This annual lecture is organized in celebration of the life and work of Dr. Sebastian Kappen S.J., philosopher, writer and liberation theologian. Kappen has substantially contributed towards evolving perspectives on culture and social transformation and has inspired and mentored many ‘dissenters and dreamers’ in India.
Kappen has been rightly identified as the torchbearer of counter-culture. He visualised the process of social transformation as a transition from ‘inherited cultural bondages to freedom for fashioning a new humane and humanizing culture’. He strongly believed that ‘a new social order could be brought about only by protesting against oppressive systems, by daring to dissent and ushering in a counter-culture.’ A socialist by conviction, Kappen carried out his beliefs into his writings and talks.
The speakers of the Kappen Memorial Lecture series included M M Thomas, Shobha Raghuram, U R Ananthamurthy, Romila Thapar, Rustom Bharucha, K N Panikkar, Vandana Shiva, Ninan Koshy, Ilina Sen, Ramachandra Guha, Rajan Gurukkal, Ashis Nandy, Rama Mani and Nivedita Menon among others.