NEWS: Our new series of talks asks ‘What’s the Point of Forgiveness’?

Forgiveness Project at 10As we mark our 10th anniversary, we are holding a series of thought-provoking dialogues in London around the issue of forgiveness. Over the next ten months each of the ‘Conversations on Forgiveness’ will feature speakers who will explore different aspects of forgiveness, from the impact of betrayal within families to how different faith groups approach the topic.

From all the work we’ve done over the last decade we know that forgiveness affects everyone from all walks of life. Whilst many of the real-life stories we feature tackle extreme crime and violence, we all face everyday issues of forgiveness all the time. Whether it involves family, friends, neighbours or the workplace, the internal struggle about whether to forgive or not – and the consequences of our decisions – can have a dramatic impact on our emotional and physical wellbeing.

The new series of conversations will launch on 17 March withCan forgiveness repair communities?” The discussion will follow a screening of the award-winning documentary ‘Beyond Forgiving’ which tells the inspiring story of an unlikely pair of South Africans brought together post-apartheid. The panel will be chaired by Marina Cantacuzino and will include Imad Karam, the Director of the film and Sue Hanisch, who in 1991 was injured in an IRA bombing at Victoria Station. Tickets £11

Details on a further three events within the series have been confirmed:

  • 28 APRIL: Can radical compassion win the war against violent extremism? Sharing their own personal journeys of moving away from extremism, Tony McAleer, a former white supremacist and former organiser of the White Aryan Resistance in Canada will speak alongside Hadiya Masieh, a former female Islamic extremist who was recruited by Hizb ut-Tahrir radicals, until the 7/7 bombings changed her perspective. Tickets: £11 – SOLD OUT
  • 19 MAY: Do you need God to forgive?  To explore what forgiveness means to different faiths will be Usama Hasan – a London based Imam, Islamic scholar and senior researcher at the Quilliam Foundation; Catherine Pepinster, Editor of the international Catholic weekly newspaper The Tablet and Jonathan Wittenberg, the Senior Rabbi of Masorti Judaism UK. Tickets: £11 – available here
  • 16 JUNE: What happens when unresolved trauma is allowed to fester between generations? On the panel will be Alexandra Asseily, founder of the Centre for Lebanese Studies, Oxford, whose work has focused on the unresolved grievances between generations and Dr Duncan Morrow, Director of Community Engagement and political  lecturer at the University of Ulster who has actively sought to address Northern Ireland sectarianism for the last 20 years. Also joining them will be Jean Paul Samputu, a musician and peace activist whose family were killed in the Rwandan genocide. Tickets: £11 – available here.

As we reach this 10 year milestone we want to give more people the opportunity to reflect on their own experiences, to open up the debate around the many aspects of forgiveness and to potentially inspire people to broaden their perspectives and resolve conflict in their own lives.

The Forgiveness Project’s talks are being held at St Ethelburga’s Centre in Bishopsgate. Doors open at 6pm with the conversation beginning at 6.30pm. Tickets cost £11 and are available from Eventbrite, with all proceeds going to The Forgiveness Project. The talks are not recommended for children under 12 years.

Future Conversations on Forgiveness will be announced over the coming months. The talks will also be recorded and incorporated into The Forgiveness Project’s website.


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