Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences

The World of William Penn: Toleration and Migration

William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania, was introduced to Quakerism and colonial adventure during his time in Ireland. This symposium will explore Penn’s activities and connections in Britain, Ireland and America.

This symposium will address aspects of William Penn’s activities and connections in Britain, Ireland and America. The foremost international scholars of the British Atlantic world, early English colonialism, Quakerism, and religious toleration will contextualise the life and legacy of William Penn. The famous founder of Pennsylvania was first introduced to Quakerism during one of his early sojourns in Ireland. His subsequent commitment to the Quaker ethos shaped his philosophy of religious toleration and a unified Europe. Particular attention will therefore be drawn to Penn’s time in County Cork and its impact on his activities in America. Penn’s legacy, with respect to the development of the modern United States of America and the foundations of the European Union will also be discussed.

The spirit of toleration and humanitarianism as espoused by the Quakers will likewise be considered, especially in terms of the lessons it can offer in today’s world of religious conflict and human displacement. Some key questions to be explored are: • How did Penn’s relations with the Catholic Irish inform his later relations with Native Americans? • How did Penn’s time in Cork influence his colonial ambitions and settlement plans? • With whom did Penn associate, exchange ideas, and collaborate? • What propelled Penn to convert to Quakerism, and to what extend did this guide his political thought and quest for religious toleration? • What has been the role of Quakers and other dissenters in Irish history?

Category: Conferences: Arts Celtic Studies and Social Sciences
Time: 10am-5:30pm
Location: Electrical Engineering Building, Lecture Theatre 1
Target Audience: All Welcom
Admission Price: € Free
Contact: Ruth Canning
087 617 4550

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