On Wednesday 16th June, William Temple Research Fellow Dr Matthew Barber-Rowell delivered a paper at an event entitled ‘Academic Workshop: Dialogue with and among the Existing, Transforming and Emerging Communities’.
The event, hosted by the Dialogue Society, was an international gathering that offered twelve papers, exploring themes including: Migrant Communities, Senses of Belonging and Conflict Resolution, The Transformative Aspect of Dialogue and Emerging Communities, Education, Community Cohesion and Dialogue, and Dialogue Spaces and Communities.
Dr Barber-Rowell spoke in the final session addressing the theme of Dialogue Spaces and Communities through his paper ‘Curating Spaces of Hope, Exploring the potential for Faith Based Organisations (FBOs) and Intra-Communities Dialogue, in a post-COVID Society’. This paper considered the role of FBOs during the pandemic, based on UK-wide research by the Faiths and Civil Society Unit at Goldsmiths, University of London, and considered how a new paradigm for FBOs, offered by Dr Barber-Rowell’s own research, posits a possible threshold moment for engaging in intra-community dialogue.
The session was chaired by Dr Mary Earl (University of Cambridge), and included Professor Robert Brown (University of Plymouth), Dr Barber-Rowell (William Temple Foundation) and Evelyn Henderson-Child (Utrecht University). Discussion explored barriers to dialogue, the effect of the pandemic in accelerating change in communities, and the tantalising prospect of crossing the threshold from language spaces, to inhabiting physical spaces of hope.
The workshop was recorded and can be watched again via the Dialogue Society YouTube channel. The papers from the workshop will be published in a special edition of the Dialogue Society Journal this autumn.