Academic Workshop: Dialogue Theories, Volume II

Open to Everyone
Free to Attend

Amy Lazarus

International Institute for Sustained Dialogue

Charlotte Dando

Author, William Temple Foundation

Dr Andrew Wilshere

University of Manchester

Dr Fabio Petito

Senior Lecturer in International Relations and Director of the Freedom of Religion or Belief and Foreign Policy Initiative at the University of Sussex

Dr Fern Elsdon-Baker

Dr Fern Elsdon-Baker

Deputy Director of the Centre for Social Relations at Coventry University

Dr Fern Elsdon-Baker is deputy director of the Centre for Social Relations at Coventry University. She has a diverse disciplinary background.

Dr Jay Prosser

Reader in Humanities, University of Leeds

Dr Jeff Shires

Purdue University North Central

Dr Olivier Urbain

Toda Institute for Global Peace and Policy Research

Dr Ozcan Keles

Dr Ozcan Keles

Chairperson of the Dialogue Society

Ozcan is a non-practising Barrister and member of the Honourable Society of Gray's Inn. He is the Chairperson of the Dialogue Society since 2008; was the Executive Chairperson of the same organisation between 2008 and 2014; the Executive Editor of the peer-reviewed biannual academic Journal of Dialogue Studies since 2014 and a full-time PhD candidate in the sociology of human rights at the University of Sussex. Between 2006 and 2009 he was a research student with Prof Kevin Boyle at the Human Rights Centre of the University of Essex, where he held the Scholarship Award of 2006. Ozcan was called to the Bar in 2005 after successfully completing the Bar course at the Inns of Court School of Law. He obtained his LLM in Human Rights Law from SOAS, University of London, in 2002.

Dr Philip Henry

University of Derby

Frances Sleap

Frances Sleap

Author, Former Research Fellow at Dialogue Society

Gorazd Andrejč

Woolf Institute, Cambridge

Michael Atkinson

Michael Atkinson

Deakin University

Michael Atkinson is a PhD student with the department of Citizenship and Globalisation at Deakin University, Australia.

Prof Oliver Ramsbotham

University of Bradford

Prof Paul Weller

Universities of Coventry and Derby, and Regent’s Park College, University of Oxford

Revd Prof June Boyce-Tillman

Revd Prof June Boyce-Tillman

Professor of Applied Music, The University of Winchester

Dr June Boyce-Tillman MBE read music at Oxford University and is Professor of Applied Music at the University of Winchester. She has published widely in the area of education, most recently on spirituality/liminality.

The Dialogue Society invites papers from scholars and practitioners of dialogue, ultimately to be published as a companion volume to Dialogue Theories, published earlier this year.

The book, by Frances Sleap and Dr Omer Sener and edited by Professor Paul Weller, 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 selected come from diverse fields, from religious studies and interfaith dialogue, through philosophy and social theory, to communication studies, public opinion analysis and even quantum physics. For further information and a preview, please click here

In the course of the research process it quickly became clear that in the planned short volume many important and original thinkers on dialogue would have to be omitted. It is hoped that a second volume will fill some significant gaps and introduce further significant thought on dialogue to a wider audience.

A two day workshop held at the Dialogue Society will allow people to exchange ideas on their chosen thinkers and to dialogically refine their papers prior to their publication as chapters in Dialogue Theories, volume II. The editors for the book will be the authors and editor of the first volume (Omer Sener, Frances Sleap and Paul Weller).

Please note that the workshop and the resulting book are not intended to be restricted to dialogue concerning religious faith or between people belonging to religious faiths.

Together with Dialogue Theories, volume I, the recently launched Journal of Dialogue Studies and the Dialogue Studies Masters degree which the Dialogue Society co-delivers with Keele University, this project is intended to contribute to the development of ‘Dialogue Studies’ as a distinct academic field.

