Professor Sturges’ talk will range over the history of the offence of blasphemy in relation to freedom of expression, with examples from some different parts of the world. The examples of blasphemy will include some that would seriously offend religious believers. There will also be accounts of hangings, lashings and horrible murders by people enraged by blasphemy. He will contrast blasphemy laws and their consequences, with laws and international statements on freedom of expression. In the process he will attempt to draw useful distinctions between critical comment, satire, offensive speech and publication, and incitement to hatred, whilst stressing the value of good manners and consideration for others.
University Centre Shrewsbury, Guildhall, Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury SY3 8HQ, at 7.30 pm on Thursday 15 June.