Interfaith debate and discussion about justice

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On 18th November, as part of national Inter Faith Week, the Northampton Inter Faith Forum (NIFF) and the Wellingborough Inter Faith Group (WIFG), in partnership with the High Sheriff, Mr Milan Shah, organised a debate on concepts of justice in the seven main faith traditions in Northampton.

The faiths represented were: Bahai, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism. The event was expertly chaired by Martin Heath of BBC Radio Northampton, and took place before a multi-faith audience of over thirty at the Doddridge Centre in St James’. We were honoured by the presence of the High Sheriff and Dr Harriet Crabtree, the Director of the national Inter Faith Network for the UK (which leads on Inter Faith Week), who had come specially to Northampton for the event.

Each presenter had five minutes to describe the key ideas and concepts of justice in their faith tradition, and how these concepts were similar to or (potentially) conflicted with British concepts of justice. The individual presentations were followed by a lively and very thoughtful discussion, to which many members of the audience contributed. Afterwards the High Sheriff commented, ‘Just to get so many faiths talking to each other while respecting their differences seems like a huge achievement in these times.’

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Dr Crabtree said, ’This event exemplified the important work of local inter faith organisations around the UK in working for inter faith understanding and cooperation for the benefit of their local communities. It had been most interesting and enjoyable to attend.’

The line-up of speakersThe line-up of speakers
The line-up of speakers

Daniel Tabor, Chair of NIFF added, ’The debate showed the mutual respect that exists between the different faith traditions in Northampton and Wellingborough. This sends a powerful message of solidarity to the wider community.’

Cynthia Bailey, Chair of Wellingborough Inter Faith Group, commented, ‘It was a very good event and it is always a pleasure to work in partnership with Northampton Inter Faith Forum.’