It is the oldest tale in the history of humankind: the story of the battle between good and evil, between light and darkness, truth and lies, creation and destruction. Theologians and philosophers, scientists and politicians have debated the question for centuries: how do we defeat the forces of evil? What is evil, and do ‘good’ and ‘evil’ even exist as absolute values? And what is a good life?
On 15 December 2018, the speakers at the Nexus Conference took up this battle in two roundtable discussions. The first round included the acclaimed writer on faith, hope and the meaning of life Marilynne Robinson, Nobel Prize-winning author Wole Soyinka, Cardinal Peter Turkson, A.I.-expert and futurologist Anders Sandberg, classicist Catherine Nixey, top diplomat Jean-Marie Guéhenno and tech investor David Rose.
In the second round, the battle continued with the legendary CIA operative and military intelligence leader Michael Vickers, Syrian freedom fighter Kassem Eid, trailblazing transhumanist philosopher Natasha Vita-More, expert on interreligious dialogue Tarek Mitri, New Right-philosopher Catherine Sommerfeld, writer Tatyana Tolstaya and Jewish thinker Leon Wieseltier.
David S. Rose
Cardinal Peter K.A. Turkson
Michael G. Vickers
Saturday 15 December – National Opera & Ballet, Amsterdam
9.30 Welcome Rob Riemen
9.45 Keynote lecture Marilynne Robinson
11.15 First roundtable: Paradise Lost. The Knowledge of Good and Evil
14.00 Second roundtable: Beyond Good and Evil. Paradise Regained?
16.00 Book signing
NY Review of Books, Conversation between Obama and Marilynne Robinson