Since 2008, Professor Martin Stringer and Dr Chris Shannahan have been developing a new reflective space where people from faith groups, community organisations and third sectors associations and staff from the Theology and Religion and Sociology departments can engage in an equal dialogue around the relationship between religious faith and urban life.
The ‘Birmingham Urban Theology Forum’ meets once per term to reflect on a specific theme from the perspective of practitioners, sociology and theology/religious studies. Over the last year we have held seminars on ‘Religion and the Recession’, ‘Urban Youth’, ‘Women Negotiating Faith in the City’ and ‘Faith and Diversity in the City’. Each seminar revolves around discussion but begins with three short presentations: a perspective from a practitioner, a sociological perspective and a theological/religious studies reflection on the theme. The Forum is an example of the potential of knowledge exchange and transfer and has begun to develop a life of its own with a regular attendance of between 20-25 people, most of whom are form faith groups, third sector associations or community organisations in the city and wider West Midlands.
We are currently exploring ways of sharing the work we have done more widely, possibly through an edited book and an accompanying interactive and accessible resource pack. The Forum seeks to model a dialogical pattern of learning and knowledge exchange as seen below.
Latest Forum: Picturing Faith in the City
Featuring photographer Liz Hingley and graffiti artist Mohammed 'aerosol' Ali
Listen to podcasts and read report
Further details about the Forum are available from Professor Martin Stringer or Dr Chris Shannahan in the School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion.