2011 – 2012

The main events

03.10.12: Daniel Jones founder of the UK church of Jedism speakes to the Theo via video link. Practitioners identify themselves with the Jedi Knights in Star Wars, believe in the existence of the Force and that interaction with the Force is possible. Believers align themselves with the moral code demonstrated by the fictional Jedi. Many Jedi churches described the religion as syncretistic, incorporating beliefs from various religious philosophies including Christianity, Stoicism, Buddhism, Taoism and Shintoism.

24.10.12: ghaffar hussain is born in England and has Pakistani Roots. He’s the head of the training for Britain’s Quilliam Foundation, an organization which fights against Islamic radicalization in England. Ghaffar spoke to Theo on the rainiest night of the year in Dublin, it was many peoples favourite event of the year (Despite the floods)

Ghaffar Hussain is Director of Training and Consultancy at the Quilliam Foundation and author of A Brief History of Islamism. He holds a BSc (HONS) in Psychology from the University of
Wales. Ghaffar previously worked as a Business Development Manager for a number of IT firms and ran his own business venture. In his youth, he was a very active supporter of a number of non-violent Islamist organizations in the UK. He now works to challenge extremists’ ideas and to promote positive modes of
political engagement. Ghaffar regularly travels to the UK, North America, and Europe to deliver lectures and organise training sessionsfor policy makers and practitioners, as well as students
and journalists. These sessionsfocus on raising awareness of Islamist radicalisation as a phenomenon, as well as addressing external contributory factors such as identity, alienation
and perceived grievances. Ghaffar has been quoted in a range of international outlets including: The National, Paris Match,
TheGuardian, Der Speigel, Kultur Austausch, Islamonline, LBC and the BBC. He is also on the Advisory Council of CSARN (City Security and Resilience Networks)

21.11.12: Pav Akhtar, one of the few openly gay Muslim politicians in the world spoke to Theo and Q A British Labour Party politician, he also used to work for the trade union UNISON and was Cambridge’s Student Union’s first non-white president. In this joint event between Theo and Q Soc, he spoke on LGBT issues in Islam.

Akhtar is an openly gay Muslim politician and is a regular speaker at anti-racist and anti-fascist events, as well as at employment, equality and human rights conferences.[3] Akhtar received the British Diversity Award’s gold medal in 2000;[4] was awarded the national accolade of Ethnic Student of the Year in 2001;[5] was ranked among the 50 most influential LGBT people in British politics by Pink News in 2007; a Pink Paper Readers’ Award In 2011;[1] the Stonewall Community Award in 2011,[6] and the Trinity College Dublin award for Outstanding Contribution to Human Rights in 2011.

05.12.11: In the last (non-Christmas-party) event of 2011, the magnificent Theo is hosted a talk on Hinduism. The speaker was Sudhansh Verma of the Hindu Cultural Centre, it was a stimulating evening. Those requiring further stimulation enjoyed the big reception afterwards.

Hindu Cultural Centre Ireland (HCCI) was launched in August 2007 with a view to create an Indian Cultural Centre in and around Dublin . The Cultural Centre will provide a platform for the community to practice and promote Indian culture. The Cultural Centre will be broadly based covering various important aspects of Indian culture viz. music, languages, drama, yoga, religion, etc. It will also provide a place of worship, Mandir, need for which has been long felt. Through awareness and practice of our culture it will be possible for us and our children to integrate with the Irish community without losing our identity. Such a cultural centre will be accessed by everyone in society, Indians and non-Indians alike.

07.10.12: The Theo’s next speaker is Richard Swinburne, the Oxford Emeritus Nolloth Professor of the Philosophy of the Christian Religion. He is famous for claiming that Christian faith can be justified rationally. This talk will be on ‘The Evidence for the Resurrection’.

ver the last 50 years Swinburne has been a very influential proponent of philosophical arguments for the existence of God. His philosophical contributions are primarily in philosophy of religion and philosophy of science. He aroused much discussion with his early work in the philosophy of religion, a trilogy of books consisting of The Coherence of Theism, The Existence of God, and Faith and Reason.

Swinburne received an Open Scholarship to study Classics at Exeter College, Oxford, but in fact graduated with a first class BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. Swinburne has held various professorships through his career in academia. From 1972 to 1985 he taught at Keele University. During part of this time, he gave the Gifford lectures at Aberdeen from 1982 to 1984, resulting in the book The Evolution of the Soul. From 1985 until his retirement in 2002 he was Nolloth Professor of the Philosophy of the Christian Religion at the University of Oxford (his successor in this chair is Brian Leftow).
Swinburne has been a very active author throughout his career, producing a major book every two to three years. His books are primarily very technical works of academic philosophy, but he has written at the popular level as well. Of the non-technical works, his Is There a God? (1996), summarizing for a non-specialist audience many of his arguments for the existence of God and plausibility in the belief of that existence, is probably the most popular, and is available in translation in 22 languages.

