Peacebuilding and Music

Peacebuilding and Music

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:


Summer Event: Jolyon Mitchell at the Edinburgh International Festival

On Thursday 30 August, Professor Jolyon Mitchell will take part in an interactive workshop at the Truce event at the Edinburgh International Festival. The event will address truce in the arts, and will also feature the composer and Reid Professor Nigel Osborne, Dr Igor Stiks and Dr Olga Taxidou. For tickets and more details on the event, please see the Festival’s website:

Photo credit: “peace dove” by Jeff Attaway

Event Reminder: Jolyon Mitchell Inaugural Lecture Tomorrow

Jolyon Mitchell will give his Inaugural Lecture as Professor of Communications, Arts and Religion at 2 pm this Thursday, 15 September, in the Assembly Hall, New College.  The lecture is entitled “‘Swords into Ploughshares’: Transforming Arms into Art”, and it will reflect in part his major new research project on “Peacebuilding through Media Arts”.

Professor Mitchell is a distinguished theologian, ethicist and broadcaster, who has lectured widely around the world.  He is the Director of the Centre for Theology and Public Issues.  As a scholar-teacher at New College, he has drawn upon the arts in exploring issues of vital importance: sponsoring dramatic performances, developing a popular course in theology and film ethics, and organising the major art exhibition “Shadows of the Divine”.

Professor Dorothy Miell, Head of the College of Humanities and Social Science, will chair the Lecture, which will last about an hour. There will be a reception in the Rainy Hall immediately after the lecture.

Image: Yevgeny Vuchetich, “Let Us Beat Swords Into Plowshares”  

Jolyon Mitchell Inaugural Lecture (UPDATED with Abstract)

The University of Edinburgh


Professor Jolyon Mitchell

Personal Chair of Communications, Arts and Religion

will deliver his

Inaugural Lecture

‘Swords into Ploughshares’

Transforming Arms into Art

in the Assembly Hall

New College

1 Mound Place, Edinburgh, EH1 2LU

on 15 September 2011 at 2.00pm

This lecture is open to the public

RSVP to Annie Hetherington

0131 650 6622


How can weapons be turned into art? How can ‘swords’ be transformed into ‘ploughshares’? For some scholars and practitioners involved in building peace, the phrase ‘Swords into Ploughshares’ is an overused cliché that has lost its original force. In this illustrated public lecture, Professor Jolyon Mitchell investigates how this ancient text is being brought to life in many different parts of the world through artistic projects promoting peace. He analyses how various artists are transforming weapons that used to kill into tools for farming, useful objects or symbols of peace. He explores how different museums, educators and film-makers are now using these pieces to envision peace. Professor Mitchell considers the significance of these expressions of ‘Swords into Ploughshares’ in local, national and international peacebuilding.

Jolyon Mitchell is Professor of Communications, Arts and Religion, Director of the Centre for Theology and Public Issues at the University of Edinburgh, and a former BBC World Service Producer and Journalist.

Image Credit: Brian Fischbacher