A theological reading of Multi Faith Spaces 6 November 4.30

MFS arriving

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.

Multi Faith Spaces – symptoms & agents of religious & social change: opening & workshops

Thanks to everyone who has replied saying they are coming to the opening event on Tuesday 10th July at 12.30pm.  See the list of workshops below.

This is the Exhibition’s first London visit and there is a lot of interest in Multi Faith Spaces – Symptoms and Agents of Religious and Social Change.  Light refreshments will be served – let us know any dietary preferences when you register.

Download the poster here and pass it on to people in your borough who run/use/are planning prayer rooms, quiet rooms and Multi Faith Spaces.

We’re all looking forward to excellent contributions and a good discussion on what Multi Faith Spaces are for, how they work, the joys and challenges of running them/using them and what the future holds.

The exhibition is open on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 11am to 4pm.

Workshops  (please register in advance)

  • Monday 9th July 2.30-4pm: Prison, police & secure mental health services
  • Tuesday 10th July 2.30-4pm: Higher and Further Education
  • Wednesday 11th July 2.30-4pm: Hospitals & NHS
  • Friday 13th July 2.30- 4pm: Shopping, leisure, airports

The workshops will include a viewing of the exhibition – both are at St Alphege, Kings Bench Street, London SE1 0QZ.  Lunchtime refreshments will be served at the opening event; tea and cake at the workshops.

Register your name for the opening event and for the workshops here.