Voices, Visions, and Divine Inspiration (Public lecture, discussion and poetry reading, 18th February)


Detail from The Great Red Dragon and the Beast from the Sea, by William Blake (1805) William Blake [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Detail from The Great Red Dragon and the Beast from the Sea, by William Blake (1805) William Blake [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Join members of the Department of English Studies and the Hearing the Voice project to explore the spiritual aspects of hearing voices and the way in which these rich and enigmatic experiences have been represented and interpreted in different religious contexts from the medieval period to the present, including through literature and writing.

Investigate the spiritual voices and visions of medieval visionaries – including the French saint Joan of Arc, whose voices inspired her to lead an army; the English mystic Julian of Norwich, whose Revelations of Divine Love retain a powerful influence today; and Margery Kempe, author of the first autobiography in English – as well as the role and representation of voice-hearing in early Mormonism, Buddhism and ayahuasca rituals.

The event features a public lecture by Corinne Saunders (English Studies), and a panel discussion with Durham University’s Chris Cook, Hilary Powell, Adam Powell, David Dupuis, Isabel Clarke (Clinical Psychologist, author of Psychosis and Spirituality) and Satyin Taylor (Department of Spiritual, Religious & Cultural Care East London NHS Foundation Trust). A wine reception between 5pm and 6pm will feature readings of specially commissioned works by Sara Maitland and winner of the 2016 Queen’s medal for poetry, Gillian Allnutt.

All welcome to St Chad’s College Chapel on 18th February, 13.00-18.00. All are welcome and places can be reserved in advance through Eventbrite.

This public symposium will advance some of the aspects presented in the Hearing Voices exhibition, which is currently on display at Palace Green Library.

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