The Centre for Religion in Society (CRiS) regularly hosts events and supports collaborative research and publishing projects with national and international scholars as well as working with professionals and practitioners in the areas of religion, peace and reconciliation and public theology.
The International Conference Series on Peace and Reconciliation
This conferece series was established in 2006 to provide a platform for both scholars and practitioners in the fields of peace and reconciliation. The nature of the conference is interdisciplinary but perspectives from theology and religious studies are particularly to the fore. The first conference on 'Peace and Reconciliation: In Search of a Shared Identity' with a particular focus on the Korean Peninsula, was held at York St John University. In 2008 the conference was held at the University of Los Angeles, California where participants addressed the theme of: 'Embracing the Displaced: Shaping Theories and Practices for a Sustainable Peace'. Working in partnership with Youngnak Church the third conference in 2010 was held in Seoul, South Korea, entitled 'Building Communities of Reconciliation wityh Reflection on the Life and Teaching of Rev. Kyung-Chik Han'. In 2012 collaboration took place with the Department of Asian Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem the fourth International Conference on Peace and Reconciliation was held at the Hebrew University in Israel, focusing on 'Mediating Peace through Art, Music & Film'. In 2015 a further conference was held again at York St John University on the theme, 'Who is My Neighbour? Crossing Boundaries of Prejudice and Distrust'. A selection of papers from these conference have been published in edited books. For further details please see the Centre for Religion in Society publications page.
The Ebor Lectures are a response to the growing need for theology to interact with public issues in contemporary society and started in 2006. Public theology is about engaging in dialogue with a range of communities on issues wider than narrowly defined religious matters. This series of lectures aims to promote public conversation and to contribute to the formation of personal decisions and collective policy-making in economic, political and social spheres. It is also an ecumenical project that seeks to exchange insights between academic and religious traditions and to build bridges between church and other religious groups. The lectures relate faith to public concerns including politics, economics, contemporary culture, religion and spirituality, society and globalisation, local and global Christianity. Speakers in the series include a range of speakers: theologians, religious leaders, jounalists, economist, politicians and other public figures.
2018 the 12th series of the Ebor lectures, ‘Peace and Reconciliation.' The year 2018 marks the centenary of the ending of World War I. Communities and individuals across the world will be involved in commemorating and remembering those who fought, survived or died in this war. As part of this commemoration our 2018 series of the Ebor lectures, ‘Peace and Reconciliation’ offers a range of speakers who will talk about various themes, issues and examples, both past and present, concerned with building peace and promoting reconciliation in a variety of contexts. It is hoped that this series will provide a further understanding of how the healing of communities and progress along the peace-building road can be achieved. As Mahatma Gandhi said in his teaching on peace: ‘You must be the change you wish to see in the world.’
Themes of past Ebor Lectures
2017 Journeys: Changing Places, Minds and Beliefs'
2015-16 Global Security and the United Nations: 70 Years on
2014-15 Lighting the Fire: Foundation, Character and the Practice of Education
2013-14 The State of Religion? Establishment, Tolerance and Civic Society
2012-13 The Morality of Austerity
2011-12 The Good Society: Re-invigorating Public Life
2010-11 Politics of Fear, Politics of Hope? Terrorism in the 21st Century
2009-10 Business as Usual? The Global Economy Crisis and the Future of Capitalism
2008-09 The Challenge of Climate Change
2007-08 Globalisation and Identity
2006-07 Liberating Texts? Revelation, Identity and Public Life
2018 series of the Ebor lectures, ‘Peace and Reconciliation’:
7th March - Professor Tariq Modood will speak on 'Intercultural Reconciliation and Public Intellectual Engagement' at York St John University, 7pm
11th April - Colin Craig, Former Excutive Director of the Corrymeela Community, Norther Ireland, will speak on 'The Challenge of Learning New Habits So We Can Live well Together' at York Minster, 7pm
9 May - Marina Cantacuzino, founder of The Forgiveness Project, will speak on 'Where Love and Justice Fiannly Meet. The Place of Forgiveness in Mending Broken Relationships' at York St John University, 7pm.
Interdisciplinary Symposium: Western-Chinese Cross-cultural Dialogue on Rights, Dignity and Morality 2017
CRiS are co-organisin,g with four other Global Network Public Thelology Centres (Department of Cultural and Religious Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Center for Religion in Society; Center for Public and Contextual Theology; Charles Sturt University, Australia; Center for Theology and Public Issues, University of Otago, New Zealand; MF Norwegian School of Theology, Norway), an inter-disciplinary Symposium on ‘Dignity, Morality and Rights: An Integration of Christian Theology: Interdisciplinary Studies, and Western-Chinese Cross-cultural Dialogue’, in November 2017 at the Institute of Sino-Christian Studies, Hong Kong, China.
