European Union/UK uncertainty and our chaplains conference

Two of our keynote speakers are renowned for addressing matters relating to the European Union, Brexit and UK uncertainty.

A Union Jack and EU flag side by side

We are delighted that two of our keynote speakers are both appreciative of the work of chaplaincies in universities and also expert on the topic of the relationship between Britain, Ireland (including Northern Ireland) and the EU. These topics relate directly to tensions that we can see globally about leadership and politics, and also about identities and legacy, especially in a post-colonial period.

One of our keynotes, Anthony Reddie, is a Black British Liberation theologian. His latest book is Theologizing Brexit: A Liberationist and Postcolonial Critique (Routledge: 2019) and contains a series of essays offering a postcolonial and liberationist critique of the Brexit phenomenon.

Professor Reddie sees his contribution to our conference as significant, “given the importance of chaplaincy in shaping the consciousness of future generations of students”.

Another of our keynotes, Pádraig Ó Tuama, has been leader of the Corrymeela Community from 2014–2019. During those five years, he has worked extensively in promoting peace, dialogue and reconciliation.

Pádraig’s interests encompass poetry, religion, conflict and narrative. The topic of Ireland and Irish identities (including in relation to Britain), in these uncertain times has become all the more significant for the places he speaks and performs his poetry. 

Pádraig has expressed his eagerness to share stories of courage, learning and spirituality with colleagues from diverse national and religious traditions. He is excited by the prospect of exploring the human condition in light of changing borders and belongings, as traditions have much in common and much to share with each other.

The Irish story of conflict, peace, negotiation and community has much to share with and learn from other global zones, and I look forward to the opportunity immensely.

Pádraig Ó Tuama

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