lead Authentically

Courses & Workshops

Live, Love & Lead Authentically

Tue 24 Jun 2014, 19.00

NOW Live Events presents

Live, Love & Lead Authentically

A self-development workshop with Sarah Abell

In this live interactive workshop you will explore what it means to “be real” and truly show up as yourself. You’ll discover the positive consequences of authenticity for your well-being, relationships, creativity and work. Sarah Abell is an expert on authenticity. She is a relationships coach, the author of “Inside Out – how to have authentic relationships with everyone in your life” (Hodder 2011) and she has spoken on authentic connections at two recent TEDx events.

Tickets £15


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