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  • Sea of Faith Network London Day Conference 2017

    In the Beginning was the Word - Religion as

    Poetry and Story?

    with Mark Oakley

    Dinah Livingstone Salley Vickers

    Saturday 25 March 2017

    10.30am 4.30pm

    St Johns Church Waterloo Road

    London, SE1 8TY

    www.sofn.org.uk/

    St John's Church, Waterloo Road, is at the south end of Waterloo Bridge, adjacent to IMAX cinema. It is opposite Waterloo Station (BR main line and Northern, Bakerloo and Jubilee Under-ground lines). Coming by Jubilee, follow the Way Out sign for Waterloo NOT South Bank. At exit, turn left onto Waterloo Road. Bakerloo or Northern passen-gers follow the Way Out sign for Trains Not South Bank. Exit onto Main Line Station; take Exit 2 to Waterloo Road. Buses 1, 4, 26, 59, 68, 77, 139, 168, 171, 172, 188 and 381 stop nearby. Refreshments Coffee and tea will be provided during registration and the afternoon break. Lunch You may bring your own packed lunch and drink. There are cafes and pubs in the area where lunch can be bought.

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  • Speakers Mark Oakley ...the Rev Mark Oakley is Canon Chancellor of St Pauls Ca-thedral, London. He is known for his interest in the ways literature and poetry explore theological themes, and for his preaching. Sir Andrew Motion says: It's extremely unusual to meet anyone who isn't a specialist who has such a subtle feeling for language as he does. Mo-tion has since added that he believes Oakley to be the best sermoniser I've ever heard.

    In September 2016 Oakley published: The Splash of Words: Believing in Poetry Dinah Livingstone ...Dinah Livingstones ninth poetry collection is The Vision Splendid (2014); she has won 3 Arts Council Writers Awards for her poetry. She ran the Camden Voices Poetry Group for 20 years and her Poetry Handbook for Readers and Writers (Macmillan 1992) is dedicated to them. Her most recent prose book, Poetic Tales (2010), offers a way into po-etry even for the prosaic or merely puzzled, and a way into theology for atheists and all. She has edited the SOF maga-zine Sofia since 2004. More info: katabasis.co.uk/dinah.html such an original and accomplished poet Times Literary Supplement

    Salley Vickers ...author of the best-selling Miss Garnett's Angel and seven other acclaimed novels, including The Other Side of You and her latest novel The Cleaner of Chartres. She has also pub-lished two collections of short stories of which The Boy who could see Death is her latest book. She has another book, Cousins due to be published in November 2016. She has previously worked as a university teacher of English Literature and as a psychoanalyst. She is now a full-time writ-er and lectures widely on many subjects, particularly the con-nections between art, literature, psychology and religion. Vickers is a novelist in the great English tradition of moral seriousness. Her characters suffer, they struggle to be true to both themselves and the promptings of the human heart. If you enjoy reading the work of Marilynne Robinson, Penelope Fitzgerald and James Salter you should be reading Vick-ers. Michael Dirda, Washington Post

    In the Beginning was the Word - Religion as

    Poetry and Story? We thought we could build a conference around the idea

    of humans' need for stories and poetry to shape and en-

    rich our lives and how religions are built on this.

    Dinah Livingstone has said:

    If we regard God or gods and the whole supernatural realm

    as the rich product of the human imagination, what value can

    such poetic tales still have for us, once we have discarded the

    supernatural? The surprising answer is as much as ever. Not

    only does everyone, atheist or otherwise, need some theology,

    without which so much of our history and culture remains

    baffling, but when taken and sifted with what Coleridge called

    poetic faith, those tales are found to contain treasures of wis-

    dom.

    Rowan Williams says about Oakley s book The Splash of Words:Believing in Poetry: Some writers have the gift of simply letting you know you can trust them. Mark Oakley has this gift in abundance: in this book we read in his company a succession of very diverse poems; we listen to his honest, careful, demanding reflections on them; and we recognise that this is a deeply authentic voice that can be relied on not to give us either clichs or indulgent ramblings. A very moving book, opening all kinds of doors into a more compassionate, more truthful understanding .

    Programme

    10.30 Registration & Coffee 10.55 Introduction by Chair: 11.00 Dinah Livingstone

    Shining - Poetry and Theology as Sister Arts

    12.00 Break 12.15 Mark Oakley

    Believing in Poetry

    13.1514.15 Lunch 14.15 Salley Vickers

    Connections between Art, Literature,

    Psychology and Religion 15.15 Tea 15.30 Speakers Plenary Panel and Audience Questions 16.30 Close

    SEA OF FAITH NETWORK started in 1984 as a response to Don Cupitts book and TV series of the same name. The Network explores religious faith as a human creation while affirming its continuing value. The Network has no creed and welcomes people from all faith communities and none.

    www.sofn.org.uk/

    Shami Chakrabarti (the Guardi-an) about Mark Oakleys book: The Splash of Words: Believing in Poetry: 'A wonderful exposition of the rela-tionship between faith, poetry and struggle.'

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theologyhttp://www.katabasis.co.uk/dinah.html

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