Greetings, PEACEtalks community!
Since hosting our ‘Meet the Candidates’ event, we have been rather quiet, but this week a gentle, powerfully transformative voice comes to us from the USA. Alison’s and my dear friend, Esther Meek has come to Australia with Gospel Conversations and is joining us for a conversation over supper.
Esther says “I was thirteen when strange questions seemed to be strangling me: how do I know that God exists? How do I know that there is anything real beyond my mental thoughts of it? I knew of no one I could turn to even to voice the questions.
Eventually, I figured out that the questions weren’t silly; they were philosophical. Thoughtful responses to them had shaped whole cultural epochs across the disciplines. This astounded me!
I found out that our Modern Age touts a philosophy that disavows philosophy. It robs us of our philosophical birthright. It both spawns and dismisses our doubts about knowing and the real. It touts an approach to knowing and the real which actually obstructs our work, damaging ourselves and the world.
My quest for the real led into Academia. But I had to work out my own every-day responses to my early questions. This is what I am doing in my books. And the books are meant for all of us, because all of us share the questions and sense the philosophical crisis of the Modern Age.
So I am a professional philosopher working beyond the ivory tower with people in the streets—where philosophizing ought to happen, to address people’s heartfelt but often thwarted longing for the real. I want to share with others what I needed desperately but took decades to find.
I have found a deeply healing, integrative, life-reorienting approach to our core philosophical questions about knowing and the real. And since our philosophical approach is foundational to everything else we do, this philosophical approach has been proven to positively and concretely impacts every other venture we undertake. I’d like the opportunity to share it with you.
Esther Lightcap Meek. Currently visiting from the USA, Esther is Professor of Philosophy emeritus at Geneva College, in Western Pennsylvania. In addition to being a well known author and speaker, she is a Fellow Scholar with the Fujimura Institute, an Associate Fellow with the Kirby Laing Center for Public Theology, and a member of the Polanyi Society.
“Esther’s work is essential reading for every university, every business, every church, and every home.”
— Makoto Fujimura, artist
“Esther’s work is extraordinary … because it addresses to the person ‘on the street’ but at the same time raises issues that professional philosophers should take account of.”
— Nicholas Wolterstorff, Professor of Philosophical Theology, Yale University
Esther is in Australia as the keynote speaker at “Faith in the fog of reality” – an independent theological conference hosted by Gospel Conversations, on Saturday 20 August (in Croydon), with support from Centre for Public Christianity (CPX).
You can read more about Esther on her website.
PEACEtalks is a quarterly event (held on a Thursday or Saturday evening) hosted by Paddington Anglican Church aimed at serving the community by promoting and cultivating deep conversations about life, the world and everything. ‘PEACE’ stands for ‘political, ethical, artistic & cultural engagement’. As such, our events seek to take all of these areas of our shared humanity seriously in a world where such things are often marginalized. We also seek to demonstrate the ways in which spiritual and theological reflection enable us to look at all of these important areas afresh. All welcome!
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