National, Regional and Local Conferences organised by the Sea of Faith Network (UK)
Sea of Faith is a registered charity, no. 1113177
The Sea of Faith Network
We alone create our religion and our faith
SOF CONFERENCE 2018 -
Listed below are descriptions of the workshops, seminars and discussion groups that are available in the Forum sessions at this year’s conference.
You may also simply send an email, clearly listing your three choices for each session to email@example.com. Please be sure to include your name in the body of the email.
Numbers are limited, usually to a maximum of about 15. Places will be allocated on a first-
6 HOW TO TACKLE MILITANT ATHEISTS, ESPECIALLY IN ONE'S FAMILY John Cragg
The title is self-
7 CRIME AND PUNISHMENT John Gamlin
My concern is with the state of the present system of crime and punishment, which I believe is much in need of improvement. Dostoievsky may come into the discussion.
8 "DEEDS NOT WORDS" -
The Suffragettes, under the leadership of Emmeline Pankhurst adopted the colours purple, white and green symbolising loyalty, purity and hope -
The workshop is intended is to promote lively and wide ranging discussion and it is hoped that there will be a good number of men interested in attending.
9 HOPE WITHOUT OPTIMISM Martin Spence
In his book Hope without Optimism Terry Eagleton dismisses optimism as shallow and smug and counterpoises it to the difficult, fractured, often tragic quality of hope. Controversial as ever, his argument draws on St Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, King Lear and Karl Marx. Read the book if you can but come to the workshop anyway.
10 IDEAS OF HOPE IN MODERN POPULAR MUSIC Andrew Teverson
Using recorded examples, the workshop will discuss how hope is thought about and expressed in popular music.
11 HOPE FOR THE SEA OF FAITH: YOU MIGHT HAVE FRIENDS OUT THERE Trevor Davis
I come to the SoF from the other direction. My religious upbringing was both intensive and a total failure. Are there others, like me, who admire Jesus, Mohammed, Gandhi and Bishop Michael Curry (if he replaced God with Jesus), yet cannot bear singing Victorian hymns or understand the need for the repetition of the same prayers week after week, when Jesus’s message of love is needed outside?
Religions could benefit (money, care, skills, fellowship) from a “non-
Five years ago, at our annual conference, a small group of us worked together thinking about the use of this two-
Now, I am hoping to learn of others' experience of its use, so this workshop is very largely a plea for your help in my attempts to explore the use(s) of 'as-
If you are curious about the uses of 'as-
Following introductions, there will be a short exercise to kick-
13 QUESTIONS ON THE BEACH Jane Howarth
This Forum is for those who would like to look at some of the questions that are left on the beach when the tide of Christian doctrine ebbs away. What is prayer about? How do we provide hope for ourselves and others in the face of illness, calamity and death without faith in a real God? What does forgiveness mean? What supports our altruism (or why bother?)
Some in SoF find it possible to rework their faith by changing Christian doctrine into metaphor. For me loss of belief in a real God meant avoiding the tangles and snares of Christianity for years until I could build a new framework of beliefs. Christianity is deeply embedded in our culture. So relating comfortably to our Christian heritage from the perspective of our own beliefs matters. If you would like an opportunity to explore with others some of the questions left on the beach do come along. (If you come from another religious tradition most of the questions will be the same, so do come. Your insights will undoubtedly be valuable.)
14 CANST THOU MINISTER TO A MIND DISEASED? Janet Seargeant
A workshop on Psychiatry and religion. After a short introduction about psychiatric concepts over time and how religious ideas and beliefs fit in, we will discuss the links between mental illness, psychiatry and religious beliefs and practice.
15 A WAR TO END WAR Stephen Williams
2018 will mark the centenary of the end of conflict on the western front, a moment that was experienced with optimism, at least for those on the winning side. I will share some recent family research to explore the hopes ordinary people brought to the war (and to later wars) and what happened to them.
1 HOPE WITHOUT RESURRECTION Anna Lockley-
Simone Weil -
2 HOPE FOR HUMANITY Dinah Livingstone
To follow up talk on 'Hope for Humanity: A Theology of Liberation and The Beautiful City'.
We will look closely at some poems and other short texts on three linked New Testament poetic visions of hope for humanity on Earth:
1. the Reign of God
2. the Christ Epic/Body of Christ
3. the Beautiful City.
Copies will be distributed with all invited -
3 BARRIERS TO HOPE Penny Mawdsley
A craft session which will HOPEfully lead to a conference-
4 RELIGIONS FOR PEACE David Paterson
“They cry ‘Peace, peace’, where there is no peace”
Our secular leaders want security, but also the profits of an arms trade. Our religious leaders proclaim peace but too often mean victory for their own beliefs. But deep down there’s another insight and yearning, expressed in Hinduism as “May peace fill our hearts, our lives, our universe”, in Christianity as “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God”, in Judaism by the concept of Shalom, and in Islam Salaam. Any hope for the world must include peacemaking, and peacemaking starts with listening to those in conflict and enabling them to listen to each other.
We shall explore how we – as religious non-
5 WORDS OF HOPE John Pearson
An opportunity to study poems and prose and to create your own.
During this year’s conference we shall be discussing hope; causes for hope, manifestations of hope; hope at a personal level, a national level and an international level. Come along to this workshop to talk and write about hope.
We shall look at some selected literary images of hope, and you are invited to bring along poems or short prose pieces of your choice that talk of hope.. If you wish to write your own piece(s) before or at the workshop we can read and discuss these and maybe present some on the public notice boards if you are happy with this …