Woodbrooke to offer 2020 Swarthmore Lecture online

Woodbrooke is delighted to announce that the 2020 Swarthmore Lecture; Openings to the Infinite Ocean: A Friendly Offering of Hope by Tom Shakespeare, will be live-streamed on Saturday 1 August at 19:30 (BST).

The Swarthmore Lecture Committee and Tom felt that despite Yearly Meeting Gathering being postponed the message of the lecture is still hugely relevant to our current times and we are excited to be able to offer it as an online lecture.

In the lecture, Tom will ask how we face all the very real, terrible things that happen in our world and still have hope. How did Friends in the past have hope in dark times and how can we have it today? He will reflect on the nature of hope, our reasons to hope, and how we can preach hope through the way we live our lives.

The lecture will be freely available via the Woodbrooke website at woodbrooke.org.uk/Swarthmore.

There will be an additional opportunity to watch the lecture on Sunday 2 August at 15:00 (BST) and it will be available on Woodbrooke’s YouTube channel from then onwards, alongside previous lectures.

There will be a chance to follow up on the lecture in two ‘Meet the Lecturer’ question and answer sessions with Tom via Zoom at 19:30-20:30 (BST) on Monday 3 August and Wednesday 5 August. These sessions are free but require registration in advance via the Woodbrooke website.  These sessions will be the same, and we ask people to only sign up to one slot so we can accommodate as many people as possible.

We are also excited to announce that the book to accompany the lecture will also be available from 3 August, via the Quaker Centre Bookshop website.  There will be an e-book option for those wanting to read it immediately, or you will be able to order print copies which will be sent out before the end of the month.

Tom will be leading a series of four online sessions in September and October, alongside Woodbrooke tutor Mark Russ, focusing on different themes of the lecture. These can also be booked on the Woodbrooke website. Full details about the lecture and all the surrounding offers are on the Swarthmore Lecture page of the Woodbrooke website, the page will be updated throughout July and August.

The Swarthmore Lecture

Further information:

  • Tom is Professor of Disability Research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.  He has worshipped at Newcastle, Geneva, Norwich, Wymondham, and Westminster Quaker Meetings.  He is a social scientist and bioethicist who has worked particularly on disability and on genetics.  His books include Disability Rights and Wrongs, Genetic Politics, and Disability – the Basics.  He has been involved in the disability rights movement for more than 30 years and has been involved in the arts for nearly as long.  He currently broadcasts regularly on BBC Radio 4.
  • The Swarthmore Lecture runs for approximately 1 hour starting at 19:30 (BST) on Saturday 1 August 2020. The lecture is given as ministry arising from and returning to, a short period of worship. The lecture will be live captioned.
  • The lecture will be available to watch back on the Woodbrooke YouTube channel from Sunday 15:00 (BST) onwards: http://www.youtube.com/c/WoodbrookeOrgUk
  • Meet the 2020 Lecturer sessions: