2017 Conference


Convened by Gingko and the LSE Faith Centre, in association with the Barenboim-Said Akademie, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Religious Imaginations and Global Transitions

The causes of global transitions are numerous and complex. Market globalization, technology, climate change and post-colonial political forces are all forging a new world. But caught up in the mix are some powerful religious narratives that are galvanizing peoples and reimagining political and social order. Some are repressive, fundamentalist imaginations such as the so-called Islamic Caliphate. Others could be described as post-religious such as the evolution of universal human rights out of the European Christian tradition.

But the question of the compatibility of these religious world views, particularly those that have emerged out of the Abrahamic faith traditions, is perhaps the most pressing issue in global stability today. What scope for dialogue is there between the Jewish, Muslim and Christian ways of imagining the future? How can we engage with these multiple imaginations to create a shared peaceful future?

This conference will take a trans-disciplinary approach to how religious narratives interact with the contemporary geopolitical climate, and will draw together these often disconnected strands of religious motivations and the analysis of current affairs.

On the evening of 14th June, there will be a special concert presented by Professor Mena Mark Hanna, Dean of the Barenboim-Said Akademie, Professor of Musicology, celebrating the role of music as an expression of religious imaginations.This concert will be followed by an Iftar celebration at approximately 21.19. Tickets for both of these exciting conference additions are available for purchase separately.

Keynote Speakers

Karen Armstrong OBE

Karen Armstrong is viewed as one of the most prolific writers on religion in the world today. She is known for her numerous documentaries, and books focusing on the history and evolution of the three Abrahamic faiths including A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and The Case for God.

Professor Craig Calhoun

Professor Calhoun is the President of the Berggruen Institute in Los Angeles, Global Distinguished Professor at New York University and Centennial Professor at the LSE and its former Director. His books include Nations Matter: Culture, History and the Cosmopolitan Dream, and Nationalism.

Professor Mona Siddiqui OBE

Professor Siddiqui is Professor of Islamic and Interrreligious Studies and Assistant Principal, Religion and Society and Dean international for the Middle East at the University of Edinburgh. She is internationally renowned as a commentator on religion and public life and her books include Hospitality in Islam: Welcoming in God’s Name and My Way: A Muslim Woman’s Journey.

Bishop Anba Angaelos OBE

His Grace Bishop Angaelos is General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, and is widely recognised for his extensive advocacy work, and work on human rights, international religious freedom and development work, and youth ministry.

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer was ordained as an Orthodox Rabbi at the age of twenty two and served as the spiritual leader of congregations in both the United States and Britain. He served as an interfaith advisor to Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks and in that capacity he participated in interfaith dialogue in Britain, Europe, India and Taiwan. He holds a PhD in Hebrew and Jewish Studies from UCL and writes and lectures on a wide range of topics including Hasidism, theology and spirituality. He is the author of two books and his thought pieces appear in academic journals as well as in the national press. Rabbi Brawer is also a seasoned broadcaster frequently appearing on the BBC. He is co-founder and Rabbi of Mishkan: The Jewish Community beyond Boarders.

HMA John Casson CMG

John Casson is British Ambassador to Egypt, having previously served as the Prime Minister’s Foreign Affairs Private Secretary from 2010 to 2014. Prior to this he was Deputy Ambassador in Jordan, Head of the FCO’s Near East and North Africa Department and led the US political outreach of the British Embassy in Washington.

For press passes and all other media enquires please contact:

faithcentre@lse.ac.uk or edward@gingkolibrary.com