This year, the Centre for Theology and Public Issues will celebrate its 30th birthday! (I know, we look so young!) We’re planning a number of interesting talks to mark the occasion, as well as a birthday party.
Check back on the blog for more news of upcoming events, or like us on Facebook to get events in your newsfeed.
Join us for a special seminar on peacebuilding and music, with Professor Rachel Beckles Willson from Royal Holloway, University of London. We’ll be exploring some of the challenges facing peacebuilding through music, and hearing Rachel talk about her research in the West Bank.
Places are limited, so please book your free ticket online for this event using this link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/musics-failures-and-musics-dangers-the-case-of-the-west-bank-tickets-9577449409
You are warmly invited to a public lecture by Revd Dr Sam Wells on ‘What’s Wrong with Poverty?’ Sam Wells is vicar of St Martin in the Fields, London, and Visiting Professor of Christian Ethics at Kings College London. He has spent fifteen years in parish ministry in the Church of England, of which ten were spent in urban priority areas. He also spent seven years in North Carolina as Dean of Duke University Chapel.
Sam has published 20 books, including academic studies and textbooks in Christian ethics, explorations of social mission, intercessory prayer and Anglican faith, and 3 collections of sermons.
The RISECI Group kick-off meeting in Barcelona
The Centre for Theology and Public Issues has joined forces with universities and institutes in Spain, Slovenia and Sweden to take part in a research project on ‘Religion in the Shaping of European Cultural Identity’ (RISECI). Joint-funded by the European Union, the RISECI project aims to explore how religion makes a positive contribution to the construction of European identity. Over the next two years, the various partners in the RISECI project will be organising workshops, exhibitions and academic events exploring the themes of identity, religion and culture in Europe. The workshop in Edinburgh, which will tie in with our Peacebuilding Through Media Arts project, will take place in October 2013.
The project is being led by Professor Miriam Diez Bosch of the Blanquerna Observatory of Communication, Culture and Religion, at the Universitat Ramon Llull in Barcelona. The other participating institutions are the Sigtuna Foundation, based near Stockholm, and the Slovene Museum of Christianity, based near Ljubliana.
The Peacebuilding Through Media Arts project is sponsoring three screenings at this year’s Scotland African Film Festival, and after attending last night, I have to say we can be proud of having anything at all to do with such vital and moving works of ‘media art’. The showings of the first 2 documentaries were attended by a lively, engaged crowd (you could tell their political sensitivity from the way the noisy chattering through all the adverts abruptly ceased – no dissenting voices – as a picture of the occupied West Bank came up at the beginning of a trailer). And it was pretty much a full house.
The first short film, Peace Wanted Alive: Kenya at the Crossroads was about a grassroots peacebuilding initiative in Kenya said to be responsible for averting much bloodshed during during election violence of 2008. Powerful and punchy, it demonstrates a model of civic society peace building.
It was followed by Dear Mandela, an award-winning feature-length documentary following the progress of a movement fighting for the rights of those living in the euphemistically termed ‘informal settlements’ outside Durban. Eighteen years after the end of apartheid South Africa is still experiencing a divide of similar injustice and tragedy: that between rich and poor, symbolised here by the summary evictions and forced transportation of many so-called slum dwellers. The story had so many twists and turns it felt scripted, and so many fluent and engaging characters you might think they were actors; so many live dramatic scenes were shot you wondered how the director and crew knew where to be and when to shoot. But this was a real movement of ordinary people making a stand against both local opposition and a set of eviction laws they believed were unconstitutional. If I told you how it turned out, I’d have to put a spoiler alert at the top of the blog- let’s just say I was deeply moved, and that if you have a chance to see it, DO! And it seems only right to link to the ‘Take Action’ tab on the film’s website: <http://www.dearmandela.com/?q=node/71>
The third film we are sponsoring, Cry of Love, has its UK premiere in the Festival on Nov 1st at 8.15, the Filmhouse, Edinburgh. See you there?
A GATHERING FOR SYRIA
TUESDAY 30TH OCTOBER 2012, ST GILES CATHEDRAL, EDINBURGH
A coming together of civic and faith communities: with music, readings and reflections to express shared support and hope for the people of Syria.
This event is hosted by the Church of Scotland and supported by Edinburgh Inter-Faith Association and City of Edinburgh Council.