If You’d Like Me to Speak at Your Event…

I speak to and facilitate groups on a range of topics – my interests include understanding violence and practising non-violence, peace-building and addressing conflict, film & television and spirituality, and other questions. From small-group facilitation to large plenary gatherings, I speak to all kinds of groups – not just religious ones.

Email garethihiggins at gmail to get the conversation going.

Sample themes:

Cinema and Spirituality

Non-violence for the violent

Violence and Popular culture

Making peace from the ground up

Celtic Spirituality for the real world

Some previous speaking engagements:

• “Building Communities of Hope: Peacemaking Across Religious Communities” Lecture at the Justice Institute/University of British Columbia, February 2009

• Retreat leader, Bakersfield Community Church, Bakersfield, CA, December 2008

• Speaker to TADA Rural Development Network public event ‘Peace, We’ve Only Just Begun’, June 2008

• Retreat leader, Kripalu Yoga Center, Lenox, Massachussetts, February 2008

• Talk on film and spirituality, Leeds Film Festival – Leeds, November 2007

• Talk on film and violence – Soularize Learning Party, Bahamas, October 2007

• Panel discussant at session on Lessons from Latin America for Northern Ireland – Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, London, March 2007

• ‘The Passion of Jesus in the Cinema’, talk at Edgehill Theological College, Belfast, March 2007

• Rapporteur to ‘Commemoration and its role in Healing’, a conference of Healing Through Remembering, January 2007.

• ‘Why the Church Must Die or Change’, public lecture at Church of Ireland Theological College, Dublin, January 2007.

• ‘The ethics of consumerism’, Public talk to Conference for Master’s in Leadership for Sustainable Development, Queen’s University Belfast, December 2006.

• Talks on film and spirituality; and practical non-violence, Urban Promise, Camden, NJ, November 2006.

• Lecture on grass roots participation in peacebuilding, Swarthmore College, PA, November 2006.

• Talk on Spirituality and postmodern life, RisenChurch, Santa Monica, CA, November 2006.

• ‘Building communities of hope’, weekend facilitator, London Wood Green Mennonite Church, October 2006

• ‘Research Ethics’, guest lecture at Irish School of Ecumenics, October 2006.

• Chair, panel of northern Ireland politicians discussing the future of the conflict resolution process, Greenbelt Festival, Cheltenham, England, August 2006.

• Talk on Spirituality and Sexuality, addressing questions of religious homophobia, WeHo Church, Los Angeles, CA, August 2006.

• ‘Foreign Policy as Hospitality’, The Bridge Community Network Conference, Ventura, California, August 2006.

• Speaker on Spirituality in the Postmodern era, at Glenstal Ecumenical conference, Limerick, June 2006.

• Presentation on racism and theology, Summer Madness Festival, Belfast, June 2006.

• ‘A New Northern Ireland’, talk to party branch, Social Democratic and Labour Party, Belfast, March 2006.

• Presentation to students from Calvin College, Michigan on representations of the Northern Ireland conflict in film, Queen’s University Belfast, January 2006.

• Presentation with Roman Catholic Cardinal Cahal Daly on the ethics of leadership, Gibson Institute, Queen’s University Belfast, October 2005.

• ‘Religion and Non-violence’, Talk at conference on urban spirituality, Soliton Network, Ventura, California, September 2005.

• Radio discussions on portrayals of Islam in Hollywood cinema, and portrayals of evil in popular movies, BBC Radio Ulster, May 2005.

• Preparing Youth for Peace – talk to trainee leaders on dimensions of conflict in Northern Ireland, April 2005.

• Public talk on dealing with the past in Northern Ireland, City Church, Belfast 2005.

• Presentations on film and reconciliation at Arts and Reconciliation conference, University of Pretoria, South Africa, March 2005.

• ‘The Peace Process in Northern Ireland’, presentation to the conference of the Irish American Unity Caucus, Belfast, January 2005.

• Public interview with film critic Mark Cousins on film and reconciliation, Belfast, December 2004.

• Thought for the Day – 3 radio talks for BBC radio, October; archived on http://www.bbc.co.uk/ni/religion, November 2004.

• Speaker at Conference/Protest on Human Trafficking, Christ Church and Upton Chapel, London, October 2004.

