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Belief and Conflict in the UK

Faced with entrenched fault lines of opinion, belief, and practice, artists are often uniquely able to carve out an alternative space for reflection, imagination and discussion. 

This series of three salons brought together artists, academics, activists and commentators to consider the role of art in exploring the relationship between belief and conflict in the UK. The salons took place in October and November 2014 and January 2015.

  • The Relationship between Conflict and Belief in the UK: Setting the Scene, Tuesday 14 October 2014, 18.00 – 21.00
  • Art, Conflict and Belief: Taking Sides, Standing By, Wednesday 26 November 2014, 18.00 – 21.00
  • Art, Conflict and Belief: Doing Great Work, Wednesday 21 January 2015, 18.00 – 21.00

The events were designed to challenge received wisdom, to provoke fresh ideas and relationships, and to inspire and foster cross-disciplinary collaborations.  As part of the process, participants were invited to submit proposals for new collaborative artistic work. 

Seed funding was awarded to the four strongest submissions: Burning Bush, Reverberations of Conflict: Syrian Voices in London, Through a Wall and Empathy and Risk. 

Each of these projects recognised the unique opportunity artists often have to find alternative capacities and methods for reflection, imagination and discussion when faced with entrenched fault lines of opinion, belief, and practice. 

Belief and Conflict in the UK is a collaboration between King’s College London and 3FF (Three Faiths Forum).

Project team

This project is in collaboration with the Urban Dialogues programme at Three Faiths Forum and King's College London. The academic lead for this project is Professor Ben Quash, Department of Theology and Religious Studies.  It is supported by the university's Culture team.

Professor Ben Quash, Department of Theology and Religious Studies

Ben Quash is a Professor of Christianity and the Arts in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, King’s College London. His research interests include the idea of beauty in Western theology. Recent publications include ‘The De-sublimations of Christian Art’.

Urban Dialogues

Urban Dialogues is the public arts programme of 3FF, Three Faiths Forum, one of the UK’s leading interfaith charities. Every year, over 12,000 people of different religious and non-religious beliefs take part in our activities which build trust, tackle negative stereotyping, and aim to reduce the transference of existing prejudices. They are non-political, do not promote religion, and have a strong track record in developing innovative education and social action programmes that create space for dialogue, allowing a deeper exploration of identity and belief. Central to this is the role that art can play in illuminating complex issues and generating understanding and meeting across difference.

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