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In this week’s interview, Dr. Sharpe shares what is in many ways his “last lecture,” in which he brings closure to his life’s work and talks about the ideas that have inspired him. As you look back on this course and your new learning, reflect on what you might include if you were asked to give a “last lecture” of your own, focusing on the elements that have shaped your life’s work or what you imagine what your life’s work will be. What kind of legacy do you hope to leave behind? In what ways do you think happiness and love will figure into that legacy? And perhaps most importantly: What changes can you make to your life now to ensure that at the end of your life, you will have lived the way you wanted?

To prepare 

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  • Listen to the Radio Laureate Interview with Dr. Kevin Sharpe: “The Road Behind and the Road Ahead.”
  • Think about some of the contributions to the world that you’d like to make that you could share in your own “last lecture.”
  • Consider how this course has impacted the way that you think about Science and Religion.
  • Reflect on how you could apply what you have learned in this course to your own life, community, and work.

The assignment:

  • Compose a 500-word in which you do the following:
    • Share three elements that you think you would include in your own “last lecture” if you were asked to describe the contributions that you see yourself making to the world.
    • Assess how this course has impacted your understanding of Science and Spirituality in general.
    • Describe how your learning in this course, especially about different expressions and understandings of love and happiness, will impact your own life.

PHIL 3010 – PHIL3010_W06 Dr. Kevin Sharpe

“The Road Behind and the Road Ahead” Page 1

RECORDING BEGINS [00:00:00] – MUSIC [00:00:02] – A VOICEOVER : This final interview is entitled “The Road Behind and the Road Ahead.” This week Dr. Sharpe talks about his own evolving research, and what facing terminal cancer and a shortened life ahs done in terms of his own thinking on science, religion, love and happiness: topics he’s explored for the duration of his career. He emphasizes the importance of constantly searching for good questions, and the solutions to those questions. [00:00:34] – B DR. LESLIE VAN GELDER : In this final pod, podcast we’re going to talk to Dr. Sharpe a little bit about his own future. He’s shared with us that he has terminal cancer and he’s facing for himself his own future, or not a very long future necessarily. And in coming to terms with that, how has your experience of studying science and religion over your whole career impacted how you’re experiencing your cancer? [00:01:04] – C DR. KEVIN SHARPE : What a deep question! (CHUCKLES) [00:01:05] – D DR. LESLIE VAN GELDER : Sorry! [00:01:08] – E DR. KEVIN SHARPE : I feel very completed with my, complete with my search. And it has been a journey and a search right from the very beginning. I remember the first times when I was preaching about (Tead Ashada) when I was a student and how that’s, (Tead’s) search seemed to be my search as well. At the moment, coming back to this meaning stuff, I feel like I might have hear a way of tying up the ends of my search, and – not so much in the suggestion of a meaning system but in the existence and the importance of meaning systems for human beings. [00:01:53] – And how that functions in relation to beliefs and religion and goodness knows what else in our society. But being able to tie that stuff up together, for me, gives me a sense of, of meaning, of purpose, in these supposed last days of my life, I don’t – however many days they might be. But it’s actually very fulfilling to get there. And the same with the other half of my work,

PHIL 3010 – PHIL3010_W06 Dr. Kevin Sharpe

“The Road Behind and the Road Ahead” Page 2

which has been in archaeology. We’re at a point that we can make some very important steps forward, and we have been making them. And (they) are very fulfilling and provide with a lot of meaning. Provided I can do it. (CHUCKLES) Yeah. [00:02:51] – F DR. LESLIE VAN GELDER : At the outset of this course the, the subject of not only science and spirit but love and happiness. What role have they played in your life? [00:03:01] – G DR. KEVIN SHARPE : (CHUCKLES) Oh, gosh. [00:03:06] – Love has played a tremendous role. And my love for my wife and my wife’s love for me at the moment is just – beyond the moon. (CHUCKLES) But for all my life I’ve, I’ve searched for love, and, and, and to be loved has been just as important for me as to love. And in some ways they are the core of, of how I would like to go about living. Happiness. Happiness is tied into so many other things. [00:03:50] – And, and love is very much involved in one’s sense of happiness. And I think the fundamental motivation in human beings is the search for increased happiness. So it’s fundamental. Love is a way in which we, one of the many ways in which we can increase our happiness. [00:04:15] – H DR. LESLIE VAN GELDER : Has it increased your happiness? [00:04:17] – I DR. KEVIN SHARPE : Yes it has, it certainly has. [00:04:19] – J DR. LESLIE VAN GELDER : To the students who are taking this course, who are starting out possibly on their own careers or their own quests, what do you suggest to them? [00:04:29] – K DR. KEVIN SHARPE : Hmm. [00:04:34] – I think, well, you know, I have, I am the sort of person who am I, who I am, I’m not other, another person. So if I’m, when I answer that I’m saying it from myself, what is important for me in my life. And it may not be the same for other people. [00:04:57] – I think the search, the constant search for good questions and solutions to those questions is paramount for my life and hopefully for many many other scholars and students as well.

PHIL 3010 – PHIL3010_W06 Dr. Kevin Sharpe

“The Road Behind and the Road Ahead” Page 3

[00:05:15] – L DR. LESLIE VAN GELDER : Any last words? [00:05:16] – M DR. KEVIN SHARPE : Thank you very much for imbibing in this book. (CHUCKLES) [00:05:21] – N DR. LESLIE VAN GELDER : Thank you. [00:05:22] – O DR. KEVIN SHARPE : Thank you. [00:05:24] – MUSIC [00:05:28] – RECORDING ENDS

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