Our Expert Experience sessions are designed to deliver specific subject insight to your students from our range of academics.
Sessions can be offered remotely; we use Microsoft Teams but are happy to offer on whichever platform is suitable to your students place of learning.
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Our Expert Experiences for those interested in Theology, Religion & Ethics and Philosophy are offered across a range of sessions.
Sociology of Death
This talk gives a brief overview of some of the main ways of thinking sociologically about death (with a little anthropology) and relates these to memorials.
This session explores 4 very different theodicies and a philosophy in regard to thinking about the theodicy (the goodness of G-d) in Judaism post the Shoah/Holocaust. All 5 ways of thinking about G-d in this talk are Jewish. The content is unsetting due to the nature of the Shoah.
Political Anatomy - The Metaphor of the Body in Political Philosophy
At the border of philosophy, politics and literature, we'll look at how metaphors of the body are used to justify particular political orders. From the head of state and the arm of the law, to parasites, cancers and surgical operations, a series of metaphors that impose an organic model on society can be traced from Aesop's Fables and through Hobbes' Leviathan to contemporary society. Looking at visual images, fables, speeches and philosophical texts we'll see how ideology works to justify and critique particular social orders.
What is a Thing? Forms of Identity and the Three Things You Are
The apparently simple question of identity - when is a thing the same thing as another thing - leads to several philosophical paradoxes. For example, whether the Ship of Theseus remained the same ship after its planks had been replaced one by one until none of the original materials remained. In this session, we will look at a number of these peculiar paradoxes. Our path will lead us to John Locke's surprising judgment that we humans we need to be understood in terms of three separate identities - as material objects, as animals and as persons. We will see how his argument that we need to be understood as persons, not just animals, was rooted in theological speculations about the Last Judgment and how this continues to shape our modern notion of personhood.
Exploring the Gaze - The Ethical Importance of Being Looked at in the Instagram Age
One thing our standard modern ethical theories (deontology, consequentialism, virtue ethics, emotivism) have tended to ignore is the key role that being looked at and feeling shame plays in ethical experience. In this talk we'll look at some of the ways that shame has been condemned and rehabilitated in recent philosophy. Do these uncanny gazes have a particular ethical importance that modern philosophy has ignored? We will also consider how our selfie culture and obsessive urge to photograph and share our life on sites like Instagram might be interpreted as philosophically and ethically illuminating.
Religion and Clothing
This looks at outer and underwear in a selection of religions and considers the Islamic Veil as well as the history of Fashion and its connection with Judaism in some detail.
The ethics of enhancing human nature. Sciences like genetics, brain science and AI promise more and more ways to modify the functioning of our bodies and minds. Many of these technologies could be used both to treat diseases and to enhance healthy people's functions and abilities above 'normal' levels. Some people even look forward to a 'transhuman' or 'posthuman' future when we will have enhanced ourselves so massively that we become a new - and better - species altogether. But should we try to do these things? In this presentation we'll look at what might be at stake ethically in human enhancement, and explore contrasting answers from secular and religious ethical thinkers.
Not guilty - my brain made me do it!
Are our decisions, thoughts and actions just the result of the physical activity of our brains - much of which we might not even be conscious of? If our thoughts and actions are simply caused by brain activity, does that mean we don't truly have free will? Does that in turn mean we are not morally responsible for our actions, and don't deserve to be praised, blamed, rewarded or punished? In this presentation we'll explore what neuroscientists, psychologists, philosophers and theologians have to say about these questions. Some of the answers might turn out to be quite a surprise...
Bookings by Teachers for Key Stage 5 (Students aged 16-18)
This event is delivered online
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