Talks & Lectures
Secularism & Feminism
Sat 7 Dec 2013, 14.00
The National Secular Society presents
Secularism & Feminism
Throughout the world, religion is the primary defence used in sustaining misogynistic laws and norms and in perpetuating the control and subservience of women. From the Vatican's attacks on reproductive rights and autonomy, to the use of Islam in the Middle East and North Africa to justify the most appalling oppression and violence – it is clear that secularism is vital in the fight for women's empowerment and equality.
In the UK, the advancement of secular thought has pushed back much religious misogyny and created safe spaces for women and protected our rights; but is the importance of secularism in the fight for women's rights fully appreciated?
The event will be chaired by Anne Marie Waters and speakers at the event will include Pragna Patel (Southall Black Sisters), Nahla Mahmood (Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain), Helen Palmer (Central London Humanists), Helen Nicholls (Lawyers Secular Society), Yasmin Rehman (The Muslim Institute) and more…
The conference will take place from 2pm – 6pm.
It will be followed by an evening of comedy as Terry Sanderson presents his film compilation show "Women in Comedy".
Tickets for the conference are free (£5 for those who also wish to attend the evening event). Registration is essential.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your place, or contact the office.
Sunday Lecture - The Invention of Jesus
Sun 8 Dec 2013, 11.00
The Conway Hall Ethical Society presents
The Invention of Jesus - Peter Cresswell
After the Romans adopted Christianity in the fourth century, the Church had an unrivalled opportunity to spread its message – and a big problem, how to make the texts to conform with what it then wanted people to believe.
In effect, it chose to forge its own records.
Peter Cresswell has taken an in-depth look at the earliest surviving manuscripts of the gospels describing the life and death of Jesus, as well as letters, attributed to Paul and others, to the outposts of the early Church. He will analyse the texts to show how doctrines, such as the divinity of Jesus and the Resurrection, have been progressively introduced into the narrative. By establishing what has been added, he defines what part of the character of Jesus the Christian Church has, over time, invented.
Peter Cresswell studied Social Anthropology at Cambridge University and went on to do a B.Phil. in Sociology at York. In recent years, he has researched the origins of Christianity and its textual transmission.
He is the author of Censored Messiah, Jesus the Terrorist and The Invention of Jesus: How the Church Rewrote the New Testament.
Chair of the Lecture
Carl Harrison is a Trustee and Hon. Archivist of Conway Hall Ethical Society. After a career in local government record offices - helping to sort out the archives of the Society and its predecessors (from 1807) was initially undertaken as light relief! Carl has a keen interest in the way archives can be used and abused to suit political ends past and present. And how such spinning of the historical record can be exposed by detailed analysis of the text. He is looking forward to Peter Cresswell doing this with the ultimate Christian source – the Gospels themselves.
11.00, £5 in advance/£2 concs. Free to Ethical Society members
Tea & Coffee will be available.
Stand up for Russia!
Fri 13 Dec 2013, 19.00
London LGBT Humanists presents
STAND UP FOR RUSSIA! An evening of comedy to support the Russian LGBT Network.
Galha is proud to present an evening of stand-up, featuring some of the country's very finest comic talent, to raise money for the Russian LGBT Network.
One of the funniest acts on the circuit...he has continued to storm every gig he does. GQ Magazine
Gives the tradition of camp comedy a firmly 21st century twist. The Guardian
Stubbings is naturally gifted, with a structure and pace which perfectly suit her material. Just the right amount of racy, with an edge so sharp it will tear up your afternoon for sure. Scotsgay
A highlight of last year’s Free Fringe… …cuts his righteous anger with more than enough charm, wit and well-judged anecdotes to make it fly. The Independent
Great comic timing and composure. Stage
Raconteur, wit and general old cow. Attitude
Rapier wit, tall tales and intelligent stand-up from the BBC Radio 4 regular and prolific writer. Evening Standard
Entry will be £10 on the door. All profits going straight to the Russian LGBT Network.
Sunday Lecture - A Secular Society?
Sun 15 Dec 2013, 11.00
Keith Porteous Wood will be talking about the National Secular Society’s campaigning work, which has been exceptionally wide-ranging in the last year.
The key focus has been on education, the area where the absence of secularism impinges on most directly on citizens. Religious education and evangelisation in schools has been a particular focus. Admissions and examinations have also featured.
We are resisting attempts to row back our success at the High Court in banning prayers during Council meetings, but not before them.
Another major campaign relates to Roman Catholic child abuse, over which we have made significant progress at the United Nations in Geneva in recent year - not that were suggesting any way that the Roman Catholic Church has a monopoly on child abuse. Also on a Roman Catholic theme, we are responsible for a formal challenge to the last Roman Catholic adoption agency to refuse to include non-Catholic, non-married and same sex couples as potential adoptive parents.
Keith looks forward to answering questions on the Society's work.
Keith Porteous Wood is the Executive Director of the National Secular Society in the United Kingdom, a position he has held since 1996.
In 2007 he received the Distinguished Service to Humanism Award from the International Humanist and Ethical Union for his work in building up the National Secular Society and campaigning for secularism both nationally and internationally.
11.00, £5 in advance, £2 concs./Free to Ethical Society members
Tea & Coffee will be available.