In Conversation With … Geraldine Smyth

The end of  Memory and Mourning?

This 'In Conversation With ...' took place in Holy Week 2014, providing an opportunity to reflect together on the significance of remembering  and mourning in times of transition. Geraldine Smyth is a native of Belfast, a Dominican sister and Associate Professor at the Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College Dublin. She is a trained psychotherapist. Her research interest  is in Ecumenics especially in relation to the intersections of theology, psychology, faith and politics, particularly in addressing divisions, and the challenge of reconciling memories and of forgiveness in building a peaceful future.

In Conversation With … Philip Orr

Our 2014 series of In Conversation With ... events focuses on Faith and History.

Remembering 1916

In 2016, there will be centenaries for the Somme and for the Easter Rising. How will these two events from deep in our collective past be remembered in just over two years time and whaat could or should the church be doing in to contribute to process?

In Conversation With…5 Storytellers and Each Other

19th November 2013 Participants were welcomed to Contemporary Christianity and the evening began with a quotation from the introduction to the Lenten Study produced by the Biblical Association of the Church of Ireland 2013, on Gender Justice: “So, in general terms, what does gender justice look like? In more specific terms, what does gender justice look like in Ireland and in our own communities? How might our lives need to change in order to bear witness to the God revealed in the Scriptures? These are some of the big questions that are addressed by this year’s theme. As ever, the answers do not just fall effortlessly off the page. If, in the spirit of Proverbs 2:4, we are to ‘make our ears attentive to wisdom’, then we will need to read, talk and pray as if we are searching for hidden treasure. We will then move beyond simply an intellectual engagement with our topic and, in very practical ways, we will begin to model communities in which justice between the genders is a reality. We will, then, be able to live as men and women made in the image of God and re-made within the new humanity of Jesus Christ.” Continue reading

Church and Culture: Down with that sort of thing!

Culture - should we accommodate it or resist it?

How should we be building the Kingdom of God on earth - engaging with and transforming culture? This event was held on 17 September at 2013. Dr Maithrie White-Dundas After completing a multidisciplinary doctorate, in Cultural Studies, Critical Theory, and Literature at the University of Nottingham Maithrie was Head of the Department of English at one of the National Universities in Sri Lanka. She is the Chair of Transforming the Mind (Annual National Christian Postgraduate Conference, UK) which she founded in 2003. She relocated to Belfast  and is the Editor of the International Journal of Ethnic and Social Studies (Sri Lanka) . She is pursuing an MTh, for ordination in the Church of Ireland.

A Journey in Reconciliation

An exploration of  the friendship of C S Lewis  with J R R Tolkien.

A famous literary friendship which ‘marked the breakdown of two old prejudices’ (C.S. Lewis) An illustrated talk based on Mercia Malcolm’s recent research. Rev Mercia Malcolm is Church of Ireland vicar in Carnmoney Parish. This year is the 50th anniversary of the death of C.S. Lewis, who was born in Belfast in 1898. Few authors have left a greater legacy for those seeking to explore the Christian faith – no matter what their age! This event was part of Community Relations Week 2013, May 20 to May 26, organised by the Community Relations Council, with the theme ‘Expressing Identity – Addressing Division’. This  event was one of over 170 events planned throughout the week making this the biggest event in the community relations calendar.

In Conversation With Mercia Malcolm

A Journey in Reconciliation:

an exploration of  the friendship of C S Lewis  with J R R Tolkien.

A famous literary friendship which ‘marked the breakdown of two old prejudices’ (C.S. Lewis) An illustrated talk based on Mercia Malcolm’s recent research. Rev Mercia Malcolm is Church of Ireland vicar in Carnmoney Parish. This year is the 50th anniversary of the death of C.S. Lewis, who was born in Belfast in 1898. Few authors have left a greater legacy for those seeking to explore the Christian faith – no matter what their age! This event was part of Community Relations Week 2013, May 20 to May 26, organised by the Community Relations Council, with the theme ‘Expressing Identity – Addressing Division’. This  event was one of over 170 events planned throughout the week making this the biggest event in the community relations calendar.

What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets

  sandel_book_coverOn 16 October 2012, Philip McDonagh facilitated a lively discussion on this book by Michael Sandel, who is political philosopher and a professor at Harvard University. In What Money Can't Buy, Sandel examines one of the biggest ethical questions of our time and provokes a debate that's been missing in our market-driven age: What is the proper role of markets in a democratic society, and how can we protect the moral and civic goods that markets do not honour and money cannot buy? Philip McDonagh is an economist. He formerly worked for Price Waterhouse Coopers; he has over 30 years experience in dealing with local economic matters. He is a Charity Commissioner with the new Charity Commission for Northern Ireland. He is also a member of the Society of Friends.  

Very High Top Salaries: Necessary for Global Economics or Offensive to Biblical Justice?

Esmond Birnie and Allen Sleith both seek to apply their faith to all areas of life, including economics. However, on this issue they come to different conclusions. This evening was not a debate, to see 'who wins', but a conversation to explore and learn. Allen and Esmond talked about how their faith, and their reading of scripture, influenced how they approached this question. The audience then joined in what proved to be a lively discussion! Esmond Birnie is Chief Economist for PWC in Northern Ireland. Allen Sleith is minister of Regent Street Presbyterian Church. Unfortunately, due to technical problems, we were not able to record the first few minutes of the discussion, so a small part of Allen's introduction is missing.

In Conversation With … Tony Macaulay

Faith, Community and Creativity

Tony Macaulay is a writer, broadcaster and consultant. He has worked in community development, youth work and peacebuilding for the past 30 years. He carries out research and evaluation to inform and shape government and agency policy and programmes, most recently scoping faith based community work in Northern Ireland. His first book, ‘Paperboy’, a memoir of growing up in the Upper Shankill in the 1970s, has just been published by HarperCollins in the UK, Australia and Canada and the film rights have been picked up by Titian Red Pictures. He is currently working on a range of creative writing, community and peacebuilding projects.  

In Conversation With … Colin Neill

This season our ‘In Conversation With …’ events are on the theme of faith and politics in Northern Ireland.

Imagining a United Ireland: The Novelist's Opportunity

21 February 2012 Turas is Colin Neill's first novel.turas_cover It is 2020 and Ireland has been united. During this year of striking change, a group of men meet together in a church cell group to wrestle with uncertainty through the filters of their faith and God's word. Mingled with profound transition all around them are tales of friendship, tales of love, and tales of coming to terms with what the past has meant. Continue reading