Faith on the Air: religious educational broadcasting in Britain, 1922-

Room 107, School of Education
Lectures Talks and Workshops, Social Sciences
Monday 9th March 2015 (16:30-18:00)
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Contact Kevin Myers, for more information

With speakers Professor Stephen Parker, Dr Amanda Bloore and Rachael Shillitoe

Faith on the Air is a Leverhulme Trust funded research project, which aims to reconstruct the history of religious educational broadcasting in Britain from the 1920s onwards. This paper is divided into three parts, illustrating contrasting facets of the project as a whole – which is still in the early stages of research. First, the origins of the project, the changing context of religious and schools broadcasting, will be outlined. Specifically, the broad methodological questions and challenges facing the project team will be discussed. Secondly, the specific contribution of one woman – Mary Somerville – who was the first Director of School Broadcasting at the BBC – to shaping broadcast and listening practices will be explored. Finally, an analytical case study on broadcast collective worship will be provided, which provides both an historical overview of the changing shape of this medium, as well as raising some questions about its continuing function and purpose as a broadcast output. Questions of the appropriateness of drawing contemporary insights of the role of the media in shaping the public understanding of religion from such an historical project will be discussed throughout.