Baroness Helena Kennedy
Leading human rights lawyer, Baroness Helena Kennedy, QC, opens a new series of Lent Talks, where six well known figures from public life, the arts, human rights and religion, reflect on how the Lenten story of Jesus' ministry and Passion continues to interact with contemporary society and culture.
The 2013 Lent Talks consider the theme of "abandonment". In the Lenten story, Jesus is the supreme example of this - he died an outcast, abandoned and rejected by his people, his disciples and (apparently) his Father - God. But how does that theme tie in with today's complex world? There are many ways one can feel abandoned - by family, by society, by war/conflict, but one can also feel abandoned through the loss of something, perhaps power, job or identity.
Speakers in this year's talks include the author Alexander McCall Smith, who explores the sense of being abandoned by society as you grow older; Loretta Minghella, Director of Christian Aid, who considers the abandonment of self and the need to face who we truly are; Imam Asim Hafiz, Muslim Chaplain and Religious Adviser to HM Forces, who has just returned from Afghanistan and who explores the total abandonment experienced by both sides as a result of war; Benjamin Cohen, journalist and broadcaster, who reflects on his own personal story of religious rejection through being gay, and Canon Lucy Winkett, Rector of St James's Piccadilly, who explores the relationship between abandonment and betrayal.
The Christian season of Lent is traditionally a time for self-examination and reflection on universal human conditions such as temptation, betrayal, greed, forgiveness and love.