Keynote Speeches

‘Why and how should we study dialogue?’ by Prof Paul Weller

‘Future Directions and Discipline Formation for “Dialogue Studies”’ by Dr Fern Elsdon-Baker

Panel 1

Chair: Dr Fabio Petito

Hans-Georg Gadamer by Prof Oliver Ramsbotham, University of Bradford

Emmanuel Levinas by Dr Andrew Wilshere, University of Manchester

Paulo Freire by Michael Atkinson, Deakin University

Panel 2

Chair: Ozcan Keles

Daisaku Ikeda by Dr Olivier Urbain, Toda Institute for Global Peace and Policy Research

Dominique Pire by Revd Prof June Boyce-Tillman, University of Winchester

Daniel Barenboim by Dr Jay Prosser, University of Leeds

Panel 3

Chair: Dr Fern Elsdon-Baker

Laura Chasin by Frances Sleap, Dialogue Society

Harold Saunders by Amy Lazarus, International Institute for Sustained Dialogue

Panel 4

Chair: Dr Paul Hedges

William Cantwell-Smith by Serafettin Pektas, KU Leuven

Diana Eck by Charlotte Dando, William Temple Foundation

Ludwig Wittgenstein by Gorazd Andrejč, Woolf Institute, Cambridge

Panel 5

Chair: Prof Paul Weller

Erving Goffman by Dr Phil Henry, University of Derby

Mikhail Bakhtin by Dr Jeff Shires, Purdue University North Central

Reflections on Workshop


General Photos


Travel and Accommodation

In general, participants will need to cover travel and accommodation costs, but the Dialogue Society is able to offer a limited number of partial bursaries. Please enquire if you need assistance.


Within four months of the event, Dialogue Theories, volume II will be published by the Dialogue Society, comprising edited versions of papers presented at the Workshop. The papers will be arranged and introduced, and to the extent appropriate, edited, by the editors.

Copyright of the papers accepted to the Workshop will be vested in the Dialogue Society.

Call for Papers

The Dialogue Society invites papers introducing a ‘dialogue thinker’ of the author’s choice. The thinker may come from any field. He/she must have made a significant contribution to ideas about dialogue, and these ideas must be to some extent transferable to fields beyond the thinker’s own specialism.

While the meaning of ‘dialogue’ is an open question, the focus of the book will be on ‘live’ dialogue in the sense of actual interaction between people. If an author wishes to propose a thinker who has focused on written dialogue he/she will need to bring out the significance of that thinker’s ideas for ‘live’ dialogue. Authors are asked to keep in mind the question of how the thinker’s ideas relate to the practice of dialogue in different spheres (for instance, community dialogue on political issues, intercultural dialogue, interfaith dialogue).

The ‘thinker’ may be a practitioner who has not necessarily written extensively on his/her ideas on dialogue, but in such a case the author of the paper must plausibly extract coherent principles from the subject’s practice.

‘Dialogue’ as used here is not intended to refer exclusively or primarily to dialogue concerning religious faith, or to dialogue between people of religious faith. The editors do not wish to place any such restrictions on the content or participants of dialogue.

The editors have very open minds as to the thinkers that might be included. Some of the possibilities that emerged in research for the first volume and in subsequent discussions are:

  • Hans-Georg Gadamer
  • Emmanuel Levinas
  • Catherine Cornille
  • Mikhail Bakhtin
  • William Isaacs
  • Harold Saunders
  • Jonathan Sacks
  • Louis Massignon

In the interests of balance, editors will have a particular interest in thinkers from cultural, ideological and intellectual backgrounds not represented in the first volume.

Abstract Submission

At the initial stage, authors are invited to send abstracts (maximum 400 words) of their proposed papers on a ‘dialogue thinker’ of their choice. Because the papers are to be considered as prospective chapters in an introductory volume in a predetermined format, abstracts must take the form of concise responses to the following questions:

Why should this thinker be included in the book?

Please give us an idea of the thinker’s background (personal, professional, ideological) in two or three sentences.

Please outline the thinker’s key thoughts and arguments relating to dialogue.

Please tell us a little about the relation of his/her ideas to dialogue in practice. Has he/she put his/her ideas into practice? Has somebody else done so? If not, what might practitioners of dialogue learn from the ideas of this thinker?

NB While it is hoped that Dialogue Theories, volume II will make a contribution to the establishment of Dialogue Studies as an academic field, it is intended to be an introductory book, accessible to diverse dialogue practitioners and interested laypeople as well as academics and students. It is of paramount importance that papers and indeed abstracts are written in an accessible style and that no prior knowledge is assumed.

