Category: Birmingham Conversations

Faith in the Public Sphere

This series of conversations looked at how people of faith operate in the public sphere, where they flourish or feel constrained. We looked at various areas of public life and in what ways people of faith contribute to or are in opposition to the prevailing attitudes in those areas. The report was written by staff from the University of Birmingham and contained recommendations for policy makers and people in business as well as civic leaders.

During the Faith in the Public Sphere programme, we worked with artists Mandy Ross and Jake Lever who were artists in residence and produced works of art to reflect what they saw and heard. Mandy produced the ‘Map of Conversationland’ which contains pictures, poems and questions to prompt people to join in thinking about the topics discussed. Jake produced the artwork ‘Dance’ which spent a year touring places of worship encouraging the wider community to join in the conversation. It is now on display in the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery in the Faith Gallery.

You can download all the resources and watch a video of the artwork being produced on our Resources page. 

Living at Peace in a world of Conflict

The latest series of The Birmingham Conversations focused in the theme of how we live at peace in a super-diverse city like Birmingham, when there is so much tension and conflict in the world that can easily cause animosity between people here.

The conversations explored meanings of peace, situations and issues that disrupt peace and the skills we need to be peace makers.

As always the group was made up of people from a variety of faith backgrounds who committed to being part of the process over a six month period. We also had a young adults stream, led by The Feast,  which worked with people aged 18-25 who looked at the same topics but used discussion activities more sited to their age and experiences.

As always, sharing food was a key part of the conversations which, whilst exploring some controversial topics, led to stronger friendships and sharing of some profoundly personal and moving stories. Listening to how people feel and their experiences of being a victim opened our eyes to the perceptions, experiences, faith and feelings of others that impacted all those who took part.

As a result of this programme a resource has been produced to equip others to lead similar conversations. The full resource along with a pack of pictures for use in the conversation can be downloaded here

Living at Peace final Digital

Living at Peace Images Digital

 

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