Introducing Religion Outside the University! A new series run by King’s Theology & Religion students.
Religion Outside the University nearly didn’t exist. Now, I know you’re thinking, ‘she’s being a bit dramatic, isn’t she’, but I can assure you it’s the truth.
In the Beginning
Religion Outside the University (ROU) was originally a humanities-based seminar series called the Insights Programme for ResiLife, part of the Kings College residences programme. I wanted to bring a little bit of a discussion-based activity to the programme and I’d had some incredible people agree to take part, for example, Musicologist Javier Rivas, CEO of the Halo Trust Major General James Cowan and the BBC journalist Gary O’Donoghue, with more agreeing in principle to take part in the programme as it developed. When the programme didn’t work out at ResiLife, I thought that might be the end of the series.
Some weeks later, my thoughts turned to all these wonderful, insightful speakers who had agreed to talk to me; I had no idea how I was going to tell them I had to let them down. I tentatively approached one of my lecturers Dr Daniel DeHanas who at this time was currently running the module, Leadership in Religion and Politics. I explained my circumstances and that I had these three speakers booked to talk to me about their expertise and work, and offered them to the Department. It seemed to me that all three of them could offer some interesting discourse on the role of religion and theology in their work. To my utter surprise, Dr DeHanas suggested that I find a home for my series within the Department, invite more speakers, and build a team that will work together to expand the seminar series. And thus, Religion Outside the University was born.
Where We Are Now
ROU has one aim; to provide a space for students and academics to listen to experts explore the ways that religion and theology might impact our wider world beyond the TRS Department. Everyone in the team works hard to make sure it is a safe, inclusive, and relaxed space where diversity in all forms is not only encouraged, but cherished. In my opinion, we have been successful so far in achieving this and is evidenced by the exceptionally broad range of discussion we have been able to have in only six short months. I am excited that this project is going to continue into the next academic year, and we have the most supportive department that is willing to give us a platform and encouragement.
A Final Thought
So, as you can see, my opening line is quite true; Religion Outside the University nearly didn’t exist. If it hadn’t been for Dan’s amazing advice, support, and encouragement that is still present today, I wouldn’t be able to share this incredible project with You.
You can follow Religion Outside the University on Twitter and Instagram for further updates and future speaker enhancements @roukcltrs. Listen to the podcast, TRS Chat on all major platforms for discussions and advice on what it is like to be a student in the TRS Department.
To find out more about studying Theology and similar courses at King’s, click here
To learn more about Religion Outside the University and keep up to date with their events, follow them on Twitter here