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The D Society overview

The D Society is the main research seminar in the faculty for Philosophy of Religion and Ethics. It is chaired by Professor Catherine Pickstock.


Professor Donald Mackinnon
Professor Donald Mackinnon

Papers are invited from a wide range of philosophers, philosophers of religion and ethicists, both internal to Cambridge and from outside. A short response paper from a graduate student or faculty member usually opens the discussion.

Founded in 1921 by Professor James Bethune-Baker, the D Society was originally a subscription society intended to supplement the (then) predominantly biblical emphases of the faculty to include doctrinal and philosophical discussion. Under Professor Donald MacKinnon's chairmanship it became the main locus in the university for the interaction between senior members of the Philosophy and Divinity faculties; and under Professor Nicholas Lash it was transformed into a regular senior seminar in the faculty. 

The seminar is open to all interested members of the University, and to visitors who may wish to attend. Graduate students in Philosophy of Religion and Ethics are encouraged to come from the beginning of their programme and to make the seminars, and the enjoyable tea that follows, a place of regular interaction.

Members of the D Society are also encouraged to attend the regular public lectures in Philosophy of Religion, including the Stanton Lectures.








Lent Term 2020



Seminars take place 1.30-3.30pm in the Lightfoot Room, followed by tea in the

Selwyn Room. Undergraduates are welcome.



31 January -  Dr Isidoros Katsos and Dr Daniel Weiss (University of Cambridge)

"A Letter that Killeth": Re-thinking Language and Meaning in early Christian Biblical Exegesis’- with a Response from a Rabbinic perspective by Dr Daniel Weiss.


14 February -  Professor Agata Bielik-Robson, (University of Warsaw, University of Nottingham) "Beyond Sovereignty: Derrida's Khora and the Platonic Left"


28 February -  Mr Andrew Sackin-Poll, (University of Cambridge)  "Body, Language, Translation"


*CANCELLED due to industrial action - 13 March -  Dr Andrew Davison, (University of Cambridge) "The Soul as Formal Cause"


All colleagues, Undergraduates, MPhil and PhD students in D Society or other areas (such as Classics, History and Philosophy), from within and outside the faculty, are warmly welcome. If you need further information, please contact Professor Catherine Pickstock