The Cambridge Consultations is a six-term series of public debates, lectures and workshops tackling issues of contemporary concern and exploring what faith has to contribute to some of the most pressing challenges of our day.
Lent Term 2009: Religion and Conflict
This term offered opportunities for people of all ages to engage in this
wide-ranging topic of 'Religion and Conflict'. Events examined how religion can both contribute to
conflict and also help solve conflict situations,through a number of exhibitions, well-known speakers and preachers. Amongst other events, a service of comemmoration for the victims of genocide was held in association with Holocaust Memorial Day;
an exhibition of pictures and narratives exploring forgiveness in the face of atrocity was displayed in St John's College Chapel; and
a series of lunchtime lectures exploring 'Faith in the Media' were given by members of the three Abrahamic Faiths page.
Michaelmas Term 2008: Sharing a Small Planet
A wide variety of events took place covering a range of environmental issues, including conservation issues relating to old buildings, international and business responses to climate change, and an exhibition of posters to enable a wider public to find about environmental research going on in and around Cambridge, and to enable those who are running such projects to see each others' work.
In addition, this term included an evening in Great St Mary's with Jean Vanier, the founder of the international L'Arche communities, in which he talked about 'Making the World More Human'.
Easter Term 2008: Human Rights in a Dangerous World
The following term, 'Human Rights in a Dangerous World' explored both domestic and international issues with visiting speakers. A series of lively panel discussions were held in the evenings, addressing in turn domestic and international issues, and the principles on which policies are based. Panellists included Professor Onora O'Neill, Gareth Crossman, and David Aaronovitch. Former Guantanamo prisoner and author Moazzam Begg delivered a public lecture in Great St Mary's, as well as giving a book signing talk, and Joel Edwards and Nicholas Sagovsky held a public discussion entitled 'The Gospel and Human Rights'.
Lent Term 2008: Faith and Public Policy
The Consultations series began with the very successful visit of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to Cambridge in February 2008. This historic occasion marked the first time that the two leading figures in the Anglican communion have teamed up to address in a public setting some of the fundamental questions of faith and society, under the heading 'Faith and Public Policy'. More than twenty separate events were held over a three-day period, ranging from small-scale events such as Archbishop Sentamu's lunchtime discussion with business leaders and Archbishop Rowan's visit to the genome project, to public lectures held each evening in Great St Mary's, attended by over 1000 people.