Violence: A Stubborn Pandemic

Tuesday 10th to Friday 13th July 2007 at High Leigh Conference Centre.
Chair: Rt Revd John Austin, Assistant Bishop of Leicester (For personal reasons, Bishop John had to step down as Chair)
Secretary: Revd Dr Alan Race
Chaplain: Revd Canon Angela Weaver

Violence has always been with us. It features in many of the world's stories and religious myths of origins. Pervasive in human experience, men and women of intelligence  and goodwill both justify it and recoil from it. Many individuals derive their thrill of life from it.  Spiritual visionaries propose pathways for overcoming it, yet the religions themselves can often seem  part of the problem. In the twenty-first century religious antagonisms are once again being blamed  for the world's desperate pandemic of violence. Where do the roots of violence lie and can there be hope  in the face of it? The conference will explore violence in four clusters:

  • a study of the roots of violence in the human psyche and relationships
  • the international and ecological scene
  • the ambivalence of religious and theological responses to violence in text and tradition
  • conflict resolution, reconciliation and how to hope

The conference will both acknowledge the impression of violence as an abiding factor  in the human condition and also seek to offer hope in the face of its complexities.


 g mursell
Gordon Mursell
The Psalms and Violence - what kind of God?
Rt Revd Dr Gordon Mursell is Area Bishop of Stafford and specialist in the history and theology of Christian Spirituality.

 d rowe  
Dorothy Rowe
Enemies and Friends
Dr Dorothy Rowe is a psychologist and author.  Her latest book is Finding Your Way Out of the Prison of Depression.

 p rogers  
Paul Rogers
Current trends in international relations affecting war and peace
Dr Paul Rodgers is Professor of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford. He currently focuses on trends in international conflict, developing an analysis of the linkages between socio-economic divisions, environmental constraints and international insecurity.

 a billings  
Alan Billings
The Ethics of Pacifism and Just War in an Age of Terrorist Violence
Canon Dr Alan Billings is vicar of St George, Kendal. He's also director of the Centre of Ethics and Religion  at the University of Lancaster.
in conversation with
Tony Kempster
Dr Tony Kempster is General Secretary of the Anglican Pacifist Fellowship and Chair of the Movement for the Abolition of War.

 m juergensmeyer  
Mark Juergensmeyer
Violence and the Religions - an Overview
Professor Mark Juergensmeyer is Director of the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies  and Professor of Sociology and Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara.  He is an expert on religious violence, conflict resolution and South Asian religion and politics,  and has published more than two hundred articles and a dozen books.

d elalami
Dawoud El-Alami
The Israel-Palestine Conflict
Professor Dawoud El-Alami is Lecturer in Islamic Studies, Lampeter, University of Wales.
in conversation with
Dan Cohn-Sherbok
Professor of Jewish Theology and Director of the Centre for the Study of the World's Religions, Lampeter, University of Wales.

g fraser
Giles Fraser
Theological Perspectives on Violence
Revd Dr Giles Fraser has been Team Rector of Putney Parish Team since 2000. He has lectured in philosophy at Wadham College, Oxford since 1998.

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Derick Wilson
Conflict Resolution in a violent world
Dr Derick Wilson is Assistant Director of the UNESCO Centre at the University of Ulster and Director of the  Future Ways Programme. He has been active in the areas of youth work, community relations, community development and reconciliation work in Northern Ireland since 1965.  He was awarded the MBE for services to community relations. He is a council member of the Corrymeela Community of Reconciliation and a Commissioner for the Equality Commission NI from 2003.