Knowledge Cafe - 28 November 2018

Join us at Nuffield College, University of Oxford, for an interactive Knowledge Café on 28 November, on the themes of populism, nationalism and the role of inter-generational discourse, with reference to the historic rise of fanaticism and the disenfranchisement of young people in 1930s Germany. 

We welcome students from every faith community or non-theistic belief system, and those of no faith or belief.

Attendance is free, but you MUST register online in advance via Eventbrite

Tea and coffee will be served afterwards, from 5pm till 6.15pm.

Background and key resources

Our discussions will be informed by Moral and Spiritual Dilemmas in Challenging Times, the new study guide to accompany Darkness over Germany, a remarkable book by a pioneering young woman, E. Amy Buller, and first published during World War II, in 1943. 

Darkness over Germany provides a fascinating insight into Nazi leaders and the radicalisation of young Germans in the late 1930s, with real resonance in current times. It recounts conversations that Buller had with people in Germany in the run-up to World War II. She led repeated delegations of British intellectuals and religious leaders to Germany to interview people from all walks of life, from students to Nazi leaders, about the rise of National Socialism, to investigate and challenge what she came to regard as a false extremist religion.

The Moral and Spiritual Dilemmas in Challenging Times study guide was published in 2017 by Cumberland Lodge and The Council of Christians and Jews (CCJ). It reflects on key themes and questions from Buller's book.

Event format

This event will adopt the World Café / Knowledge Café method, bringing together up to 60 students from a wide range of academic disciplines. It will focus on the sections of the Moral and Spiritual Dilemmas in Challenging Times study guide that relate to students and young people. Key questions will include:

  • How do we address tensions between generations in our own families or faith communities?
  • How can we protect ourselves and others from being swept along by populist movements?
  • How can we meet the needs of young people searching for meaning and purpose?
  • What are the biggest pressures facing the student population?

Participants will be provided with short excerpts from Darkness over Germany and Moral and Spiritual Dilemmas in Challenging Times in advance of the event.

On the day, a facilitator from Cumberland Lodge, the educational charity that was founded as a result of the publication of Darkness over Germany, will introduce the topic and explain the rationale for the event, before inviting participants to discuss the key questions, prompted by the texts in small groups. Students will move between groups, responding to different topics and engaging with a range of different perspectives.

The Knowledge Café will close with a plenary session that draws together the major themes emerging from discussions on the day.

We will be joined by contributors to the study guide:

  • Canon Dr Edmund Newell (Associate Member of Nuffield College and Cumberland Lodge Principal)
  • Amber Pierce (Amy Buller PhD Scholar at Cumberland Lodge, currently completing a PhD in Holocaust studies at Royal Holloway, University of London).


Tickets are free but if you would like to attend, please follow the 'Register Now' button on this webpage to reserve your place in advance, on Eventbrite.

Event Type: 

Dates and times

From: 28 Nov 2018 - 3:30pm
To: 28 Nov 2018 - 6:30pm