Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet, 1694–1778), is one of the most influential and provocative thinkers of the French Enlightenment, and widely considered a philosophical precursor of the Revolution. A versatile and irrepressible writer, Voltaire produced more than 2000 books and pamphlets, his literary production ranging from plays and poetry to political, historical and scientific works. Through his far-ranging oeuvres, Voltaire became an uncompromising and outspoken advocate of freedom of expression and was prosecuted for his work, which attacked social and judicial structures, with fierce irony and satire. But how relevant are his ideas today when attitudes to politics, religion and tolerance have changed? Join our panel as they discuss Voltaire’s life and legacy.
Thinkers for our time is a series re-thinking the life and work of influential figures from across the Academy’s disciplines, particularly history and the arts. Previous events in the series have explore Sigmund Freud, Sylvia Pankhurst, Charlie Chaplin and Christina Rossetti.
Professor Nicholas Cronk, Director, Voltaire Foundation, University of Oxford
Josie Dyster, Research Assistant, Voltaire Foundation, University of Oxford
Dr James Hanrahan, Ussher Assistant Professor in 18th-century French Studies, Trinity College Dublin
Dr John Leigh, Lecturer in the Department of French, University of Cambridge
Professor Marian Hobson FBA, Emerita Professor of French, Queen Mary University of London
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