Rowan Williams to speak at Festival of Wellbeing

By agency reporter
August 20, 2013

Christian Aid chair Rowan Williams will be speaking about how our pursuit of knowledge affects human relationships and can be the source of "frustration and injustice" at the Resurgence Trust's Festival of Wellbeing in October 2013.

The festival, organised by Resurgence & Ecologist magazine, will focus on ‘the shift from economic growth to growth in wellbeing’ and is being held at the Bishopsgate Institute in London on Saturday 12 October.

The former Archbishop of Canterbury will talk about how knowledge has to come through experience and sharing life with others:

"Our culture has a very clear and very dysfunctional idea of what it is to ‘know’ things,’" he said. "We still regularly talk as though it was a matter of a disembodied mind surveying a dead landscape. Other ways of thinking about this need revisiting, especially those that stress that knowing is some sort of sharing of life: we know the world as part of it, not as something separate.

"This is an essential aspect of a religious approach to the world, but it’s also a profoundly important principle for our human relations, our politics and economics. We need to get beyond a picture of knowledge that assumes we are disembodied minds managing dead matter. This is the source of many of our current tangles of frustration and injustice."

Also speaking at this year’s festival will be poet and Booker prize-winning novelist Ben Okri, author Tony Juniper, poet Ruth Padel and campaigning journalist Tamsin Omond, among others.

Editor-in-chief of Resurgence and Ecologist Magazine, Satish Kumar, who is hosting the event said the festival would examine the nature of wellbeing from multiple perspectives.

He said: "I am honoured and delighted that Rowan Williams will be speaking at our Festival of Wellbeing. He brings with him a unique level of wisdom and intelligence which blends economy, social justice and spirituality. This will enhance our event which focuses on wellbeing from a variety of angles including environmental, personal and social.

"The Festival of Wellbeing provides an extraordinary combination of economists, environmentalists, business leaders, spiritual leaders and activists within the field of development."

* For more information, or to buy a ticket for the event, visit


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