Dr Graham Spencer and David Carpenter of the University of Portsmouth are delighted to be invited to Portsmouth Cathedral where the Very Reverend David Brindley, The Dean of Portsmouth is kindly hosting a conference asking ‘is reconciliation in a post-conflict Northern Ireland possible.‘To work towards the common good is to work for peace’ – Jean Vanier
Although there has been recognition of the need to develop reconciliation in Northern Ireland there has been no convincing explanation of what this might mean or how it would work. It is clear that the political parties are unable to come to agreement on reconciliation given their divisive and contradictory positions but can the Christian churches find a way of talking about reconciliation which will help build peace and tolerance?
This day of presentations from leading academics and clergy will consider the problems of defining reconciliation politically in Northern Ireland before then exploring the role of Catholic and Protestant churches in the ‘reconciliation debate’. The day will be dedicated to exploring Catholic and Protestant perspectives on reconciliation and will question whether a consensual framework drawn from religion rather than politics is possible and would indeed better help Northern Ireland to deal with its past and the legacy of conflict. Register your place via Eventbrite.
Outline of the day:
10.00 Very Reverend David Brindley, The Dean (Portsmouth Cathedral) and David Carpenter (University of Portsmouth) – Introduction
10.15 Dr Graham Spencer (University of Portsmouth) – Reconciliation and the problem of definition
11.45 Coffee & Tea
12.00 Connal Parr – (Northumbria University and Oxford) – Performance as Reconciliatory Space
12.30 Baroness May Blood – The Need for Integrated Education and the educational deficit in Protestant working-class communities.
14.15 Denis Bradley and Lord Robin Eames – The Consultative Group on the Past and addressing the pain of conflict
15.15 Discussion with the Panel and invited guests on whether an agreed concept of reconciliation is possible in relation to dealing with the legacy of conflict.
16.15 David Carpenter – Closing remarks and summing up
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