Ramsay-Campion Great Books Podcast | Sophocles Antigone

Ramsay-Campion Great Books Podcast | Sophocles Antigone
24 Oct 2022

Image: Antigone donnant la sépulture à Polynice by Sébastien Norblin (1825)


The fourth episode of the Ramsay-Campion Great Books podcast focuses on Greek playwright Sophocles and his tragedy Antigone.

In this podcast we turn our attention to the fifth century and to Sophocles’ tragedy Antigone, one of the Theban plays, which picks up the story of the family of Oedipus, the late King of Thebes, just after the civil war between his sons, Eteocles and Polynices, and opens with the two surviving members of Oedipus’s family, Antigone and Ismene. The play explores the conflict between these sisters, which centres on the larger conflict between individual conscience and the State, and a cluster of other animating tensions: between the old and the new, custom and innovation, and the differences between men and women – all of which are explored as part of the larger search for the meaning of human existence and the nature of human flourishing.

In this fourth podcast Dr Stephen McInerney, Director of the Centre for the Study of the Western Tradition at Campion College is joined by Professor Simon Haines, CEO of The Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation and Dr Laurel Moffatt, Senior Fellow with Anglican Deaconess Ministries.


Reference Books

  • Homer The Odyssey Trans. Emily Wilson. Norton. ISBN: 9780393356250
  • Sophocles Antigone Trans. Richard Emil Braun. Oxford. ISBN: 9780195061673
  • Thucydides On Justice, Power and Human Nature: Selections from the History of the Peloponnesian War Trans. Paul Woodruff. Hackett. ISBN:9780872201682
  • Plato, The Symposium Penguin Classics. ISBN: 9780140449273



Host: Dr Stephen McInerney

Stephen McInerney is Senior Lecturer in Literature and Director of the Centre for the Study of the Western Tradition at Campion College, Sydney. Part of the original faculty at Campion, he has taught across the entire literature curriculum offered by the College. From 2017-2021, he was a member of the Executive of the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation, first as Executive Officer and then Academic Director and Deputy CEO, and continues part-time at Ramsay as Academic Consultant. Representing the Ramsay Centre, he has been part of scholarship selection panels at the University of Queensland, the University of Wollongong and Australian Catholic University, and has also served on the Ramsay Postgraduate Scholarship selection panel. His published works include The Enclosure of An Open Mystery: Sacrament and Incarnation in the Writings of Gerard Manley Hopkins, David Jones and Les Murray (Peter Lang, 2012) and two volumes of poetry, In Your Absence (2002), chosen by Les Murray as a Times Literary Supplement ‘Book of the Year’, and The Wind Outside (2016).


Prof Simon Haines

Professor Simon Haines is a distinguished scholar, teacher and author, and passionate advocate for the humanities. Educated in Iraq, England and Australia, Simon took a BA at the Australian National University and a DPhil in English literature at the University of Oxford. He worked as a banker in London and then as a diplomat and analyst with the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Office of National Assessments. He led the OECD Budget Committee as Chairman from 1985-1987. Simon then taught English Literature at the Australian National University from 1990 to 2008, where he also served as Head of the School of Humanities. In 2009 he was appointed Chair Professor and Head of English at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, where he also served as Director of the Research Centre for Human Values. He is a founding member of the Hong Kong Academy of the Humanities. In 2017 he was appointed CEO of the Ramsay Centre. Simon is the author or editor of five books including the prizewinning Reader in European Romanticism (Bloomsbury, 2010, 2nd paperback edition 2014) and Poetry and Philosophy from Homer to Rosseau (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005) His most recent book is the edited volume Shakespeare and Value (Routledge, May 2018).


Dr Laurel Moffatt

Laurel Moffatt is a writer and researcher in Sydney. Her writing has appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald, the Daily Telegraph, ABC Religion and Ethics and The Spectator. She is a Senior Fellow with Anglican Deaconess Ministries and the host of the Small Wonders podcast.