Dialogue Theories Book Launch in Birmingham

Tue, 25 Jun 2013 18:00 in Discussion Forums

Where: 4 Vicarage Road, Birmingham, B15 3ES
Date: 25th June 2013
Time: 18:00

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  • Frances Sleap, Dialogue Society
  • Dr Omer Sener, Dialogue Society
  • Prof Paul Weller, University of Derby


  • Prof David Thomas, University of Birmingham


At this event, the authors and editor of Dialogue Theories, Frances Sleap, Dr Omer Sener and Prof Paul Weller*, will be giving an overview of the book, sharing some insights from their research into diverse dialogue theorists, 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 aims to advance theoretical and practical engagement with dialogue by introducing the work of ten individuals who have made important and insightful contributions to thought in this area. The thinkers, deliberately drawn from diverse intellectual and cultural backgrounds, include quantum physicist David Bohm, Jewish philosopher, theologian and educationalist Martin Buber, social theorist Jürgen Habermas and Islamic scholar and peace advocate Fethullah Gülen. As well as introducing the key ideas of each thinker, the book discusses the relation of those ideas to practice, discussing a wide range of practical dialogue organisations and projects. Written in an accessible style and assuming no background knowledge, the book aims to inform and inspire anyone with an interest in the meaning, value and potential of dialogue.

*Prof Weller, the book’s editor, will be taking part when available but will not be able to attend every event



Biography of Frances Sleap

Frances Sleap studied Philosophy and Theology at the University of Oxford, graduating with first class honours. A master’s degree in the Study of Religions gave her the opportunity to explore religions other than Christianity, feeding her interest in interfaith and intercultural relations. Since joining the Dialogue Society in spring 2010 she has worked on a range of publications, including the Community Dialogue Manuals and a booklet on ‘Making Dialogue Effective’. Frances’s current work includes coordinating the Dialogue Society Success School for young people and contributing to the Dialogue School for students following the MA in Dialogue Studies.

Biography of Omer Sener

Dr Omer Sener is a researcher and freelance writer who holds a BA in American Literature and a PhD in Cultural Studies and Literary Criticism. His research interests include ethnicity, Asian American literature, and cultural narratives. He is particularly interested in intercultural dialogue and dialogue as an academic concept across disciplines. As a Research Fellow at the Dialogue Society, he has so far worked on a number of academic publications, such as Debating Multiculturalism I, and written articles on the theory and practice of dialogue on the Dialogue Society website.


Biography of Paul Weller

Paul Weller is Professor of Inter-Religious Relations at the University of Derby, where he is Head of Research and Commercial Development in the Faculty of Education, Health and Sciences. He is a Visiting Fellow in the Oxford Centre for Christianity and Culture at Regent’s Park College, University of Oxford and a founder and Trustee of the Multi-Faith Centre at the University of Derby (http:// www.multifaithcentre.org). He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Dialogue Society and a Trustee of the Interreligiöse Arbeitsstelle in Germany (http://www. interrel.de). He was a founder member of the Joppa Group of Baptist Christians engaged in inter-faith dialogue and is currently a member of the Baptist Union of Great Britain’s Inter-Faith Working Group. On a European level he has been a consultant to Belieforama (http://www.belieforama.eu), a community of practice based around the development of a prize-winning training programme in religious diversity and anti-discrimination.


Biography of David Thomas

Prof Thomas has been a specialist in Islam and Christian-Muslim relations for many years. After undergraduate work at Oxford, he worked in the northern Sudan, where his interest in Islam was kindled. He took this further in theological studies at Cambridge and in PhD research at Lancaster. Prof Thomas worked in parts of the UK for some years on relations between the churches and Muslim communities, and in 1993 he was appointed Lecturer at the Centre for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, Selly Oak. In 2004 he was promoted to Reader in the Department of Theology and Religion, and in 2007 was appointed Prof of Christianity and Islam. In 2011 he was made Nadir Dinshaw Professor of Interreligious Relations.

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