Professor Chris Baker, Director of Research at William Temple Foundation, is to offer the opening keynote address at a landmark conference, marking the 75th anniversary of the Malvern Conference. ‘Social Justice: building a fairer, more equal society’ is organised and hosted by the University of Worcester, in collaboration with William Temple Foundation, and will take place from Thursday 23rd June – Saturday 25th June 2016.
Chris Baker’s lecture is titled ‘Faith in the Public Sphere? – in search of a fair and compassionate society for the 21st century’ and will address the themes underpinning the conference by asking ‘what is the role and contribution of faith in a postsecular, diverse and increasingly divided public square?’ Is the increased relevance and visibility of religion in the public sphere an obstacle to a fairer and more just society, or a key element in it? If religion is part of the cure, what needs to change in order to make this happen? The lecture suggests that both religion and the public sphere are changing enormously under the pressures of globalisation and modernity. Old categories and definitions based on the 20th century no longer reflect our current experiences. So what are the new ideas and practices emerging that can inspire us to confront the moral, political and economic challenges that seek to frustrate our contemporary search for a fair and just society.
The original Malvern Conference was convened and chaired by then Archbishop of Canterbury, William Temple, in January 1941. Attended by over 180 delegates, the conference discussed the role of Christianity and Christian values, focusing on the Church and society, in the precarious context of the Second World War. A year later, Temple would publish his seminal text ‘Christianity and Social Order’ which, together with the Beveridge Report, came to shape the foundations of the British welfare state.
The 2016 conference will address wider aspects of 21st century pluralist, multicultural society, ranging from religious and political identities, to social work and social care, to religion, gender and sexuality.
**UPDATE** A discounted rate for unsponsored and third-sector delegates is now available from just £16.50 per day. Click on the ‘private delegate’ tab to book.
’21st Century Religion: Violent Extremism to Civil Society?’
by Chris Baker and John Reader is available to download now >>
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