Difference, Diversity, Deviance

Difference, Diversity, Deviance: Join Rev Dr Miranda Threlfall-Holmes and guests for talks, interview and discussion. Each Friday in July. 4.00pm BST to 5.30pm BST via Zoom.

Register at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/difference-diversity-deviance-tickets-111287620268

There is a declension of difference: I am different; you bring diversity; they are deviant.

From the burning of heretics to 'mutual flourishing', one thing the history of Christianity demonstrates is that we have always struggled with how to deal with difference, writes Miranda Threlfall-Holmes:

I’ve been working for over a decade on the history of Christian attitudes to and theologies of difference. Mostly these are implicit rather than explicit, and so we have to look carefully at a wide range of sources – theological writings and scriputural souces, yes, but also sermons, liturgy, material culture, wider debates in society and the historical contexts in which these debates and the churches’ contributions to them took place – to try to unpick various strands of theological and philosophical thinking about difference.

There are 7 ‘big ideas’ that I’d like us to isolate and look at in turn: purity, hierarchy, trinity, toleration, aesthetics, economics and evolution. These ideas about difference underpin and shape a very wide variety of arguments and clashes over our shared history, and many of them recur in striking ways across a very wide variety of cultures, religions and philosophies.

Understanding and raising our consciousness of how we conceptualise difference has implications for soteriology, ecclesiology, the problem of evil, liberation theologies, and political theology, as well as informing our approaches to and handling of the presenting issues on which we disagree.

So I invite you to take a step back from the presenting issues of difference, diversity and deviance which threaten to overwhelm us emotionally and spiritually, and take some time out to become more mindful and conscious of some of the big ideas about difference which, often subconsciously, underpin and shape our debates and conflicts.

4 weekly Zoom sessions in July

·        Why the Trinity doesn’t solve the problem alone

·        Two big ideas: Purity and Hierarchy

·        Answers that raise more questions: Aesthetics and Toleration

·        New ideas? Economics and Evolution

Join Rev Dr Miranda Threlfall-Holmes and guests for talks, interview and discussion. Each Friday in July. 4.00pm BST to 5.30pm BST via Zoom.