20.02.12: Vajrashura from the Dublin Buddhist centre a former trinity Graduate himself will be taking us through the basic tenants of this much admired yet distant faith. ‘The Essence of Buddhism’ will be giving a talk which introduces people to what Buddhism is and is not, and some of the core teachings of the Buddhist tradition.

The Dublin Buddhist Centre is part of a world-wide movement of Buddhist centres called the Triratna Buddhist Community (formerly the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order, FWBO). We are a not-for-profit religious charity, and have been teaching Buddhism, meditation and yoga in Dublin since 1990.

Buddhism is a path of practise and spiritual development leading to a liberating insight into the true nature of life. It enables people to fulfill their deepest potential, and to develop the qualities of Wisdom and Compassion.

05.10.12: Robert Barsky is the author or editor of numerous books on narrative and refugee law (Constructing a Productive Other: Discourse Theory and the Convention Refugee Hearing as well as Arguing and Justifying: Assessing the Convention Refugees’ Choice of Moment, Motive and Host Country), his lecture is based on 20 years of research

Barsky is the author or editor of numerous books on narrative and refugee law (Constructing a Productive Other: Discourse Theory and the Convention Refugee Hearing and Arguing and Justifying: Assessing the Convention Refugees’ Choice of Moment, Motive and Host Country), on radical theory and practice (The Chomsky Effect: A Radical Works Beyond the Ivory Tower, Noam Chomsky: A Life of Dissent and an edition of Anton Pannekoek’s Workers Councils) on discourse and literary theory (Introduction à la théorie littéraire, an edited volume with Michael Holquist titled Bakhtin and Otherness, an edited collection with Eric Méchoulan titled The Production of French Criticism, an edited collection titled Marc Angenot and the Scandal of History, an edited collection with Saleem Ali for www.ameriquests.org on “Quests Beyond the Ivory Tower: Public Intellectuals, Academia and the Media”) and on translation — in both theory and practice (including the translation of Michel Meyer’s Philosophy and the Passions). He has been involved with a range of journals, including SubStance, for which he served as an editor, and he is the founder of 415 South Street, a literary magazine at Brandeis University, Discours social/Social Discourse, and AmeriQuests.

Professor Barsky taught a class at Vanderbilt Summer Academy, 2008, titled The Magic of Words. The course was about the connections between magic, social systems, and linguistics. The following year he taught a second course titled Literature and Revolt, exploring connections between revolutionary thought and action and literary figures and movements.

12.03.12: Dubliner Paul Lennon ex member of the Legion of Christ speaks to Theo about his expierences int he group and with Fr. Marcial Maciel, plus his website, his memo

(John) Paul Lennon, was born in Dublin during World War II -Ireland remained neutral- to working-class Catholic parents, and educated with the Irish Christian Brothers. He joined the Legion of Christi Order at age 17 and spent 23 years with the Legion in Spain, Rome, and Mexico, finally leaving after an acrimonious encounter with the then considered saintly founder, Fr. Marcial Maciel. He describes his childhood, youth and adulthood in “Our Father (Maciel), who art in bed, a Naive and Sentimental Dubliner in the Legion of Christ” (Amazon, 2008). Paul and the organization he helped found, REGAIN, INC, were sued by the Legion in 2007 in Alexandria City, Virginia, District Court. A year later he had to settle when he ran out of funds to defend himself. Wounded by the lawsuit REGAIN limps along and Paul continues to blog away to tell the truth as he sees it and warn others about the dangers of the Legion of Christ and its Regnum Christi lay movement. He recently published a booklet of prayers in Spanish, “Un Cura lucha con Dios” (A Priest Wrestles with God) and is planning to publish poems, and prayers, and articles -maybe even another book- in the near future.

26.03.12: Prof. Bernard McGinn is one of the world leading experts on the history of Christian mysticism, He spoke to the Theo on the history of Christian Mysticism Scholarship.

Bernard McGinn (born 1937) is a theologian, historian, and scholar of spirituality, affiliated with the University of Chicago, where he is Naomi Shenstone Donnelley Professor Emeritus of Historical Theology and of the History of Christianity in the Divinity School and the Committees on Medieval Studies and on General Studies.[1][2] He received educational degrees from the Pontifical Gregorian University (STL, 1963) and from Brandeis University (PhD, 1970).[1][3] He retired (assumed emeritus status) in 2003,[3] but has continued to publish scholarly work since that time.[4]

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