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ROWAN WILLIAMS – on Looking East in Winter.


Notwithstanding spring flowers and birdsong, are we living in wintry times? In terms of our spiritual or religious life, what lessons do Eastern traditions have for the West? Former Archbishop of Canterbury and Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, Regius Professor of Divinity at both Oxford and Cambridge, and author of many books, Rowan Williams introduces us to some aspects and personalities of the Orthodox Christian world, from the desert contemplatives of the fourth century to philosophers, novelists, and activists of

the modern era, that suggest where we might look for fresh

light and warmth.

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Rowan Williams_Image credit to Paul Roge

Photograph: Paul Rogers

THE BRUDERHOF  –  on Another Life is Possible, with members Claire Stober and Bernard Hibbs, and photographer Danny Burrows, in conversation with Catherine Okoronkwo and Matt Holland.


Is it possible to create a society where there are no rich or poor, where children, elderly, and so-called disabled people are equally welcome and cared for, and where no one lives in isolation? How might a shared life, living and working in community, where everyone pools their possessions, talents, and energy, provide answers to isolation, materialism, and inequality? 
The Bruderhof has been seeking answer to question like these for 100 years; and they do so by trying to live out and put into daily practice their beliefs, aims, and ideals.
Another Life Is Possible, with stories from one hundred members, is newly-published to coincide with the centenary of the Bruderhof, a Christian movement with communities worldwide.

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OLLIVIER POURRIOL – on The French Art of not trying too hard.

Presented in association with the Swindon Philosophical Society


Is it possible to succeed more when you renounce perfectionism and generally loosen up a little? Could we all benefit from a bit more irreverence and lighter touches? Is there any truth in the notion that some of the best ‘books are made out of wasted time, daydreaming, and thinking about nothing.’ And what about love, or at least seduction? Even though it could be said that one garçon’s joie de vivre is another man’s promiscuity, it’s convincingly argued that that falling in love should never be hard graft.
Philosopher, writer, lecturer at the Paris Philharmonie, and prize-winning novelist Ollivier Pourriol has, for many years, been exploring the art of living, ambition, creativity, and easier ways to reach our goals.

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ANTHONY COSTELLO - on the power of sympathy groups for

our health, wealth, and sustainable future.

Presented in association with the Swindon Philosophical Society.


Key movers and shakers are obsessed with finding big, complicated, technological solutions to the modern ills, pandemics of disease, loneliness, inequality, financial meltdowns, and environmental destruction. 
But what if the solutions lie not in techno fixes, but in harnessing the power of one of the oldest and simplest human units – the sympathy group?
In a radical new argument in his latest book The Social Edge, award-winning scientist and author Anthony Costello lays out a new science of cooperation based on twenty years studying community participation. In this fascinating, insightful, and even funny book, Professor Costello explains how science can harness the power of sympathy groups to make things better. 

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