Dialogue Theories II Book Launch in Derby

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 17:00 in Discussion Forums

Venue: The Multi-Faith Centre, The University of Derby, Kedleston Road, Derby DE22 1GB
Date: Tuesday, 12th December 2017
Time: 17:00-19:00


  • Prof Paul Weller, Co-editor, University of Derby
  • Dr Philip Henry, Author, University of Derby
  • Dr Simon Speck, Reviver, University of Derby


At this event, one of the editors of Dialogue Theories II and one of the chapter authors will, respectively, be giving an overview of the book and sharing some insights from their research into one of the dialogue theorists included, Erving Goffman, and commenting on their hopes for the further development of academic exploration of dialogue. Reviewers from different fields will offer their responses to and assessments of the book and there will be time for questions and comments from the floor.

Dialogue Theories II aims further advances the theoretical and practical engagement with dialogue by introducing an additional fifteen individuals who have made important and insightful contributions to thought in this area. Distinguished authors from a range of professional backgrounds in academia and dialogue practice present thinkers whose work they know intimately. The book is intended to inform and inspire anyone with an interest in the meaning and value of dialogue. Dialogue Theories II is a companion volume to the Dialogue Theories book published in 2013, which presented ten other thinkers, and both of these volumes complement the regularly published Journal of Dialogue Studies of which Professor Weller is the academic editor.

The thinkers presented in the book come from diverse fields ranging from philosophy to family therapy and from sociology to music. In the contexts of intractable conflict, bitter political polarisation and complex economic and ecological crises, ‘dialogue’ is often raised as an alternative or as part of a solution. From Bakhtin, Barenboim, The Circle of Seven to Freire, Gadamer, Goffman, and Ikeda, the thinkers introduced here delve deeply into what dialogue is and what it might be capable of.


Paul Weller is Emeritus Professor and Professor in the Centre for Social, Cultural and Legal Research at the University of Derby; a Professor in the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University; and a Research Fellow in Religion and Society at Regent's Park College, University of Oxford. He is also Director of Religion and Belief Research and Training Ltd. He is Academic Editor of the Journal of Dialogue Studies and a member of the Advisory Board of the Dialogue Society. He is he is a Trustee of the Multi-Faith Centre at the University of Derby and of the Interreligiöse Arbeitsstelle in Germany, and is a member of the Baptist Union of Great Britain’s Inter-Faith Working Group. On a European level he has been a consultant to and is a recognised trainer for Belieforama, a community of practice based around the development of a prizewinning training programme in religious diversity and anti-discrimination.

Philip Henry is a criminologist and sociologist with special interests in policy, politics and religion. He developed his training as a researcher at the University of Liverpool exploring Buddhist social movements, activism, and minority groups in the global landscape. These professional interests include inter-faith dialogue, religion, and society, cultural identity, social movements, transnational crime and deviance and difference within society. Philip can talk about radicalisation and extremism. terrorism, counterterrorism, Roma and gypsy migration, community cohesion and development, religion and belief matters relating to policy, diversity and religious literacy/education and also inter-, intra- and multi-faith engagement.

Simon Speck is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the Centre for Society, Religion and Belief, the University of Derby where he teaches modules across all three years of the Sociology degree programme with particular responsibility for the social theory 'strand'. His research interests are grounded in an engagement with classical and contemporary social theory as it is rooted in the 'continental' tradition of modern philosophy and as it enables an understanding of the social, cultural and political challenges of the present. Simon has undertaken research on the continuing relevance of the Marxian theoretical legacy, the shifting significance of religion in contemporary society and the reconceptualisation of 'modernity' in current social theory. He is currently researching the reasons for the ubiquity of humour, laughter and comic phenomena in contemporary culture.

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