It’s a year since LBFN hosted Manchester University’s Multi Faith Spaces exhibition.
We promised a follow up event for practitioners, academics and policy makers to pursue the intricate, practical and theological challenges that were aired during our seminar discussions.
- Do these spaces simply ‘house difference’ or do they bring people together (or alienate them)?
- What do they say about how people from different traditions share London’s places and spaces?
- How do they relate to the role of religion in the public square?
- What is the intention – and what actually happens in practice?
- Does their presence have knock-on effects within our communities?
I am delighted that Dr Terry Biddington (part of the Manchester team) has kindly agreed to talk to us about his new paper, Towards a Theological Reading of Multifaith Spaces, which asks
“how multifaith spaces relate to the heterotopias, non-spaces and Thirdspaces of some social theorists; what the theological issues around multifaith spaces are for those religious believers who use them; what theological approaches and language might begin to name and explore the potential of multifaith spaces for new shared understandings of human identity; and how multifaith spaces relate to notions of God.”
I’ve had a sneak preview (the paper will be published later this year) and it’s exciting stuff.
It also relates to the developing ideas around the Friday-Saturday-Sunday architectural proposal, intentional sharing and ‘visiting’ of religious places and how religious and non-religious people share place and negotiate identity. The paper focuses mainly on Abrahamic traditions, but our discussion will be broader.
We’ve agreed Wednesday 6 November at 4.30pm for this event and I am looking for a suitable multifaith space in central London as a venue. Please contact me if you know of something suitable.
There will be a couple of respondents to Terry’s paper, followed by discussion and something to eat. We should be finished by about 6.30pm.
People involved in hospital chaplaincy, FE colleges, prisons, workplace MFS, universities, airports (& other shopping centres) are very welcome – please pass this invitation on to those whom you know.
Save the date and register your interest with LBFN if you’d like to join us in November.