"Working for the common good through growing friendship and understanding

between people and communities of differing faiths and beliefs"




Holocaust Memorial Day 2020


The Auditorium, First Floor

Waterfront Building

University of Suffolk, IP41QJ

Wednesday 29th January 2020 12.30 – 14.00 Please Join us for Food and Refreshments 



2020 Faith Lecture

University of Suffolk

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

The Changing Landscape of Religion and Belief: Standing at the Crossroads

Dr Ed Kessler, Director Woolf Institute, Cambridge


Dr Kessler discusses the changing religious landscape in Europe (and beyond) and demographic trends, highlighting, for example, the financial and human cost of conflict. He considers the implications of the changes on society focusing 1) on religious pluralism and diversity and 2) religion, citizenship and the nation state. What is the consequence that, in Western Europe at least, Christianity can no longer be portrayed as the dominant ‘host’ religion and a previously intrinsic relationship is being weakened?  He argues that belonging to a minority is the norm and that the increasing interdependence of the modern world means, to adapt the words of John Donne, that neither country nor religion are an island, entire of itself.

He also includes regions beyond Europe such as India with resurgent Hindu nationalism, marginalising Muslims and Christians; the Middle East where religion can be dangerously viewed as constitutive of national consciousness. The lecture ends by returning closer to home, reflecting on the religious transformation in the UK. Kessler proposes 4 tasks which, he suggests, need to be fulfilled to avoid tribalism and separation from one another and to help ensure a more integrated and inclusive society.