Faith and Belief on Campus: Division and Cohesion
Upcoming: A study of faith and belief societies in British universities.
This conference considers the roles that faith and belief can play in promoting cohesion in universities, and launches our research in this area.
Thursday 4th July, SOAS, Russell Square, London, WC1H 0XG
Universities are a symbolic battleground in today’s debates around our shared values and identities. They are accused on the one hand of restricting free speech, and on the other of being hotbeds of extremism. They are often seen as secular, yet are places where faith and belief groups flourish. What can we make of these contradictions, and what is the reality on the ground?
On 4th July we host a day conference to launch a major new research report in partnership with Coventry University: Faith and Belief on Campus: Division and Cohesion. This report sets out the findings of our research with faith and belief–related student societies in six universities across the UK. We explore the challenges these societies face on campus and the roles they play in fostering good relations on campus. We have also conducted the first mapping exercise of faith and belief–related student societies across the country.
This conference brings together academics, students and staff working in student services and students’ unions to consider how faith and belief issues shape campus dynamics; the challenges that people of different faiths and beliefs face on campus; and what changes are needed in universities to support them better.
In the evening, a keynote lecture on freedom of speech in universities will be delivered by David Isaac CBE, Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). In February 2019, the EHRC published new guidance for universities on managing freedom of speech on campus.
The conference will be held in the Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), WC1H 0XG. Lunch is provided. Guests can choose to attend the day conference, the evening lecture, or both. Following the evening lecture there will be a drinks reception (alcoholic and non–alcoholic).
9.30 – 9.50 Registration (ground floor) and coffee (basement by lecture theatre). Please be seated by 9.50.
9.50 – 10.00 Welcome
10.00–11.00 Faith and Belief on Campus research: findings
11.00–12.00 Faith and Belief on Campus research: findings
12.00–13.00 Lunch (provided)
13.00–14.00 Panel 1: Supporting students of faith and belief on campus
14.00–15.00 Panel 2: How to live well on campus with difference
15.15–16.15 Panel 3: Security, extremism and discrimination
16.15–17.15 Panel 4: Proselytism and secularism
19.00–20.15 Keynote lecture on freedom of speech in universities: David Isaac CBE, Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission
20.15–21.00 Drinks reception (alcoholic and non–alcoholic).
We are confirming our panellist lineup. Panellists confirmed so far include:
There are several ticket options. Guests can choose to attend the day conference, the evening lecture, or both.
General admission are available until 9am, 3rd July.
The closest underground station to the venue is Russell Square on the Picadilly line. Entry is via the main ground floor reception to the Brunei Gallery at SOAS. Turn left through the double doors where you will need to register, and then make your way down via the stairs or take the lift to the main lecture theatre in the basement.
Please bring a print out of your eventbrite ticket which we will collect from you at registration.
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Theos researches and investigates the intersection of religion, politics and society in the contemporary world.