Full Paper Submission

Since accepted papers will be included in volume II of Dialogue Theories, they must be submitted according to the format of the chapters of Dialogue Theories, volume I. Each paper should be dedicated to a single significant dialogue thinker and should comprise the following sections:

  • Biographical Introduction (< 500 words)
  • This section should place the thinker’s ideas in the context of his/her intellectual and personal background.
  • Thought on Dialogue (< 2000 words)
  • This section should give an accessible summary of the main elements of the thinker’s thought on dialogue.
  • Theory and Practice (<1000 words)
  • This section should bring out the relevance of each thinker for the practice of dialogue. Where the thinker or others have put their thinking into practice a report on that practice should be included. Where this is not the case, or in addition, the author may wish to:
    • highlight practices not directly inspired by the thinker in question but reflecting similar principles or concerns, or
    • give his/her own reflections on the relevance of the theory to dialogue practice, and on how dialogue practitioners might use the thinker’s insights.
  • Questions for Reflection (< 8 questions)

These should offer some starting points for further reflection on the ideas introduced in the chapter. The questions are intended to provide prompts for personal or group consideration of the meaning, relevance and applications of the theories considered. While the introductory format will not allow for a significant critique of the thinkers considered, authors may wish to hint at possible lines of criticism or starting points for evaluation through the questions.

  • Bibliography
  • Recommended Reading

To be divided into three subsections:

  • The thinker’s own works
  • Commentary
  • Practical Applications

The balance of these subsections will of course vary depending on the availability of helpful commentary on the thinker’s work, and the extent to which his/her thought has been applied in practice. Subsections may be omitted if they cannot be meaningfully included.

Authors should refer to the preview of Dialogue Theories available here for a sample chapter.

Selection Criteria

In selecting abstracts and ultimately papers the editors will be considering:

  • the originality of the thinker presented and their impact on relevant fields of theory and practice
  • the clarity, accuracy and accessibility of the style in which the author presents the thinker’s contribution
  • the prospective balance and scope of the book to be produced from these papers; the editors are keen to secure a reasonable balance of thinkers in terms of gender and professional/academic, religious/ideological, cultural and social background.

Schedule for Submissions

  1. Abstracts (400 words maximum) and CVs (maximum of 2 pages, including any personal statement and/or listing of publications or professional experience) to be received by 17:00 UK time on 23rd January 2014.
  2. Abstracts to be short-listed by the Editorial Board and papers invited by 7th February 2014.
  3. Papers to be received by 18th April 2014.
  4. Papers reviewed by the Editorial Board and classed as: Accepted – No Recommendations; Accepted – See Recommendations; Conditional Acceptance – See Recommendations; Not Accepted.
  5. The outcome of the review (including any recommendations for revisions or improvements) communicated to authors by 16th May 2014.
  6. Final papers to be received by 13th June 2014.

Submission Procedure

Abstracts and CVs should be submitted, in English only, as MS Word documents attached to an email addressed to Frances Sleap ( by 17:00 UK time on 23rd January 2014.

Abstracts must be in the form of answers to the four questions given above, and must not exceed 400 words.

Authors must indicate at this stage if audio-visual equipment may be required in the presentation of their paper and relevant technical specifications.

The abstracts submitted will be reviewed and selection made by the Editorial Board in light of the criteria set out above. The decision of the Board is final.

Authors invited to submit full papers must do so by no later than 17:00 UK time on 18th April 2014. The papers must be submitted, in English only, as a single MS Word document attached to an email addressed to Frances Sleap (

Full papers must follow the format of Dialogue Theories, volume I, as described above. Word limits for each section are included in the description above.

Papers must:

Upon submission, each paper will be assigned to one editor on the board who will class the paper as one of the following:

  • Accepted – No Recommendations. This means the paper is accepted without any recommendations.
  • Accepted – See Recommendations. This means the paper is accepted. However, the author may want to consider the recommendations made.
  • Conditional Acceptance – See Recommendations. This means the paper is acceptable provided the stated recommendations are taken into account and the paper is revised accordingly. Papers classed as such will be provided with a second deadline, upon which the assigned editor will review the paper for the second time and decide either to accept or decline the paper.
  • Not Accepted: If the paper is classed as ‘Not Accepted’ then the paper will not be included at the conference and no further action need be taken by the author.
  • Authors of accepted papers are to submit their final papers by no later than 13th June 2014.
  • Editorial Board
  • Ilknur Kahraman, Dialogue Society
    Ozcan Keles, Dialogue Society
    Dr Omer Sener, Dialogue Society
    Frances Sleap, Dialogue Society
    Prof Paul Weller, University of Derby
  • Workshop Co-ordinators
  • Dr Omer Sener and Frances Sleap