• Four Lectures on Youth and Popular Culture: Theological Issues, Presbyterian Church in Ireland Advanced Youth Ministry Course, October 2004.

• Lecture on TV and Film: Theological Issues, Southwark Diocesan Clergy Conference (Church of England), October 2004.

• Ulster Television panel discussion to discuss Church of England sexual orientation controversy and religious prejudice, October 2004.

• Participant in International Seminar on Sacred Texts and Conflict in the Middle East, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, June 2004.

• Lecture to National Leadership of YMCA Ireland on youth culture and spirituality, May 2004.

• Taught Lenten course on Film and Spirituality including reflections on film and conflict resolution; at St Clements Retreat Centre and Clonard Monastery, Belfast, Feburary – April 2004.

• Series of talks on culture and spirituality; and non violence at Christ Church and Upton, London, March 2004.

• Thought for the Day – 3 radio talks for BBC radio, October; archived on http://www.bbc.co.uk/ni/religion, October 2003.

• Seminars on the Middle East conflict, and cross-cultural religious interaction at large youth Festival, Belfast, July 2003.

• Presentation to General Synod of the Church of Ireland on Dealing Positively with Sectarianism and Difference in the Church, May 2003.

• ‘Good Beards, Bad Beards: The War on Terror, the Terror of War, and the Logic of Peace’, Guest Public Lecture at University of St Thomas, St Paul, MN, March 2003.

• ‘A New Northern Ireland?’ – seminar at Department of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.

• What is Sociology For?, talk to honors students at University of St Thomas, St Paul, MN, March 2003.

• ‘The Peace Process in Northern Ireland’, Guest Lecture at Hofstra University, Long Island, March 2003.

• ‘The War on Terror and the Northern Ireland Peace Process’, talk to Bangor Inter-Church Group, February 2003.

• Chair and organiser of major public peace-building events featuring leading politicians in Northern Ireland, November – December 2002.

• Workshop on grass-roots peacemaking at ECONI Summer School, Belfast, July 2002.

• Workshop to Methodist seminarians providing training in ‘Addressing Popular Culture in Ministry’, Edgehill Theological College, January 2002.

• Delegate/speaker to Summer School on the Non-Violent Resolution of Ethno-Religious Conflict, Centre for Mission Research, Maryknoll Seminary, New York, July 2001.

• Delegate/speaker to United Nations Seminar on the Non-Violent Resolution of Ethno-Religious Conflict, UN Building, New York, July 2001.

• ‘Apocalypse When?: Anti-Catholicism and the Myth of Antichrist in Northern Ireland’, seminar at School of Sociology & Social Policy, Queen’s University Belfast, March 2000.

• ‘The Myth of Antichrist in Northern Ireland’, paper give at the Association for the Sociology of Religion Annual Meeting, Chicago, August 1999.


6 responses to “If You’d Like Me to Speak at Your Event…

  1. dude, call me asap. Lost your number in transition. Have a few questions about getting you in a couple/few places in the south.

    727.612.6960 hit me up

  2. How difficult is it for you to type an uper case N for Northern Ireland? Are you really that poor at grammar?

  3. And, yes, I did only put one p in upper. Trying to make the point of how silly the whole thing is. Especially after a few glasses of Northern Ireland’s finest (Bushmills).

  4. garethihiggins

    Hi Jonathan

    Thanks for visiting my blog. Just wanted to write to explain why I write ‘northern Ireland’ with a small ‘n’. This is a deliberate choice, which I made about ten years ago while writing my Ph.D. thesis on religion and conflict in my home society. I decided that I did not want to identify exclusively with either of the main political blocs who seemed unable to offer something that transcended our communal differences; the very name of the place where I was born and lived for the first 33 years of my life until 2008 was a political football. So it’s not a grammar mistake, although I understand why you would think this. It’s a serious and sincere attempt at changing the dialogue about what it means to be a country, what it means to be a people, what it means to offer our neighbours something more than language that tells them we don’t think they belong.

  5. There’s quite a big festival in the UK that could really have done with something like this this year. It’s called Greenbelt. I wonder if you’ve heard of it…

  6. I’d like to have you Gareth, come and speak at an important event…its called dinner (with a small d for inclusive reasons…) with Gareth (big G because you’re a big personality in my life) and then some movies, followed by conversation, and some more movies and then some cigarettes.
    If you would come, I’d make it happen.

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