Leading scholar on gender and sexuality to give prestigious lecture series at the University of Glasgow

Image of the Gifford Lectures website

 The University of Glasgow will this week host one of the foremost lecture series dealing with religion, science and philosophy.

The Gifford Lectures, established 130 years ago, are delivered annually at the four ancient Scottish Universities of Glasgow, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and St Andrews.

This year’s sold out  Gifford Lectures at the University of Glasgow will be by Professor Judith Butler, a leading scholar on gender and sexuality at the University of California Berkeley.

The linked lecture series by Professor Butler entitled “What does inequality have to do with non-violence?” will take place from October 1 to October 3 at the Bute Hall. Professor Butler will also be leading a seminar with postgraduate researchers in the University.

Professor Butler is the Maxine Elliot Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature and the Program of Critical Theory at Berkeley.

Her Gifford lectures will suggest that a philosophy of non-violence has to take into account forms of inequality that value certain lives more highly than others.

The Glasgow Gifford Committee said: “We were delighted when Judith Butler agreed to give this year's Gifford lectures. Professor Butler's work has had a major influence on political philosophy, ethics and the fields of third-wave feminist, queer and literary theory, as well as the study of performance more broadly.

“Since 1993, she has taught at the University of California, Berkeley, where she is now Maxine Elliot Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature and the Program of Critical Theory. She is also the Hannah Arendt Chair at the European Graduate School. Butler has actively supported lesbian and gay rights movements globally and has spoken out on many contemporary political issues. We are honoured to welcome her to the University of Glasgow.”

The Gifford Lectures - held regularly at the four ancient Scottish universities with the exception of the Second World War 1942-1945  - were established under the will of Adam Lord Gifford, a Senator of the College of Justice, who died in 1887. 

His bequest allows the University to invite notable scholars to deliver a series of public lectures on themes related to ‘natural theology’, in the widest sense of the terms.

Since the first lecture series in 1888, delivered at the University of Glasgow by German-born scholar Max Müller, Gifford Lecturers have been recognised as pre-eminent thinkers in their respective fields.

Due to the demand for tickets, all the lecture series at the University of Glasgow are now sold out. However the lectures will be live-streamed at https://jwp.io/s/Ihgb2W45

The Gifford Lectures began in 1888 and, with the exception of the years during World War II, 1942-1945, have been delivered continuously since that time. Learn more here - https://www.giffordlectures.org/

A Gifford lectures appointment is one of the most prestigious honors in Scottish academia.

They are normally presented as a series over an academic year and given with the intent that the edited content be published in book form. A number of these works have become classics in the fields of theology or philosophy and the relationship between religion and science.

Some of the many notable speakers to have delivered lectures including American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, and social critic Noam Chomsky; Dame Iris Murdoch, the writer and philosopher; and American astronomer, astrophysicist, researcher and author Carl Sagan, known as “the astronomer of the people” for his contributions to popularising astronomy.

First published: 1 October 2018

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