Religion: hard to talk about?


Exploring what happens as the individual and their belief system enters a wider context
Led by: Coreene Archer and Mark Argent
Venue: Marchmont Community Centre, 62 Marchmont St, Kings Cross, London WC1N 1AB
Date: Monday 8 April 2019
Time: 1830–2100

Religion (or a specific belief system) occurs in all societies, which suggests that it is a basic part of being human. But religious participation has been decreasing for at least a century and many would now see it as irrelevant. Where has the capacity for religion gone?

Religion is now a protected characteristic under discrimination law, which can make it harder to talk about for fear of causing offence.

If a significant part of being human can’t be talked about, what does it carry? What gets displaced onto it? What gets lost from the discourse?

In this event the aim is to create a space to talk about some of these things, bringing together people from a range of faith perspectives, and those without faith. In small and large groups we will explore some ideas and have a discussion.

Aspects to be picked up include:

  • Why is religion hard to talk about?
    Is it that it’s often highly personal, easily mis-understood, and carrying lots of unconscious content?
  • Where does religion appear?
    When it’s not named directly, could it be around in values, private practices, and in what things are displaced onto?
  • Forms of religions
    Besides the major faiths, does it make sense to include experiences on the edge of religion, of newer faiths, and of things like mindfulness, well-being, non-religious meditation and people who see themselves as “spiritual but not religious”?
  • Relating to Source
    The Grubb Institute’s model of person—context—system expresses some of this in terms of a wider “relatedness to source”. What does this language offer?

Coreene Archer is Principal Leadership Coach and Organisational Development Consultant at the Tavistock Institute for Human Relations. Mark Argent is a spiritual director, retreat-giver and organisational consultant.

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OPUS Associate or Member, OPUS Student Member, Non-member

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