The Conference “The Origins of the Self: India and Greece” aims to explore the origins of ideas about the self, with a particular focus on ancient India and ancient Greece, with view to exploring the striking similarities, as well as the differences, in the ways in which conceptions of the Self emerged in the two civilisations. The Conference is intended to be accessible to an audience with wide-ranging interests. It should be of particular interest to students of history, anthropology, religion, sociology and psychology. Time will be allocated to open debate to enable those attending to discuss the issues raised by the key speakers.

The conference is to be held on Saturday 21 June 2014 9.15 – 5.00 at Room 102, Brunei Building, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WCIH OXG.

Conference fee: £10

Refreshments will be provided in the mid-morning and afternoon but lunch will not be provided. There are many inexpensive restaurants and cafes in the vicinity at which lunch may be obtained.

Key speakers will be Dr Paul Crichton, Consultant Psychiatrist; Dr Richard Fynes, De Montfort University; Professor Christopher Gill, University of Exeter; Professor Richard Gombrich, Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies; Professor Richard Seaford, University of Exeter.

This conference is part of the AHRC-funded project ‘Ātman and Psyche. Cosmology and the Self in Ancient India and Ancient Greece’, conducted by Dr. Richard Fynes of de Montfort University and Professor Richard Seaford of the University of Exeter.

Registration: Please follow the link to book online.

Provisional Programme

9.10-9.25 Arrival and Registration

9.25-9.30 Welcome

9.30-10.20 Richard Seaford: The inner self in India and in Greece: a historical comparison

10.20-11.10 Richard Gombrich: What the Buddha meant by ‘no soul’

11.10-11.30 Refreshments

11.30 –12.20 Richard Fynes: Purity and the self in early Jainism

12.20-12.30 Open session

12.30-2.00 Lunch

2.00-2.50 Christopher Gill: The Greek self in comparative perspective

2.50-3.40 Paul Crichton: Some philosophical, psychological and psychiatric aspects of the self

3.40-4.00 Refreshments

4.00-4.50 Open session

4.50-5.00 Conference closes