Dialogue Theories Book Launch in Southampton

Thu, 17 Oct 2013 18:30 in Discussion Forums

Where: University of Southampton, Highfield Campus University Road, Eustice Building 5, Room No 2015, SO17 1BF
Date: 17th October 2013
Time: 18:30

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


  • Revd Prof June Boyce-Tillman, University of Winchester
  • Dr Paul Hedges, University of Winchester


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 June Boyce-Tillman

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. Her doctoral research into children’s musical development has been translated into five languages. She is a composer exploring and writing about the possibilities of intercultural sharing through composing/improvising. She has written about and organised events in the area of interfaith dialogue using music in Winchester and Hackney; she is at present working on one with the Vedic Temple in Southampton. She has held visiting fellowships at Indiana University and the Episcopal Divinity School on Massachusetts. She is an international performer, especially in the work of Hildegard of Bingen and healing. Her large scale works for cathedrals such as Winchester, Southwark and Norwich involve professional musicians and school children. She has written on Music and Healing - Constructing Musical healing - and is convenor of the Winchester the Centre for the Arts as Well-being. She is an ordained Anglican priest and honorary chaplain to Winchester cathedral.

Biography of Paul Hedges

Dr Paul Hedges is Programme Leader in Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Winchester, UK, and has taught for other British, Canadian and Chinese universities. He has published four books: Preparation and Fulfilment (Peter Lang, 2001), Christian Approaches to Other Faiths, Core Text and Reader (both co-edited with Alan Race, SCM, 2008 and 2009), and Controversies in Interreligious Dialogue and the Theology of Religions (SCM, 2010). He is also General Editor of the forthcoming multivolume series Controversies in Contemporary Religion (Praeger, 2013), is co-editor of Multifaith Societies: Governance, Inclusion and Social Change (publication under negotation, Ashgate), and has published numerous articles and chapters in scholarly journals and books. He is co-editor of the Australian Religion Studies Review, and on the editorial board of the Journal of Religious History. He research, teaches and writes in such areas as interreligious studies, contemporary Christian thought, and metatheory in the study of religion and theology.


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