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2018 Convocation Annual Lecture –  Poetry and the Art of Peace

On Monday 22nd October at 5.30pm Pádraig Ó Tuama will be giving the 2018 Convocation Annual Lecture – Poetry and the Art of Peace.

Pádraig Ó Tuama is a poet, theologian, mediator and peace activist/educator. Since 2014, he has been the leader of the Corrymeela community, Ireland’s oldest and pre-eminent organisation for peace and reconciliation. He grew up in Cork, and after a nomadic, highly creative decade in Switzerland, Australia, Lithuania, Uganda and the Philippines, he settled in Belfast in 2003. With a poet’s interest in storytelling, language, theology and conflict are among the dominant themes referenced in his work.

Pádraig writes poetry and prose, lectures, leads retreats, and is a frequent contributor to religious broadcasting across the British Isles. His published poetry and prose include In the Shelter, Sorry for your Troubles, Readings from the Books of Exile and Discovering the Spirit in the City. He is also a group worker and has worked with groups in Ireland, Britain, the US and Australia.

This is a very special year for the Convocation Lecture, which is taking place at Coleraine Campus in its 50th anniversary year, an anniversary that Corrymeela has recently also celebrated. Pádraig’s being here with us thus draws a wonderful congruence between these two institutions, both founded on the North Coast, both created to bring new hope and new potential to Northern Ireland as it entered into its period of greatest darkness.

The Convocation Executive Committee would be delighted if you could join us for the lecture at 5.30pm on 22nd March in the Bannview rooms (E206/207) at the Coleraine campus and for light refreshments afterwards.

Last year's annual lecture

Last year's annual lecture was successful and featured a presentation by Dr David Glass entitled "From the Big Bang to Artificial Intelligence: Do Science and God Compete?

Dr David Glass is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Computing and Mathematics. As well as undertaking research in the areas of computational and mathematical modelling and philosophy of science, in a recent project he has used probability theory to help determine whether science can ‘explain away’ God. He has given many academic and popular lectures on the relationship between science and religion and is the author of Atheism’s New Clothes, which is a response to the writings of the New Atheists.

This lecture explored whether science and God are in competition or whether science might actually provide support for belief in God. The final part of the lecture briefly considered whether developments in artificial intelligence could undermine a religious view of human beings.