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Event Details

The Future of Justice

7 September 2021
6.30pm – 7.45pm AEST
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Michael Sandel | Rowan Williams | Mary Zournazi

Humans have disagreed about the idea of justice for millennia. But as we confront a world of uncertainty and disruption, with rising inequality, anger and polarisation, it has become difficult to talk about big questions like justice and fairness, or success and failure. In the past, we might have looked to religion or philosophy to help us think and act. If we want to create a more generous and inclusive public life, can we still look to these domains for answers?  

In this digital event join philosopher Michael Sandel, theologian Rowan Williams and author/filmmaker Mary Zournazi to explore what concepts like gratitude and grace mean for us as individuals and societies, and how humility and love may serve us in our relationships with each other. Instead of separating secular and theological approaches, what ideas can we bring together to chart a course for the common good and a more just world? 

To delve further, explore Michael Sandel’s recently published book, Tyranny of Merit – What’s Become of the Common Good and Rowan Williams and Mary Zournazi’s Justice and Love – a philosophical dialogue

This event is presented by the UNSW Centre for Ideas and UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture as part of Social Sciences Week. Head here to see the full UNSW program. 





This event will be available on the UNSW Centre for Ideas websiteFacebook, and UNSW YouTube channel.

A link to watch the event will be sent on the event day to registered attendees. 


For event enquiries or to discuss your access requirements, please call the Centre for Ideas on 02 9065 0485 or email

The Centre for Ideas is happy to receive phone calls via the National Relay Service. TTY users, phone 133 677, then ask for 02 9065 0485. Speak and Listen users, phone 1300 555 727 then ask for 02 9065 0485. Internet relay users, visit, then ask for 02 9065 0485. 

Michael Sandel

Michael Sandel

Michael Sandel teaches political philosophy at Harvard University. He has been described as a “rock-star moralist” (Newsweek) and “the world’s most influential living philosopher” (New Statesman). 

Sandel’s books, including What Money Can’t Buy, and Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?, have been translated into more than 30 languages. His legendary course ‘Justice’ was the first Harvard course to be made freely available online and has been viewed by tens of millions of people. His BBC series The Global Philosopher explores the ethical issues lying behind the headlines with participants from around the world. 

Sandel’s new book is The Tyranny of Merit: What’s Become of the Common Good? was named a ‘Best Book of 2020’ by The Guardian, Bloomberg, New Statesman, and The Times Literary Supplement, The Tyranny of Merit offers a novel diagnosis of our polarised politics and how to heal it.  

Sandel’s lectures have packed St. Paul’s Cathedral (London), the Sydney Opera House (Australia), the Delacorte Theater in New York’s Central Park, and an outdoor stadium in Seoul (South Korea), where 14,000 came to hear him speak.   

Rowan Williams

Rowan Williams

Rowan Williams (Baron Williams of Oystermouth) is former Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge (UK). He was formerly Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity at the University of Oxford (UK) and was Archbishop of Canterbury from 2002 – 2012. Rowan recently co-authored with Mary Zournazi, Justice and Love – a philosophical dialogue.

Mary Zournazi

Mary Zournazi

Mary Zournazi is an Australian film maker and cultural philosopher. Her multi-awarding winning documentary Dogs of Democracy was screened worldwide, and her most recent documentary film, My Rembetika Blues is a story about love, life and music. She is the author of several books including Hope – New Philosophies for Change, Inventing Peace with the German filmmaker Wim Wenders, and her most recent book is Justice and Love – a philosophical dialogue with Rowan Williams. She teaches in the sociology and anthropology program at UNSW Sydney in the School of Social Sciences.

Photo credit Effy Alexakis.

Image of Ann Mossop

Ann Mossop | Chairperson

Ann Mossop is the Artistic Director of Sydney Writers’ Festival, and was previously the Director of the Centre for Ideas at UNSW Sydney. She also held the position of as Head of Talks and Ideas at the Sydney Opera House from 2010–2017. She established the Opera House’s extensive talks and ideas program and lead key projects like the Festival of Dangerous Ideas and All About Women. Throughout her career she has been involved with important initiatives to bring the work of writers and thinkers to broader audiences, from the pioneering series Writers in the Park to the re-establishment of the Sydney Writers’ Festival.

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