A talk by Anthropologist Dr Daniel Dolley (University of Oxford)
The Philosophy Society was pleased to host Dr Daniel Dolley on Thursday 18th November for an interesting talk related to the A level Philosophy topic of death and the afterlife.
Dr Dolley provided an extraordinarily vibrant talk, the subject matter of which ranged from his unique and ultimately life-changing experiences with indigenous tribes such as the Tsachila in Ecuador, to discussions about the nature of purgatory and psychedelic adventure. The gripping accounts of visages and encounters with ghosts and spectres provided by the tribesmen were articulated in an engaging but also thought-provoking way, leaving pupils to consider life after death in comparison to Western thinking.
Dr Dolley’s personal accounts and experiences added an intimate touch to the talk, and his vast but also profound knowledge of ethnographic anthropology gave pupils real insight into his open-mindedness when approaching a native tribe. His reflection that the shamanic society of the tribe was culturally similar to Catholicism was also interesting.
During the final stages of the talk the underpinning theological interpretations of Catholicism gave pupils a sense of insight and relatability when discussing and understanding life after death. A range of questions from the audience wrapped up the evening nicely and provided a personal insight into Dr Dolley’s personal ideas and opinions about the experiences of the tribesman.
Review by Upper Sixth pupils Rory and Youssef.