Distinguishing and relating religion and state in Scotland today

By Simon Barrow
August 13, 2013

Scotland's faith communities have helped shape the Scotland we know today, many would contend.

The education system, the prison communities, a sense of the egalitarian and the ideal of "we're all Jock Tamson bairns" are part of that story.

Whatever the outcome of the 2014 independence referendum, how will they have a space to make a similar contribution in our multi-cultural 21st century Scotland?

Is it possible to recognise the place of faith and belief communities in a modern, plural democracy without privileging them? If so, how?

And what of the place of varied spiritual traditions and of non-believers in what is fast becoming a mixed belief society - one some would describe as increasingly post-Christendom?

The speakers at a conversation: 'Separating religion and state?' tonight (Tuesday 13th August), from 6-7.30pm at St John's Church hall, Edinburgh, are the Rev Sally Foster Fulton (Convenor of the Church of Scotland Church and Society Council), Fayaz Alibhai (from the Alwaleed Centre) and the chair is the Rev Ewan Aitken (Church of Scotland, former leader of Edinburgh City Council).

Just Festival, also known simply as Just, runs from 2-26 August 2013. It is based at St John's Church (corner of 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.

* Full booking details here: http://www.justjust.org/#!separating-religion-and-state/c1xg5

* 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 Just Festival.

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