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.
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.