Edinburgh's not-quite-hidden festival

Well, it's not exactly hidden - but the annual Festival of Spirituality and Peace (FoSP), which runs from 6-29 August 2011, is maybe not quite as high profile as the International Festival and the accompanying (even larger) Fringe Festival in Edinburgh. Yet.

The point is, it's a highly significant series, and deserves to be known much more widely. All told the Festival will comprise 300 performances at 200 events in 2011. No small enterprise.

Past FoSP speakers have included academic and author Karen Armstrong, broadcast journalist Rageh Omar, former 'clean up' MP and newsreader Martin Bell, now government minister Vince Cable, Bishops Richard Harries and Richard Holloway, Palestinian liberation theologian Naim Ateek, Archbishop Elias Chacour from the West Bank, distinguished human rights lawyer and academic Philippe Sands QC, ex-'war on terror' detainee Moazzem Begg, Bishop Gene Robinson, Kate Allen of Amnesty International, former Scottish solicitor general Lord McCluskey... and a host of other peacemakers, public figures and activists for social change across the globe.

Now in its eleventh year, the Festival of Spirituality and Peace (for which I'll be doing some press and publicity, and where Ekklesia is co-sponsoring three headline 'conversations') features discussion and debate, art and culture, family events, film, performance, talks and workshops, and much more. You can download the full brochure as a PDF and link to what's happening online here: http://www.festivalofspirituality.org.uk/

There's also a regular information blog, 'Spirituality and Peace News', at: http://festivalofspirituality.blogspot.com/

Further details of the events Ekklesia is involved in, and more about the Festival generally, will be appearing on a regular basis in the coming five weeks...

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Simon Barrow is co-director of Ekklesia, and lives in Edinburgh, where he is involved with a range of church and voluntary sector initiatives.

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