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Love You to Death: Medieval Compassion Meets the Philosophy of Dying

Please note events take place on the ground floor on 13 May and basement 14-15 May. There is no step-free access for events. Food and drinks can be ordered.
Past event - 2024
13 May Doors open at 7pm. Event 7:30pm - 9:00pm.
Loading Bar Stoke Newington, 129 Stoke Newington High St,
London N16 0PH
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Do you think mouldy old medieval manuscripts and obscure philosophical concepts don’t have any application to real life? Think again. Love and Death weren’t available for a luchador-style smackdown in a gaming bar, so we got the next best thing: this pair of talks. 

Compassionate Emotion in the Dark Ages

Josephine Spelsberg (PhD Candidate, Department of English, King's College London)
How empathetic were the Middle Ages? This question guides my research into medieval English and German literature. I tackle big issues (can we ever even know what people felt over 1000 years ago?) via medieval poetry, with the aim of unlocking the secrets of the medieval heart. Passing over the religious literature of the high and later Middle Ages, I investigate how narratives of sacrifice, courtly love, super-knights and crusaders perform and navigate the emotion of compassion. Join me on this centuries-spanning journey to find out how that most powerful of emotions, compassion, continues to be our bridge to the European medieval past.

What is Dying?

Arjun Devanesan (PhD Candidate, Department of Philosophy, King's College London)
While doctors and lawyers can all agree on when someone has died, they often disagree on whether someone is dying. In my talk, I’ll argue that this is because there are in fact a multitude of concepts of dying which lack clear definitions and conceptual distinctions. Mapping these out is one area in which philosophy can be particularly helpful. While the road to conceptualise dying is seemingly endless and full of twists, I will break down the variety of meanings that it might have, and how these can lead to real-life conflicts in medical decision-making.
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