Annual Conference of the Oral History Society in conjunction with Newman University and Leeds Trinity University
Date: 14th & 15th July 2017.
Venue: Leeds Trinity University, Horsforth, Leeds.
Description: In recent years, belief and non belief have developed new significance. What might once have been valued as something individual and private in many contexts only a generation ago can now be a matter of open identification and even confrontation and judgement. In seeking to understand what has changed, memory has an important part to play: identifying how belief and non belief have played out at the level of family, community and society; recognising how people engage in the practices of belief and experience the institutions of organised religion. For reasons perhaps of prejudice, perspective and communal difference oral historians have largely neglected the topic of belief and non belief.
Going beyond studies which have focused on those with religious conviction, oral history offers the possibility to move debate outside the confines of institutionalised religion both conceptually and practically, pushing the boundaries of what is meant by belief. Indeed, it offers the ideal approach to understanding manifestations of belief and secularism at an individual level while tracking their relationship to shifting expressions of broader cultural norms and the conferment of identity. Tackling this exciting agenda, the remit of the Conference will be broad but contributions have been invited that focus on oral history in relation to the following:
methodological challenges in understanding belief, secularism and religion
understanding the process of secularisation through oral history testimonies
inter-subjectivity in interviews on belief and non belief
the role belief plays in shaping memory
exploring the interface of religion, belief and cultural/ national identities
belief and education
belief and non belief in social, political and cultural transformations
shifting the narratives of religion away from an institutional base
gender and established religious institutions
sects and movements