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Chancellor's Lectures  2018 - 'Narratives of Transformation - learning from autobiographies about life, love and God'

Thursdays 17th and 24th May, 7th and 14th June 2018 at 6.30pm

Canon Dr Anthony Cane
Canon Dr Anthony Cane

In the Cathedral Nave.  Free entry and all are welcome.

Each year Chichester Cathedral's Chancellor gives an annual series of public lectures which are free to attend and open to all.  The four lectures for 2018 come under the thought provoking title of 'Narratives of Transformation - learning from autobiographies about life, love and God' and will examine the power of autobiographies, from St Augustine's 'Confession', to Emmeline Pankhurst's 'My Own Story', to contemporary online experiences. All the lectures are held in the Cathedral nave.

The Cathedral Chancellor, Canon Dr Anthony Cane says: 'My favourite definition of an autobiography is: "one person telling another, 'something happened to me.'"  For the story to be told, to be written down, something worth telling must have happened.  Usually, there has been change; there is a 'before' and an 'after'.  The change, or transformation, may be of very different kinds - religious, or philosophical, or scientific; or that the person has overcome trauma, or achieved huge success from humble beginnings.

Augustine of Hippo
Augustine of Hippo

In my Chancellor's lectures for 2018, I am going to focus on these 'narratives of transformation', convinced that reading them can itself be transformative.  When we read an autobiography, this is as close as it is possible to get to the living presence of someone we do not know.  Even if the author lived in another historical period or on the other side of the world, he or she was particularly present to themselves as they wrote, and present to us as we read.  So whether we are reading Augustine of Hippo, whose Confessions (written in the late fourth century) invented the genre of autobiography, or Suffragette: My Own Story by Emmeline Pankhurst, or the powerful first person narratives collected by Marina Cantacuzino's The Forgiveness Project, the experience will have an impact and is unlikely to leave us unchanged.'

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