I am writing to you to let you know about a great opportunity for PhD students to attend our two-day residential conference, Faith & Belief 2040: Fostering Social Cohesion, at Cumberland Lodge on 23-24 April 2020.
This conference explores how the ways in which people identify with faith and belief are changing. Research suggests that the current transformation constitutes the most fundamental shift for centuries, even millennia. In the UK, this change has specific contextual parameters, including, but not limited to: the declining identification by people as Anglicans and growing numbers of non-denominational Christians; the arising diversity in those communities with regard to modes of faith and belief practice; the expansion and growing assertiveness of non-Christian faiths; and the increasing number of people who are non-religious or have no specific faith or belief (a trend that is particularly pronounced amongst younger people). Looking ahead to the likely faith and belief landscape of 2040, this conference aims to prepare decision-makers and practitioners for challenges and opportunities that might arise from these transformations.
Mindful of the scale and complexity of the subject, the conference aims not to define detailed solutions, but to provide a platform to:
- Explore the opportunities and challenges that result from the current trajectory of change in the religion and belief landscape, in terms of social cohesion, state institutions and community life;
- Consider what short- and medium-term steps might and could be taken by policymakers, faith leaders and religious communities, civil society actors and others to prepare for historical shifts by promoting shared values and inclusive visions of belonging, and to reflect on possible barriers to taking action;
- Produce an expert Cumberland Lodge Report with key findings and recommendations, which will be refined at a Consultation and subsequently presented to policymakers, leaders, influencers, civil society and practitioners at a Report Launch in central London.
The conference will start at 10am on Thursday 23 April, and finish at 3.30pm on Friday 24 April 2020. Bursary recipients are expected to attend the whole event.
This Conference will be held under the Chatham House Rule in order to enable frank and productive conversations.
In case you are unfamiliar with Cumberland Lodge, the charity was founded in 1947 and seeks to empower people, through dialogue and debate, to tackle the causes and effects of social division. We convene multi-sector, interdisciplinary conferences, seminars and panel debates to engage people of all ages, backgrounds and perspectives in candid conversations on societal and ethical issues that affect us all. We commission rigorous, interdisciplinary research to guide these conversations, and we refine key themes of discussion into practical, policy-focused recommendations. We actively involve young people in all aspects of our work, to nurture their potential as future leaders and change-makers.
We are pleased to be able to offer five bursaries for this conference, to support PhD students working in relevant fields with the costs of travelling to and from Cumberland Lodge. All conference costs, shared-accommodation and meals will be provided.
To find out more about the conference and to download the bursary application form, please visit our website. The application form can be downloaded on the right-hand side of the webpage. The deadline for applications is 12pm on Monday 16 March 2020.