Event: Day Conference and Evening Cultural Celebration: Spiritual Perspectives on Love and Friendship.

Speakers and Facilitators: Prof Zenon Bankowski, Rev Rolf Billes, Geo Cameron De Danu, Prof Sophie-Grace Chappell, Dr Alix Cohen, Dr Elizabeth Drummond Young, Lee Gershuny, Dr David Levy, Japanese Consul General in Edinburgh, Daisuke Matsunaga, Dr Tony Milligan, Ann Roberts and Bishop Brian Smith.

Venue: Sanctuary, Augustine United Church, 41 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1EL.
Date: Saturday 16 September 2017.
Time: Registration: 9.30am-10am. Day Conference: 10am-4.45pm.
Registration: 6.30pm-7pm. Evening Cultural Celebration: 7pm-9pm.
Event Description: This Day Conference and Evening Cultural Celebration will look at issues associated with love and friendship, and the evening event will celebrate writings and creativity associated with the theme.


 Event: Day Conference and Evening Cultural Celebration:

Spiritual Perspectives on Love and Friendship.

Venue: Sanctuary, Augustine United Church, 41 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1EL.

Date: Saturday 16 September 2017.

Time: Registration: 9.30am-10am. Day Conference: 10am-4.45pm.

Registration: 6.30pm-7pm. Evening Cultural Celebration: 7pm-9pm.

Organised by Edinburgh International Centre for Spirituality and Peace, EICSP,

Scottish Charity, SC038996, www.eicsp.org


Day Conference: 9.30am-4.45pm.

9.30am-10am: Arrival and Registration.

10am-10.10am: Introduction and Welcome: Dr Elizabeth Drummond Young.

10.10am-11am: Keynote address: Professor Sophie-Grace Chappell.

Title: Love beyond Reasons.

Description: “Why do you love me?” seems the ultimate trick question. Because if you say “I love you because xyz” then your questioner can retort “So you wouldn’t love me UNLESS xyz?” Whereas if you say “No reason, I just do” then your questioner can retort “So your love for me is irrational/unreasonable?” My talk is about this paradox. I’ll consider some ways to solve it.

Biog: Sophie Grace Chappell is Professor of Philosophy at The Open University. Her books include Ethics And Experience (Acumen 2011) and Knowing What To Do (OUP 2014).

11.05am-11.35am: Plenary address: Dr David Levy.

Title: A friend of Justice?

Description: I shall argue that love and friendship are different in ways that go deep by considering that it is possible to love justice but not be friends with justice. This observation illuminates many differences between love and friendship.

Biog: Dr David Levy is Senior Teaching Fellow in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh. His research and publications have focused on moral philosophy, Wittgenstein, and Simone Weil.

11.40am-12am: Tea/coffee break.

12am-12.30pm: Plenary address: Dr Elizabeth Drummond Young.

Title: Love, Dignity and the Individual.

Description: Love is often seen as either a selfish urge – the romantic couple pursuing their passion regardless of the rest of the world – or as a universal and generalising requirement - ‘love your neighbour’, where everybody turns out to be your neighbour. I will look at another way in which love operates, which is to mark each of us out as an individual and in a way which retains or restores our dignity.

Biog: I work in the Open Studies department at the University of Edinburgh, where I offer a course on Love and Friendship. I am particularly interested in 20th Century writers with a combined spiritual and political stance such as Simone Weil, Hannah Arendt and Raimond Gaita, and publish and speak on topics arising from their work.

12.30pm-1pm: Plenary address: Prof Zenon Bankowski.

Title: The Law of Love.

Description: Iris Murdoch in her novel, Under the Net, amusingly details the comic and sad escapades of her hero who, in existentialist manner, is trying to gain freedom by escaping the ever present net of rules, is trying to find his true autonomy in the face of the heteronomy of rules.  Is this something that we are all doomed to; to try and strike out on our own only to be hauled back by the rules - our attempts at contingency always broken by the force of rules?  Can we live a life outside the law and what sort of life would that be?  Or do we have to settle for the life of the law?  Is it impossible to live in and out of the law or must we choose one or the other so as not to subvert the alternative we choose?  Does a life of law preclude love and does a life of love preclude law? Social questions also raise individual moral and ethical questions; that to live lawfully implies both a question of how I should live in my relations with my fellows and how society should be organised.  I will look at the precarious intertwining  of Law and Love in our social and personal lives.

