Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Locke and Liberty: why toleration still matters today

Tuesday 2 May 2023 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Living Freedom university primer at Radley College.

The rise of cancel culture has made many nervous about free expression and open debate, even though academic freedom is a core value – and legal duty – of universities. Many students – and even academics – report they self-censor; student societies often encounter problems in terms of inviting diverse speakers.


However, if universities are to fulfil their purpose as spaces in which to freely explore ideas and develop knowledge, then nothing should be beyond question or beyond the scope of debate. For students who want to take discussion and debate seriously and make the most of university life, tolerating different views will be essential. 


But what does toleration mean? Today, while values of tolerance and respect are rhetorically espoused, increasingly it is argued that tolerating free expression has its limits and society should not be placed at risk of intolerant ideas or even overly judgemental views. Should we tolerate free expression, or retain a right to be intolerant of intolerance?

In this special university primer event, Tiffany Jenkins will look at the emergence of the important ideal of toleration and explore why it remains important today.  After a short, accessible talk, there will be plenty of time for questions and discussion.


DR TIFFANY JENKINS, writer and broadcaster; author,
Strangers and Intimates: the rise and fall of private life
Tiffany Jenkins is a writer, author and broadcaster. Her last book, Keeping Their Marbles: How Treasures of the Past Ended Up in Museums and Why They Should Stay There, was published in 2016 to critical acclaim. Her next book, Strangers and Intimates: the rise and fall of private life, will be published in 2023 by Picador. Tiffany is an honorary fellow in Art History at the University of Edinburgh, and is host of the podcast Behind the Scenes at the Museum, in which she talks to key figures about the big ideas rocking the cultural world, charting the trends and dissecting the controversies. She has written and presented several programmes for BBC Radio 4, including the series A Narrative History of Secrecy.


ALASTAIR DONALD, convenor, Living Freedom

Alastair Donald is convenor of Living Freedom, the initiative organised by educational charity Ideas Matter to encourage young adults to explore the meaning and ideals of freedom. He is also associate director at Academy of Ideas and co-convenor of Battle of Ideas festival.


For more information, contact Alastair Donald: info@livingfreedom.org.uk


Tuesday 2 May 2023
8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Event Category:


Science Lecture Theatre, Radley College
Abingdon Oxfordshire OX14 2HR + Google Map