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The Ilkley Group at 50 – A reunion conference weekend – Online and Free

Registrations are now being taken via Evenbrite — Please book here.. and share this with anyone you think may be interested.

Date and Time

Fri, 16 Apr 2021, 17:30 –

Sun, 18 Apr 2021, 22:00 BST

About this Event

In 1971 a gathering of (then) young sociologists who were followers of Jesus Christ met together in the Yorkshire town of Ilkley. Their concern was to reconcile their Christian faith and values with the overwhelmingly secular ethos of the social sciences, to discover how to pursue faithfully their calling as academics and researchers and to influence the future of their chosen discipline. The “Ilkley Group” continued to meet twice yearly at Mill Grove into the early 2000s.

Fifty years on the group invites you to this virtual conference (free of charge). The sessions will include informal gatherings and conversations in plenary and breakout sessions, as well as presentations from Christian sociologists at various stages of their careers.

The sessions will be scheduled during the afternoons and evenings British time over the weekend in an effort to make sure they are accessible across the world’s time zones.

We will hear a keynote presentation from David Lyon, Director of the Surveillance Studies Centre and Professor of Sociology and Professor of Law at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario.

Other contributors include Professor Howard Davis, Professor Haddon Willmer, Keith White, Greg Smith, Bruce Wearne and Matthew Barber-Rowell We also hope (subject to final confirmation) to be joined by Grace Davie, Elaine Storkey and Tony Walter among others.

The two major themes we will address are:

Looking back and looking forward: The environment in the academy, the church and society, for Christian and other faith based sociological perspectives over between 1971 and 2021. What are / have been the opportunities and constraints for Christians in sociology, what changes are discernible over that period and how might trends progress into the future? These themes will be discussed in the context of participants’ experiences, through their careers, reflecting on intellectual and spiritual journeys.

The New Normal in Church and Society : The Covid-19 global pandemic has been a major disruption to social and religious life. Other disruptions have been happening in the same period, for example the financial crash of 2008, the wave of populist and anti-globalist politics, the refugee crisis, and rapid technological, cultural and religious change. What is the impact on the societies and communities in which we live, and on the churches that worship and serve among us?

An Outline Structure for the event

Friday 16th April .. Evening…6pm – 10pm BST (GMT+1)

Introductions… and nostalgia… family and professional news, what we want out of the weekend.

Informal plenary and breakout room sessions,

Bring your own coffee, tea, beer, malt whisky, G&T, cakes, popcorn or chips.. to the comfort of your own home.

Saturday 17th April… from 1pm BST (GMT+1)

Looking Back on 50 Years of Christian Sociology : Papers and Presentations

Starting with David Lyon’s keynote address .. followed by four shorter papers.

4pm BST (GMT+1) There will be a break of 90 mins but Zoom will remain open for conversation. Participants may can come and go to eat, rest, pray, care for your family or walk the dog.

Saturday evening 5.30 – 10pm BST (GMT+1)

paper presentations in two sessions with questions and discussion

  • Overseas perspectives
  • Covid, church and community in the new normal…

Sunday evening from 6pm BST (GMT+1)

Shared Reflection on Christianity and Sociology today and in the future.

Concluding from 8pm with a short time of worship and prayer (Compline?)

Please book your places as soon as possible. Registrations close on 10th April and places are limited to 50 zoom connections. We will email you a week or so before the event with a final programme and the zoom link.