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Karen Armstrong Lecture - "Compassion: Nice Idea or Urgent Global Imperative

The noted scholar, religious author, journalist, and campaigner for compassion, Karen Armstrong, will deliver New Unity’s Richard Price Memorial Lecture.

Karen Armstrong launched The Charter for Compassion in her 2009 TED Prize Talk . See also her 2008 TED talk 'Let's revive the golden rule.' 

The lecture proceeds will benefit Standing on the Side of Love UK, because 'only love can drive out hate'. Standing on the Side of Love UK brings love where there is hate and compassion where there is misunderstanding, anger, and fear.

New Unity, the congregation Richard Price served in the 18th century and the church of the Mother of Feminism, Mary Wollstonecraft. New Unity is a vital, atheist-friendly congregation that lives by the motto 'Believe in Good'.


The Richard Price Memorial Lecture is named for the 18th century minister of who served the dissenting community in Newington Green. Price supported democracy over the rights of the monarchy in the American and French revolutions. He inspired a young Mary Wollstonecraft to her revolutionary stance for women's rights.

Previous Richard Price Memorial Lecturers have included:

Will Self, Terry Eagleton, Susie Orbach, Owen Jones and Evan Davis


Karen Armstrong is the author of numerous books on religious affairs ~ including A History of God, The Battle for God, Holy War, Islam: A Short History, The Great Transformation, The Bible: the Biography, The Case for God, and Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life, and Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence. She has also written two memoirs, Through the Narrow Gate and The Spiral Staircase. Her work has been translated into over fifty languages. She has addressed members of the U.S. Congress on three occasions, lectured to policy makers at the U.S. State and Defence Departments; participated in the World Economic Forum; addressed the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington and New York, is an ambassador for the UN Alliance of Civilizations, and speaks regularly in Muslim countries, most notably in Pakistan, Malaysia, Singapore, Turkey and Indonesia. 

In 2007, Ms. Armstrong was awarded a medal by the Egyptian government for her services to Islam, under the auspices of the prestigious Al-Azhar madrassah, the first foreigner to have been awarded this decoration. She was presented with the Four Freedoms Medal for Freedom of Worship by the Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt Institute and the Dr. Leopold Lucas Prize at Tubingen University, in 2009. In 2013, she was the inaugural recipient of the British Academy Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize for improving transcultural understanding, and received the Gandhi/King/Ikeda Prize for Community Builders in the Martin Luther King Memorial Chapel in Atlanta in 2014. In June, 2015 Karen Armstrong was named to the O.B.E. in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. She is a Trustee of the British Museum and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Literature. 

In February, 2008, she was awarded the TED Prize for her vision of a Charter for Compassion, which was crafted by leading thinkers in six of the world’s religions as a cooperative effort to restore not only compassionate thinking but, more importantly, compassionate action to the centre of moral and political life. The Charter for Compassion is now being implemented practically, realistically and creatively in countries, cities, schools and religious communities throughout the world.

Please note that doors are at 17:30 for a 18:00 start