- Raficq Abdulla,
- Tony Bayfield (Reform Judaism),
- David Cornick (Churches Together in England),
- Alan Race (Interreligious Insight), and
- Ian Bradley (St. Andrews).
Here's some more blurb. I'm a bit reticent of the language of this blurb, particularly where it implies that members of other religions somehow need to learn to live with and love each other even more than Christians. But, here it is all the same:
"The aim of this conference, organised by Free to Believe, is to explore the possibility that interfaith is the new ecumenism. We will hear from Christians who are committed to this possibility, from Jewish and Islamic speakers about the possibilities they see for it, and from the General Secretary of Churches Together in England, David Cornick, to give him a chance to please for the continued relevance of the work for Christian unity. Where is the cutting edge of unity now?
"In the wise words of the French Roman Catholic Cardinal Mercier: 'In order to unite with one another, we must love one another; in order to love one another, we must know one another; in order to konw one another, we must go and meet one another.' Today, while those words still apply among Christians, do they not apply with even greater force to those of other great world religions like Muslim, Jew, Hindu or Sikh? Can we live together? Can we learn to love each other?"
But, anyway, the reason I've posted a few conferences on ecumenism is that I'm thinking through what I want to do next in my academic career (forgetting for now that I haven't yet finished my thesis!) and the question, "where is the cutting edge of unity now?" is particularly interesting to me. I'm hoping to build on my thesis' identification of an "a/theistic cultural imaginary" to ask how this social imaginary imagines and performs "society" and "sociality." My thesis focuses on emerging church discourse (interview data, published literature, online media, participant observation) so I hope to look next at how what is spoken about actually gets done in practice. It's relatively easy to see how individuals might adopt a deconstructive theology as a worldview, but how might a collective "do" deconstructive theology? How might a collective "be" deconstructive? Particularly given Derrida's concerns about "community"? Anyway, I'll post a bit more about how I see this research developing later, as I'm in the middle of trying to put something more concrete together.