In the third of this year's Lent Talks, journalist and broadcaster Benjamin Cohen reflects on the fear of being abandoned by his own Jewish community, for being gay.
The Lent Talks feature six well-known figures from public life, the arts, human rights and religion, who 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. 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, as well as abandonment.
Speakers in this year's talks include Baroness Helena Kennedy, QC, who considers what it means to abandon being human; Alexander McCall Smith considers how you can feel abandoned by society as you grow older; Loretta Minghella, Director of Christian Aid, 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, explores the total abandonment experienced by both sides as a result of war and, finally, Canon Lucy Winkett, Rector of St James's Piccadilly, explores the relationship between abandonment and betrayal.