Biog: Zenon Bankowski is a Pole who was born in 1946 in Germany. Brought up in England, he studied in Scotland at the Universities in Dundee and Glasgow. He is currently Emeritus Professor of Legal Theory at the Law School of Edinburgh University and lives in Edinburgh. His book Living Lawfully looks at the relations between Law and Love and the Ethical Life of Legal Institutions. He is currently looking at the place of the visual and movement arts in relation to Law and Legal Education and the formation of the ethical imagination. He has taken part in dance workshops, was a competitive athlete (a past winner of the Edinburgh 7 Hills race), and is a volunteer neighbourhood mediator.

1pm-2.15pm: Lunch break.

2.15pm-3.05pm: Keynote address: Dr Tony Milligan.

Title: Mortal Longings.

Description: An examination of what it means to love others in a way that does not demand perfection or that the other completes us, and instead involves acceptance of incompleteness, impermanence and vulnerability to loss.

Biog: Tony Milligan is the author of a number of books on ethics and political philosophy, including Love (2012) in the Routledge ‘Art of Living’ Series. He is affiliated to the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at King’s College London.

3.10pm-3.40pm: Plenary address: Dr Alix Cohen.

Title: Is love all you need? Not according to Kant.

Biog: Alix is a Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, having previously held lectureships at the universities of York and Leeds, and a Junior Research Fellowship at Newnham College, Cambridge. She is the author of Kant and the Human Sciences: Biology, Anthropology and History (Palgrave, 2009), the editor of Kant’s Lectures on Anthropology: A Critical Guide (Cambridge University Press, 2014), Kant on Emotion and Value (Palgrave, 2014), and Thinking Philosophically about the Emotions (Oxford University Press, 2017). She is also Associate Editor of the British Journal for the History of Philosophy and the Oxford Bibliography Online (OUP), and has written dozens of articles and book chapters on Kant as well as Hume and Rousseau.

3.40pm-4pm: Tea/coffee break.

4pm-4.30pm: Plenary address: Plenary address: Bishop Brian Smith.

Title: Love, Tragedy and Compromise: A reflection on tensions within the Western tradition of thinking about love.

Biog: Brian Smith was born in Edinburgh, and studied philosophy at the University of Edinburgh. He then studied theology at Cambridge a afterwards taught theology in Oxford. Following a number of ecclesiastical appointments, he was elected Bishop of Edinburgh in 2001, a post from which he retired in 2011. Since retirement he has paid visits to Botswana as a volunteer teaching theology in the new Anglican theological school.

4.30pm-4.45pm: Summing up: Dr Elizabeth Drummond Young.


Evening Cultural Celebration:

Registration: 6.30pm-7pm. Evening Cultural Celebration: 7pm-9pm.

Daisuke Matsunaga, Japanese Consul General in Edinburgh: The Four Aspects of True Love.

True love is supposed to have four aspects. What are they? How can we cultivate true love in ourselves?”

Bishop Brian Smith: The Voice of Anna Akhmatova.

Lee Gershuny, a poet and award-winning playwright in the US and the UK, Lee is Founder/Artistic Director of The Elements World Theatre (EWT): Being Love.

Geo Cameron De Danu: Divine and Romantic Love.

Ann Roberts, of the Center for Timeless Earth Wisdom: Love and the Family: an Earth Wisdom Perspective.

Rev Rolf Billes, Minister, Colinton Parish Church: The Seven Sounds of Love: experiential practice based upon the work of Chloe Goodchild.


Love and Friendship

Cost: Day Conference: £25/£20 (Concessions/£10 (Students).
Evening Cultural Celebration: £10/£8 (Concessions)/£4 (Student). For a Registration Form:
Contact: Neill Walker, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 0131 331 4469.

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