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Upcoming event: The burden of hate

From internet trolls to school bullies, from racist chants to homophobia we all have the capacity to hate, says Sally Kohn. In The Forgiveness Project's 8th Annual Lecture, the author of The Opposite of Hate explores the epidemic of hate all around us and explains how we can stop it and repair our humanity. 13 September, Tabernacle

Past Events

Annual Lectures


The Politics of Forgiveness

At our 7th Annual Lecture writer and broadcaster, Richard Holloway offered a wide-ranging interpretation of the complexity of the human condition and the fundamental importance of forgiveness to the sustaining of its social and political institutions.

The lecture was chaired by Shadow Attorney General and member of the House of Lords, Shami Chakrabarti.


Forgiveness and Compassion: Is there a difference?

Our 5th Annual Lecture was given by Karen Armstrong, who lent her perspectives on religion to the topic, ‘Forgiveness and Compassion: Is there a difference?’.

The lecture was chaired by journalist, broadcaster and author Sarfraz Manzoor, who carefully brought together Karen’s lecture with the perspectives of our other two speakers – Yasmin Yar Mulbocus and Bjørn Magnus Jacobsen Ihler.


Zero Degrees of Empathy: Exploring explanations of human cruelty and kindness

Simon Baron-Cohen, Professor of Developmental Psychopathology at the University of Cambridge delivered the keynote speech at our 4th Annual Lecture.

This was followed by a panel discussion with Mary FoleyPeter Woolf and Marina Cantacuzino, chaired by Simon Fanshawe.


The Line Dividing Good and Evil

Dr Gwen Adshead, forensic psychiatrist at Broadmoor High Security Hospital, delivered our 3rd Annual Lecture, supported on stage by three contributors who shared some of their own personal narratives.

These were: Marian Partington whose sister was murdered by Fred and Rosemary West; Erwin James, the Guardian columnist and former prisoner who has served a life sentence for murder; and Kemal Pervanic, survivor of the notorious Omarska concentration camp in Bosnia.


Is Violence Ever Justified?

On 12th May 2010 more than 800 people piled into St John’s Smith Square, London, to hear Archbishop Desmond Tutu, founding patron of The Forgiveness Project, deliver our inaugural Annual Lecture.

Archbishop Tutu was joined on stage by Mary Blewitt who lost 50 members of her family in the Rwandan genocide; Jo Berry whose father was killed in the 1984 Brighton bombing; and Patrick Magee, the former IRA activist who planted the bomb. The event was chaired by BBC broadcaster Edward Stourton.

Forgiveness Conversations


Can forgiveness repair communities?

Chair: Marina Cantacuzino
Panel: Sue Hanisch, Imad Karam, Howard Grace


Can radical compassion win the war against violent extremism?

Chair: Rachel Briggs OBE
Panel: Tony McAleer and a former female Islamic extremist


Do you need God to forgive?

Chair: Madeleine Bunting
Panel: Jonathan Wittenberg, Catherine Pepinster, Usama Hasan


How do we deal with unresolved pain and trauma?

Chair: Dr Scherto Gill
Panel: Jean Paul Samputu, Dr Duncan Morrow, Alexandra Asseily


Can revenge ever work?

Chair: Marina Cantacuzino
Panel: Natalia Aggiano, Virginia Ironside, Robin Shohet


What’s the point of punishment if society won’t forgive?

Chair: Roger Graef
Panel: Shad Ali, Jacob Dunne, Liz Dixon


Can you move on without forgiveness?

Chair: Simon Fanshawe
Panel: Camilla Carr, Richard Wilson


Does knowing someone’s story make it harder to hate them?

Chair: Roman Krznaric
Panel: Jo Berry and Pat Magee


How can words help heal pain?

Chair: Melissa Benn
Panel: Marian Partington, Mr Gee, Dr Tim Caroe


Should you forgive the unforgivable?

Chair: Marina Cantacuzino
Panel: Richard McCann