Reading Sacred Places: New Approaches to Inter Religious Understanding

tree (1)Religious traditions involve far more than understanding beliefs and sacred texts. Imaginative engagement is crucial if we are to learn to see the world and the cosmos through the eyes of different religious communities.

Speaker : Professor Michael Barnes SJ

Sunday 5th May     2.00pm – 4.00pm

Lecture 4:  ‘Facing the Centre : Pilgrimage as an Interreligious experience.’ 

This lecture will reflect further on the practice of inter-faith pilgrimage as an experience of learning from and with people of different faiths.  If a religious tradition can be understood by analogy with a school, what sense does it make to speak of Interreligious dialogue itself as a building up of a ‘school of schools’?Way and Wilderness

Sunday June 16th    2.00pm – 4.00pm

Lecture 5: Dialogue in the Dust

We will hear a personal account of Jesuit religious life and encounter in Southall, a ‘Holy City’ where amidst much poverty, grime and deprivation more than sixty places of religious worship flourish, including a major Sikh Gudwara. There is no dominant culture and in learning to live with each other diverse communities have developed a street level wisdom that is crucial for maintaining peaceful relations.

Sunday July 14th    2.00pm – 4.00pm

Lecture 6: Borderlands and Hospitality

Sacred  Places are highly ambivalent and can be seen in many different ways.  For some they embody security and familiarity, but they can also be unknown and threatening. They are home and away, reflecting both immanence and transcendence, love and awe.

Sacred places are borderlands separating different worlds, places of hospitality and refuge, but also carefully defined points of crossing from one world to another. Boundaries are jealously guarded and entry is rigorously controlled and confined to an elite of the faithful. Visiting a sacred place is an indispensable catalyst for the religious imagination

Suggested Donation: £10 per session.