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London Encounter 2018

Saturday, 3 November 2018, etc.venues St Paul’s, London


London Encounter will return for its fifth edition on Saturday 3 November 2018, and will be held at etc.venues St Paul’s, 200 Aldersgate Street, Barbican, London EC1A 4HD

“Freedom exists for the sake of love”– Pope John Paul II, Love and Responsibility, p.135

Freedom, which we all desire, is often presented to us as a question of maximising possibility and exercising personal choice without outside interference. Yet our lived experience is often far more complex. What seems good to us may in fact be denied to us, or we may experience our own fragility and failure in ways which leave us feeling crushed or trapped. In his comments at the London Encounter last year, Rowan Williams remarked on how difficult it can be for us to find safe places where we can experience the freedom to take risks and to make mistakes, and to be helped to our feet when we fall, so that failure can become the cause of our growth rather than a condemnation.

What then is real freedom? Fr. Luigi Guissani defines the Christian understanding in these terms:

“So here is the paradox: freedom is dependence upon God. It is a paradox, but it is absolutely clear. The human being…once we were not, now we are, and tomorrow we will no longer be: thus we depend. And either we depend upon the flux of our material antecendents, and are consequently the slaves of the powers that be, or we depend upon What lies at the origin of the movement of all things, beyond them, which is to say, God.”The Religious Sense, pp. 91-2.

In the London Encounter 2018, we want to explore the proposal that true freedom is in fact found through belonging: through the adherence to particular relationships, paths and places which allow us to live life with openness and to breathe.

Pope Francis points to the example of living freedom provided in St. Joseph, a man who did not persist stubbornly in following his own plan for his life, but who was attentive to another plan written in the depths of his heart. He was ready to make himself available to this unexpected truth:

“And Joseph thereby became even freer and greater. By accepting himself according to God’s design, Joseph fully finds himself, beyond himself. His freedom to renounce even what is his, the possession of his very life, and his full interior availability to the will of God challenges us and shows us the way.”Angelus Address, 22 December 2013

London Encounter 2018 will include the following Exhibitions and Meetings:

  • Exhibition: The Life of Anthony Bloom, Russian Orthodox Metropolitan of Sorouzh

  • Exhibition: Beyond sound and shape: The War Poetry and Art of David Jones

  • Meeting: Can we be truly free in the modern work environment ?

  • Meeting: Poetry, truth and freedom

  • Evening event: Dostoevsky’s ‘The Brothers Karamazov’

For more information: www.thelondonencounter.co.uk

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