A Series of 4 Talks, Monday Evenings
The diverse speakers in this series bring common gifts to share with us as we deal with the challenges of our lives and the uncertainties about the future. Wisdom, intelligence and especially a lively and deep contemplative perspective. They become guides and inspiration for the journey we must follow through the year.
Martin Laird, Augustinian friar, and Professor of Early Christian Studies at Villanova University will discuss how the practice of meditation does not get rid of thoughts but changes our relationship with them. Jane Williams, Prof in Theology at St Mellitus College, will seek to suggest how women mystics such as Julian of Norwich and Hildegard of Bingen can be seen as prayers and not theologians. Jenny Scott, economist and journalist, will explore how deep listening between ‘unlikely allies’ can unlock profound change. Finally, Robert Kiely, Professor of English and American Literature at Harvard University, will reflect on the role of beauty and Christianity in paintings and music.
Register for the Full Series
Register for full series (get 4 talks for the price of 3)
All sessions are preceded by a group meditation (optional)
Time to interact with the speaker
Lifetime access to recordings (single sessions registrations give 1 year access)
Schedule of Dates & Themes
07 March 2022
‘She Who Prays Truly is a Theologian’ - Jane Williams
Most theologians who have shaped the Christian faith would have shared Evagrius’ view that prayer and theology are not separable; but they would also often have assumed that women mystics are pray-ers but not theologians. This session will seek to suggest that people such as Julian of Norwich, Hildegard of Bingen and Teresa of Avila should be studied as much for their theological contributions as for their lives of prayer.
02 May 2022
'A Contemplative Approach to Communication' - Jenny Scott
Honest dialogue can bring about profound change.
Yet the world so often communicates in a way that deliberately polarises and sets up confrontation. It frames problems like climate change as zero sum games; you win so I must lose. The result at best is inertia, at worst, conflict.
But dialogue is different and powerful. It fosters community and understanding between participants, it seeks truth, not winners and losers, it is a joint search that embodies values in its very form.
In this talk Jenny Scott will explore how deep listening between ‘unlikely allies’ can unlock profound change. Drawing on her work with North Star Transition, an organisation seeking solutions to climate change and biodiversity loss, Jenny will show how dialogue between farmers, health care professionals, water companies, financial institutions, schools and others is changing lives.
12 Sept 2022
'From Victim to Witness' - Martin Laird
We often think that our practice of meditation will get rid of distractions or somehow keep them at bay. But even this thought is itself a distraction. In this talk Fr. Martin will discuss how the practice of meditation does not get rid of thoughts but changes our relationship with them. We move from being a victim of these afflictive thoughts to being a silent witness. Gradually the power of their grip on our attention loosens to the point that they become completely see through.
05 Dec 2022
'Beauty and Christianity' - Robert Kiely
Robert has long been one of the most popular teachers at Harvard University because of the depth of his knowledge but also the liveliness and art of his own teaching gift that fully engages his audience. His session will be illustrated with paintings and music. Colour, skill and perspective allow the inner beauty to take form before our eyes.