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Recovering the Soul

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Event Series Event Series: Recovering the Sacred

November 5, 2022 @ 6:00 pm 8:00 pm CET

Recovering the Soul

with Iain McGilchrist

Saturday November 5, 2022
10:00am PDT | 1:00pm EDT | 5:00pm GMT  |  6:00pm CET

2-hour session

The session is live and you will be sent the RECORDING.

The topic of the sacred is immense, as I confirmed to myself when I wrote a very long chapter on it in The Matter with Things. I have chosen to approach it here by directing our attention, as it might seem at first, to one side: on the soul. I will argue that the sacred exists not simply in this or that thing—an object, a place, or an act—but in the relationship between whatever it is beyond ourselves that we recognise as sacred and that part of our being that has been traditionally referred to as the soul; that this relationship is one of the reasons for evolved beings such as ourselves to have come into existence; that whatever else it may be, the soul is a faculty, like intellect or eyesight, but much more than, and more important than, either; and that our sense of the sacred is both driven by, and in turn drives, the actively receptive attention paid by the soul. I suggest that the soul is in process, and that it is one task of our lives to grow the soul—an important task, because much depends on it: we can, like attentive or neglectful gardeners, nourish, stunt the growth of, or extinguish, that soul. I suggest that therefore we need first to attend to our souls if we are to recover the sacred, and I make a few exploratory forays into what we can (and cannot) say about the soul, and how it might be integrated into a new cosmology.

To see the Full Recovering the Sacred Program

Dr Iain McGilchrist is a Quondam Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, an Associate Fellow of Green Templeton College, Oxford, a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and former Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Director at the Bethlem Royal & Maudsley Hospital, London.  He has been a Research Fellow in neuroimaging at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore and a Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Studies in Stellenbosch.  He has published original articles and research papers in a wide range of publications on topics in literature, philosophy, medicine and psychiatry.  He is the author of a number of books, but is best-known for The Master and his Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World (Yale 2009).  A book on neuroscience, epistemology and ontology called The Matter with Things: Our Brains, Our Delusions and the Unmaking of the World, was published in November 2021.


November 5, 2022
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm CET