Conference 2021 – Life, Time and Eternity

The conference took place online between Friday May 7th to Saturday May 15th 2021. The sessions were held using Zoom and all were recorded. Please refer to the session information below to access the session recordings.

Philip Young – from a Christian perspective

Rev. Philip Young is a retired priest in the Church of England and helps out at his local church. He is a member of the Franciscan Third Order. He is also a Quaker and a pacifist.

He has enjoyed living in East Anglia since 1980. He loves gardening, sailing and swimming in the North Sea, every day if he can. He writes poetry. He has run the London Marathon five times for Water Aid and once to raise money for the rebuilding of St. Thomas’ Church Hall in Norwich where he was Vicar from 2007 to 2012. Before moving to Felixstowe in Suffolk five years ago he was the Environmental Officer for the Diocese of Norwich. He is developing a website which can be found at

Philip believes that Love is God and God is Love and that Love transforms the individual and the world.

Recordings of the session – audio only : audio and video together

Associated Resources Eternal Now

Sharada Sugirtharajah – from a Hindu perspective

Dr. Sharada Sugirtharajah is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Department of Theology and Religion, University of Birmingham. Sharada’s research focuses on representations of Hinduism in colonial and postcolonial writings. She also has research interests in Modern Hindu Thought, Religious Pluralism, Interreligious Relations, Hinduism in Diaspora, and Women’s issues. Sharada is engaged in freelance work and has led sessions for students, counsellors, social workers, nurses, clergy and multi-faith groups. She has acted as a consultant to various Religious Education projects and is on the International Editorial Board of the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion. Sharada edited and wrote two essays in the book Religious Pluralism and the Modern World: An Ongoing Engagement with John Hick (2012)and also wrote Imagining Hinduism: A Postcolonial Perspective (2003). We were delighted to welcome back Sharada, who was a speaker at the QUG’s 2012 and 2017 conferences.

Recordings of the session – audio only

Associated Resources

Books referred to by Sharada Sugirtharajah
Some Websites to explore Sharada’s ideas further Mirabai
https://www.amritapuri.orgThe hugging saint

Murray Corke – from a Zen Buddhist perspective

Dr. Murray Corke is a veterinary surgeon, conservationist and advocate for animal welfare. He is a clinical teacher at the Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge. He is also a Zen Buddhist. He learned to meditate with the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order in 1984, before encountering the teaching and practice of Thich Nhat Hanh on a retreat in south Devon in 1992. He then spent time on a number of retreats at Plum Village, Thich Nhat Hanh’s monastery in south-west France. The Cambridge Sangha (Buddhist community), which started in 1993, has been his major support and source of learning over the years. He has been active in the Community of Interbeing since it was formed to promote the teaching of Thich Nhat Hanh and the practice of mindfulness in Britain, leading courses and retreats throughout the country.

Recordings of the session – audio only : audio and video together

Associated Resources

Books referred to by Murray Corke
Some Websites to explore Murray’s ideas further Nhat Hanh poems) end of sufferng?) & Neuroscience)

Arif Hussain – from a Muslim perspective

Shaykh Arif Hussain was born in Uganda, but moved to the UK at the age of 8. The Shaykh studied at Madrassah Syed Al-Khoei, London, and graduated with Honours in 1988. He then went to Iran for further Arabic and Islamic Studies. Later Shaykh Arif returned to the UK to establish the Al-Mahdi Institute in Birmingham, an important Shi’i Islamic Seminary. He is Co-director of CIMS (Centre for Intra Muslim Studies) and an active contributor to Interfaith dialogue. He has written many academic articles on various Islamic topics, and books including 289 Sayings of Imam Ali (2017), Islam and God-Centricity: A Theological Basis for Human Liberation (2017)and Islam and God-Centricity: Reassessing Fundamental Theological Assumptions (2019).

Recordings of the session – audio only : audio and video together#

Associated Resources

About Arif Hussain
Books by Sheik Arif Hussain
Islam and God-Centricity: Examining the Articles of Faith
Islam and God-Centricity: Reassessing Fundamental Theological Assumptions
Islam and God-Centricity: A Theological Basis for Human Liberation Paperback
Some Websites to explore Arif’s ideas further
The Quran

Julian Barbour – from a scientific perspective

Dr. Julian Barbour is a British physicist with research interests in quantum gravity and the history of science. He has written several books and papers, most notably his 1999 book The End of Time, which puts forward the view that time, as we perceive it, does not exist as anything other than an illusion, and that a number of problems in physical theory arise from assuming that it does exist. He argues that we have no evidence of the past other than our memory of it, and no evidence of the future other than our belief in it.

Recordings of the session – audio only : audio and video together

Associated Resources

Books referred to by Julian Barbour or conference attendees
The Janus Point–a theory of time -by Julian Barbour
The End of Time: The Next Revolution in Physics (1999)-by Julian Barbour
Eckhart Tolle’s book ‘The Power of Now”
Some Websites to explore Julian’s ideas further Dynamics,can%20increase%2C%20but%20not%20decrease.

Peter Varney – from an anthropological perspective

Peter Varney is a retired Anglican priest and a member of Norwich Local Quaker Meeting. He has Geography and Anthropology degrees from Durham University and studied Theology at Birmingham and Ibadan Universities. In Nigeria he encountered Yoruba traditions and indigenous Christianity. He first met the Iban of Borneo during RAF National Service and, after ordination to Anglican ministry, he began research focusing on the merging of Iban traditional beliefs and Christianity. His recent research has focused on Iban eschatological beliefs, which he will include in his conference talk. It can be downloaded from The Free Library: The modernization of Iban eschatology: Iban burial ritual and afterlife beliefs in contemporary Kuching, Borneo Research Bulletin. Vol 45.

Recordings of the session – audio only : audio and video together

Associated resources

Books referred to by Peter Varney (re. Professor of Anthropology , Edmund Leach)
Some Websites to explore Peter’s ideas further Iban