Online Zoom Forum: Simone Weil:
The Spiritual Vision in her Life and Work.
Date: Wednesday 27 September 2023.
Time: 7pm-9pm (UK time).
Format: There will be four talks, each of 10 minutes, followed by 20 minutes of discussion among the speakers, the chair, and the audience, followed by Q & A.
Bio: Director of the Ekklesia think-tank, which focuses on beliefs, ethics in public life, Simon is also a writer, lecturer and consultant on public policy, training and development, theology and politics. He is a member of the National Union of Journalists' Ethics Council. He has authored and edited or co-edited numerous books, the latest of which is 'A Better Nation: The Challenges of Scottish Independence' (Luath Press, May 2022). His forthcoming book ‘Against the Religion of Power: Telling a Different Christian Story’ will be published by Ekklesia this summer.
Dr Elizabeth Drummond Young:
God, Greeks and Geometry.
Simone Weil thought that science and mathematics provided spiritual nourishment: she took the work of the ancient Greek school of Pythagoras as inspiration and, together with her interest in Plato, produced some startling theses about the relationship between mathematics and spiritual life. I give a short non-technical introduction to this intriguing side of her philosophical and mystical thinking.
Bio: Elizabeth Drummond Young is a teaching fellow in philosophy at The University of Edinburgh (in the Centre for Open Learning). Her research interests include the contribution of women to philosophy in the 20th Century and the philosophy of religion.
Dr Philip Wilson:
Title: Simone Weil and the Poetics of Philosophy.
Description: Ludwig Wittgenstein once asked what the use of philosophy was if all it enabled you to do was to speak about abstruse questions of logic. In this talk, I show how the French philosopher Simone Weil’s philosophy of attention is reflected in her literary work: her verse tragedy Venice Saved and her poetry. The writing illustrates a deep mystical commitment to the world.
Bio: Philip Wilson is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Translation at the University of East Anglia. With Silvia Caprioglio Panizza he has translated Simone Weil’s Venice Saved (Bloomsbury) and Mirror of Obedience (Bloomsbury).
Dr Christopher Thomas:
Title: Simone Weil and the Ethics of the Beautiful.
Description: Simone Weil placed beauty at the heart of some of her most important concepts. For Weil, beauty is an experience of radical decentring, and in this it is a model and motivator for her concept of ‘decreation’. In this talk I will offer a brief introduction to the place of beauty in Simone Weil’s ethical project and suggest that for her the good life is the beautiful life.
Bio: Christopher Thomas is a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Manchester Metropolitan University. He has published widely on both Benedict Spinoza and Simone Weil, and is the co-founder of the UK Simone Weil Research Network.
Dr David Levy:
Title: Simone Weil: A marginal Christian?
Description: In her cosmological treatise concerning the Pythagoreans and their parallels with Christian ideas, Simone Weil makes an interesting comment in the margin. In the comment she contrasts the traditional presentation of the Incarnation and the Crucifixion with her own, before defending her own presentation. The close reading of this comment I will give demonstrates how distant Weil's Christianity is from a more conventional Christianity. Noting this distance is salutary for reading and understanding Weil.
Bio: David Levy is a lecturer in philosophy at the University of Edinburgh. He has recently edited and translated, with Marina Barabas, a collection of Weil's writings. These are forthcoming from Routledge under the title "Simone Weil: Basic Texts."
An archive recording will be made for the EICSP archive.
NB: There will be no refund if you cancel your booking.
Cost: By Donation. For a Registration Form:
(for late inquiries on the day, then email, do not phone.
If you book on the day of the event you will be emailed the Zoom sign-in details 1-2 hours before the event).