Research Collective on Social Justice
Our interest in social justice and political activism led us to create the Research Collective on Social Justice which now informs both our research and teaching.
Social Justice has become central to our teaching, offering students the opportunity to develop awareness of and expertise in a wide range of issues related to Social Justice.
Going beyond the classroom we have engaged our students with people for whom Social Justice is at the heart of their work. Last year our students met the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and were able to discuss the relationship of the economy and Social Justice with him.
They were also able to meet and interview the MP David Lammy to discuss the government’s response to the 2011 riots and his views on access to Higher Education with him.
Our students also interviewed activist Zita Holbourne and discussed her relentless fight against injustice in our society.
We aim to develop these opportunities further and to create a student-led initiative that explores issues of Social Justice to ensure our academic teaching remains fully engaged with relevant issues in the wider world.
EASR conference in Liverpool
In 2013-2014, the research collective presented a panel at the EASR conference in Liverpool on socio-economic justice from the perspective of different religious traditions. This was organised by Professors Scherer and Beckford. External guest speakers contributing to the departmental research seminar also spoke about Social Justice, including Prof Randall C. Bailey ( Andrew W. Mellon Distinguished Professor of Hebrew Bible at the Interdenominational Theological Center, Atlanta, Georgia) who gave a lecture on "Bibles, Genders, Sexualities, and Social Justice: Possibilities or Oxymoron?"
Arts and Humanities Faculty conference in 2014
Dr Diemling and Prof Beckford organised the Arts and Humanities Faculty conference in 2014 on the theme of Social Justice. The well attended conference brought together scholars from across the university and elsewhere to discuss the implications of and challenges to Social Justice in contemporary settings. Contributions reflected on the impact of the 2011 riots and the recent budget cuts on British society and how this affects disadvantages groups, assess notions of access to and fairness in Higher Education, challenge sexual norms and expectations, provide analyses on Social Justice in the US and explore cultural expressions in the struggle for Social Justice. David Lammy MP and social justice activist Zita Holbourne gave keynote lectures.