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AKC Conversations: Spirituality and the Body

This AKC series explores the relationship between embodied life and spirituality – a concept that is notoriously difficult to pin down. In these AKC Conversations we invited lecturers to reflect on spirituality, the body, and their perspectives on the diverse human experience of inhabiting the body.


Fashion, feminism and modesty: a Muslim perspective on self and spirituality

AKC Director Clare Carlisle speaks to PhD candidate Renasha Khan, who delivered Lecture 2 of the series. This conversation reflects on some of the issues raised in Renasha's lecture, including perspectives on beauty, selfhood, and how we relate to our bodies.


Dr Jasjit Singh on The idea, context, framing and realities of 'Sikh radicalisation' in Britain

Series two curator Dr Daniel Nilsson DeHanas speaks to Dr Jasjit Singh of Leeds University. This conversation looks at the historical framings of Sikh activism and organisation within the UK, touching on the significance of Operation Blue Star in Punjab in 1984 and the underpinnings of the 2016 protests at the Leamington Spa Gurdwara amongst others. Dr Singh also reflects on the challenges of defining and using the terms 'radicalisation' and 'fundamentalism', espescially within communities that don't clearly seperate the religious from the secular or political. 


AKC Conversations: The Life of the Mind

This AKC series explores contemporary western approaches to mental health alongside contrasting ideals of health from other times, regions and cultures. In these AKC Conversations, we invited lecturers to reflect on mental heath via their own discipline, illuminating 'the life of the mind' from medical, philosophical, historical and theological perspectives.



Professor John Marsden on Addiction

AKC Director Clare Carlisle speaks to Professor John Marsden, who delivered Lecture 4 of the series, exploring the role that memory plays in both creating and maintaining addiction. Professor Marsden discusses his longstanding interest in addiction, and what this teaches us about the life of the mind.

Dr Margaret Hampson on Plato's tyrant 

AKC Director Clare Carlisle speaks to Dr Margaret Hampson, who delivered Lecture 6 of the series. They discussed Dr Hampson's research on Plato's 'Tyrant' and the central role that friendship plays in the tyrant's character, asking what this can teach us about mental health and illness.

The Revd Canon Mark Oakley on Poetry and the procreative mind

AKC Ambassador and PhD student Emma Lowe speaks to The Revd Canon Mark Oakley, who delivered Lecture 9 of the series. Canon Oakley's lecture explored the life of the procreative mind through the medium of poetry, asking why poetry can often speak truths that we cannot quite articulate ourselves. 

AKC Conversations: Voices in the Wilderness

During troubled times, the need for good leadership is heightened and the costs of bad leadership are multiplied. This AKC series take its inspiration from the lonely itinerant figure of John the Baptist, described in Christian texts as a ‘voice in the wilderness’. Going beyond the Christian tradition, the series includes a range of voices – many of them speaking against the grain – on leadership in religion, politics, the arts, and public health. In these AKC Conversations, leaders in their fields reflect on how to lead with boldness and integrity in our ‘wilderness’ of current challenges.

Baronness Deborah Bull on The civic university

AKC Director Clare Carlisle speaks to Baroness Deborah Bull who delivered Lecture 3 of the series. Baroness Bull examined the ways in which King's College London is a civic university and what implications this has for its relationship with the wider community. Baroness Bull also reflected on her experiences of leadership within the university and the arts sector, asking what qualities make a great leader and examining the idea of leadership as a continual journey. 

The Very Reverend Dr Kelly Brown Douglas 

The Revd Dr Ellen Clark-King, Dean of King' College London, speaks to The Very Revd Dr Kelly Brown Douglas, Dean of the Episcopal Divinity School at Union in New York City. Dean Douglas is a pioneering voice addressing sexual issues in relation to the black religious community, and an advocate for equal rights for LGBTQ persons. This conversation covers issues of gender and race equality, the importance of diversity and empowerment in leadership, the Black Lives Matter movement and a vision of hope embodied by the young leaders of tomorrow. 

You can find further information about The Very Revd Dr Kelly Brown Douglas and her work here.


The Revd Dr Ellen Clark-King on Learning from the desert elders

AKC Ambassador and PhD student Emma Lowe speaks to The Revd Dr Ellen Clark-King, Dean of King's College London, who delivered Lecture 2 of the series. Ellen examines the role of humility and service in good leadership and discusses the ways in which leadership is both a communal and a creative process. Ellen also reflects on the process of finding one's vocation and the ways in which the vocation of leadership has been altered by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has provided both a challenge and the opportunity for positive disruption to the status quo.




Dr Eka Ikpe on Leadership in 21st century Africa

Series convenor Dr Daniel DeHanas speaks to Dr Eka Ikpe, Director of the African Leadership Centre at King's and Reader in Development Economics in Africa, about political leadership in African nations post-COVID, the work of the African Leadership Centre (ALC), the space that this work creates at King's for the elevation of ideas from Africa and other nations in the global south, and her research on the role of political leadership in the development process. Dr Ikpe also reflects on her work as the Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy Curriuculum Lead on the decolonising the curriculum project at King's. 



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Contact the AKC Team

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