A conversation among creative and hopeful sceptics

By Simon Barrow
August 5, 2013

What would a conversation about religion among those who have abandoned it, or who are on the very edge of it, sound and feel like?

The answer (or one of them) came when Richard Holloway (former Bishop of Edinburgh, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church and author of Leaving Alexandria), Tim Maguire from the Humanist Society Scotland, and Sanderson Jones of the Atheist Church initiative talked together at the Just Festival, chaired by Professor Jolyon Mitchell, who stood back to enable.

It was a warm-hearted occasion, and I charted some of it 'live' on Just Festival News. You can read my no doubt partial and limited account here: http://justfestivalnews.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/a-world-without-religion.... There should be a sound recording available in due course.

My own response was to enjoy the spirit and feeling of the conversation, while wanting to push what Richard Holloway called "the edge of transcendence" a little further in the direction of theological categories and (yes) claims. I hope to have a chance to pursue some thoughts in that area shortly.

Ekklesia's probings into a take on Christianity, belief and secularity that leans towards what some have called 'subversive orthodoxy' (surprisingly traditional religious convictions leading to surprisingly radical political ones) are contained, among other places, in our FAQs section here: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/about/faqs

The Just Festival, also known simply as Just, runs from 2-26 August 2013. It is based at St John's Church (Princes Street and Lothian Road) and some 27 other venues, and combines artistic and performance style events with conversations, talks, films exhibits and other ways of exploring how to live together creatively in a mixed-belief society.

* For more information on Just Festival, visit http://www.justjust.org and http://justfestivalnews.blogspot.com

* Ekklesia is a sponsor of Just Festival. Our news, reporting and comment is aggregated at: www.ekklesia.co.uk/justfestival

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© Simon Barrow is co-director of Ekklesia and a media adviser for the 2013 Just Festival.

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.