What does it feel like to live with more than one religious tradition in your life, family, or community? Through presentations and facilitated discussions, this gathering will enable people who have personal experience of living in interfaith settings or belonging to more than one religious tradition to come together with academics who research multiple religious belonging and interfaith matters to explore what it’s really like. Meeting online and offering access for free, we hope to be an international community with many different perspectives. We will have live sessions to hear from speakers, a static space accessible all week to share images and documents, and opportunities for informal conversation.

This event is being organised in partnership with the Hyphen Project. Find out more about them on the University of Birmingham website: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/ptr/departments/theologyandreligion/research/projects/hyphen/index.aspx

How do we speak of God without it simply becoming just a projection of our own fears and hopes? What language today can be a catalyst for convincement? What sharp images and metaphors can disrupt the dangerous persistence of business as usual? This course is offered as a contribution to that urgent task.

The language of the first Quakers was arresting and attractive, cutting through the confusion of the revolutionary times in which they lived. The upheavals or our own time are no less demanding and today there is a need for both serious work and salty inspiration to reframe and reanimate words and ideas that, to many people, not only appear tired or worn out but wide open to abuse.

James Alison is a theologian whose own position as an openly gay Catholic priest has demanded fresh ways of configuring traditional ideas (jamesalison.com). Timothy Ashworth draws on 25 years of working with Quakers to better understand early Christian experience. Over three, weekly live sessions and an ongoing forum, as well as raising questions and making comments yourself, you will have a chance to hear them in conversation.

A Woodbrooke Where You Are course for FWCC AWPS.

Many people participate in more than one religious tradition – perhaps moving between traditions over the course of their life and/or engaging in more than one practice or community at once. This possibility is explicitly accepted in Britain Yearly Meeting’s book of discipline, where dual membership with other churches is described positively, and some individual Quakers also belong to churches, synagogues, meditation groups, Druid groves, and many other religious traditions. In this course we will explore what multiple religious belonging is, different ways it can be understood, and how it might affect Quaker and other communities. We will be accepting of the possibility and the many positive experiences people have but also able to discuss the drawbacks and challenges involved. By the end of the course, you should have a clearer understanding of multiple religious belonging in its many forms, whether or not it is part of your own religious life.

In this course, we will engage at a deep level with several short passages written by early Friends that express something essential about their testimony and witness in the world. This will help us to understand these Friends better and consider what their words mean for us today. Some of the texts are very well-known, and others less so. The passages will include writings by Sarah Cheevers, Catherine Evans, Mary Fisher, George Fox, James Nayler, Isaac Penington, and Dorothy White.

Researchers working on Quaker history, sociology, theology, and other areas will come together for a four-day period of work, sharing, and mutual support. Each day will include a check-in with the group, opportunities for one-to-one meetings with the tutors, opportunities to meet with librarians and archivists working with the Quaker collections at Haverford and Swarthmore, sessions with experts on various aspects of the research process, and time between meetings to get on with your research. Your research may be for a postgraduate qualification, a personal academic project, book, or similar. By the end of the week you will have had a chance to explore any challenges you are facing in your research, learn from and share your experience with other researchers, and should be better equipped for your future work.