The INCISE research centre (Intersectional Centre for Inclusion and Social Justice) held its first seminar in 2017-2018 ‘Buddhism and Social Justice’ Series with a lecture by Emma Slade (Ani Pema Deki), followed by the signing of her book, Set Free.
Emma Slade is an inspirational speaker. Her life has demonstrated the potential for human growth and change. Overcoming the trauma of being held hostage in 1997 in Jakarta she went on to leave her high-flying finance career and embark on a journey to greater understanding.
She has written in clear and honest terms about this journey in her book, Set Free, which describes this and her decision to become ordained as a Buddhist nun in Bhutan. She is ever hopeful that mental wellbeing is increasingly taking centre stage as an inspiring and important subject and believes the tools of mindfulness, compassion and renunciation can play an important role in mental wellbeing and freedom. She attended Cambridge University, Goldsmiths University, became a Chartered Financial Analyst and is the first Western woman ordained in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan. In 2015 she founded the UK charity Opening Your Heart to Bhutan to help children in the country she loves so much. Royalties from her book, Set Free, go to this charity.
Lecture for IDAHOT
(International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia)
[Download our event poster as a PDF here]
The personal is political (or why family law needs political philosophy): Religion and transphobia in the courtroom
Professor Aleardo Zanghellini
17 May 2017, 5pm in Lg16 at Canterbury Christ Church University
Abstract: In this paper I discuss a recent Family Court decision in which a parent who transitioned to a different gender after separation was denied direct contact with her children. The reason why the Court rejected the trans parent’s application for a contact order was that, had the children maintained contact with her, they would have been rejected by the fundamentalist Orthodox Jewish community within which they and the cisgender parent live. I critique the soundness of the Court’s decision, including on the ground that it has the effect of ratifying religious transphobia, and I argue that neither the law nor the children’s best interest required this outcome. I also argue that political philosophy can help us understand why.
Bio: Aleardo Zanghellini is Professor of Law and Social Theory at the School of Law, University of Reading. His areas of research interest are law, gender & sexuality; legal philosophy; and law & literature. Prof Zanghellini’s work regularly appears in leading international journals. His 2015 book, The Sexual Constitution of Political Authority, is an analysis of the erotic dimensions of state power, arguing that the disavowal of male same-sex desire has been, and partly remains, central to mainstream understandings of political authority.