Wed, 6 October 2021

6:30 pm - 7:30 pm BST

Kate Bowler – The Meaning of Life

In Conversation With Hannah MacInnes

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At thirty-five, Divinity Professor Kate Bowler was diagnosed with colon cancer. She joins us to explore what life really means, as she approaches its close.

Bowler is a prophet and her new offering is another true gift to the world. – Glennon Doyle

Kate Bowler had always accepted the modern idea that life is an endless horizon of possibilities. As many of us do, she saw life as a series of choices that, if made correctly, would lead us to a place just out of reach.

But then, aged just thirty-five, Kate was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. She was forced to ask one of the most fundamental questions of all: How do we create meaning in our lives when the life we hoped for is put on hold?

In conversation with Hannah MacInnes, Kate will explore both the comically ludicrous and poignantly profound as she figures out how to navigate life with the knowledge that it could end at any moment. She searches for a new way forward by mining the wisdom (and absurdity) of our modern ‘best life now’ advice industry, which offers exhausting positivity and convinces us that we can out-eat, out-learn and out-perform our humanness.

As we struggle to decipher what constitutes a meaningful existence in this strange new world, at a time when our lives have never been further from our control, Kate will demonstrate how we can find beauty, meaning and truth without having to pretend that life is always getting better.


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Kate Bowler

Bestselling Author and Professor at Duke Divinity School

Kate Bowler is the NYT bestselling author of Everything Happens for a Reason (and Other Lies I’ve Loved) and her TED talk on the topic has over 9million views to date. She hosts the popular podcast ‘Everything Happens’ and has previously appeared on NPR, Today, New York Times, Washington Post and Time. Kate is an Associate Professor of the History of Christianity in North America at Duke Divinity School.

Hannah MacInnes

Presenter, Podcaster and Host of How To Academy’s live programmes.

Hannah MacInnes is a broadcaster and journalist. Alongside hosting How To Academy’s live programmes and podcast, she presents a cultural show on Times Radio and interviews on-stage at a number of other major literary events. She is the host of The Klosters Forum Podcast series and has written for the Radio Times, the Evening Standard and TLS. Before going freelance she worked for 8 years at BBC Newsnight, as Planning Editor and as a Producer / Filmmaker.