Peace, Security and Social Enterprise - Mount Kenya University, Nairobi 2017
Staff of CRiS were invited to participate in the development of a new international conference series and subsequent publications on Peace, Security and Social Enterprise organised by Mount Kenya University, the inaugual conference took place in Nairobi between 16 and 19 May 2017. Mount Kenya University with campuses across the region is brought to this forum, academia, private sector, governments, faith based institutions and members of the public to deliberate on peace and security in the context of social enterprise for sustainable development. The theme of the conference was informed by the need to promote shared security and therefore peace through concerted effort. The conference aim was to bring together stakeholders to dialogue on long term non-violent strategies for sustainable peace.
Revisiting Multiculturalism in Educational and Social Contexts 2013-15
Two joint Consultation were organised between Kaye Academic College of Education, Be'er-Sheva, Israel, and CRiS, York St John University between 2013 and 2015, the first was held in York and the second in Be'er Sheva. These consultations foccused on the challenges of understanding and defining multiculturalism and how we perceive, understand and manage its role in educational and social environments, Kaye Academic College of Education, situated in the Negev in Southern Israel, serves the Jewish, Arab, and Bedouin communities of the region, and the consultation offered the rare opportunity to learn from our Israeli colleagues (Jewish, Arab and Bedouin) how they see multiculturalism in action within their social and educational environment.
The Arts of Peacebuilding: Exploring Religious Dimensions 2011-14
This Project (2011-2014) was a series of workshops done in collaboration with the Centre for Public Theology and Public Issues, University of Edinburgh, the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame, Indiana and the Centre for Religion in Socity, York St John University. The aim of these workshops held in the UK and the USA, was to bring together peace-builders, artists and scholars of theology and religion to reflect on the role of religion in arts-based approaches to peace building. A edited book of essays and illustrations, were submitted to Oxford University Press for publication in its book series on Studies in Strategic Peacebuilding.
The Challenge of Leadership in a Changing Church Symposium 2011-14
The Challenge of Leadership symposium was developed particualarly through the work of Canon Dr Malcolm Grundy, Visiting Fellow, and took place at York St John University on an annual basis between 2011 and 2014. The aim of the symposium was to focus on the challenges which face the leaders of the Christian churches in a rapidly changing world. It provided opportunity for dialogue between academics and practitioners in the field of Christian leadership.
The 2013 symposium, Travelling Together in a Changing Church, aimed at creating a dialogue between those who support women and men in their church related ministries.
Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) 2012-2014
In 2012 staff from the Centre for Religion in Society (CRiS), the David Hope RE Centre, and the Faculty of Arts, collaborated to organise the Holocaust Memorial Day event. Tikkun Olam: To Heal the World was a half-day event which included a presentation from Rabbi Professor Dan Cohn-Sherbok, Visiting Professor at York St John University and Trinity St David University of Wales, a lecture from Dr David Richmond, Head of Programme for BA Hons Theatre at York St John University, and workshops from guest speakers Steve Robinson of the Aegis Trust, Grant Rogers of the Imperial War Museum, and artist Di Lofthouse MBE.
A second HMD event, commemorating the date of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1945 was also organised by staff of CRiS in 2014. As part of York City Council's annual commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day, CRiS's Victoria Nesfield took part in the civic event, giving one of the council's seven commitments to continued Holocaust remembrance, on behalf of the Centre. CRiS marked HMD 2014 and it's theme of 'Journeys' with a half-day event organised by the Faculty of Education and Theology's Imelda O'Grady, CRiS, and in partnership with the Institute of Education: 'The Holocaust and the Journey of Memory'. The two guest speakers were Shonaleigh, a storyteller in the Yiddish tradition, and Kay Andrews from the IOE's Centre for Holocaust Education.
St Wilfrid Lecture Series 2009-15
The St Wilfrid lectures, named in honour of Ripon Cathedral’s founder, ran between 2009 and 2015. The lectures provided a forum for public conversation and theological reflection on the common social, moral and political concerns of the day. The lectures also embodied an ecumenical and interdisciplinary dimension, providing a platform for the exchange of ideas between theological and educational interests, as well as between the church and other faiths, communities, and organisations.Previous lectures have ranged widely over questions of faith and public life, with high profile speakers including the Most Revd and Rt Hon Dr John Sentamu, Lord Inderjit Singh, Ruth Gledhill, Baroness Estelle Morris, Professor Terry Eagleton, and Professor Mona Siddiqui.