festival

Belief and Beyond Belief

16 Jan - 16 Dec
Throughout 2017, Southbank Centre and the London Philharmonic Orchestra present a new festival which explores what it means to be human. Belief and Beyond Belief explores the music, art, culture, science, philosophy, ritual and traditions that have risen out of religion in its many guises.

The seemingly innate need for humans to find meaning for their lives and a sense of where they fit into the universe, with all its mystery and majesty, is a constant in all periods of human history and has inspired some of the greatest music and art ever created.

Even in an era when religion is said to be on the decline our headlines are dominated by it, often in extreme forms.

The festival also looks at the broader questions of what it means to be human and asks which aspects of religious belief can be useful to the world in the 21st century. What are the risks to societies if they become more secular, and how will that influence artists?

From Haydn to Strauss, from Kancheli to Glass, Belief and Beyond Belief looks at music that speaks of the divine and the human spirit.

From Richard Dawkins to Jeanette Winterson, from Rabindranath Tagore to Primo Levi, we investigate the struggle to define the absolute.

Nearly all of the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2017 Royal Festival Hall concerts form part of this Festival, alongside a wide range of performances, lectures, debates, and literary events programmed by Southbank Centre.

With support from Coexist House and Cambridge Interfaith Programme.

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The belief in something greater than ourselves has preoccupied humanity for centuries. In this festival of music inspired by spiritual belief, we attempt to lay open the grandeur, enigma and conflict in our search for, and understanding of, the divine.
Vladimir Jurowski, Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor, London Philharmonic Orchestra

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8 Apr 2017

Talks & Topics
Business & Economics
11:30 am, 8 Apr 2017
Share your thoughts on whether religion and politics can exist separately in this talk
Literature
11:30 am, 8 Apr 2017
Come along to our fourth gathering for Belief and Beyond Belief festival
Talks & Topics
Artists & Thinkers
1:00 pm, 8 Apr 2017
Discover the prophets, preachers and religious thinkers who have radically reshaped society
Talks & Topics
Global Culture & Ethnicity
1:00 pm, 8 Apr 2017
Explore the link between the rise of nationalism and the desire for religious belief
Talks & Topics
Global Culture & Ethnicity
2:30 pm, 8 Apr 2017
Debate the struggles of British Islam with our panel of experts
Talks & Topics
Gender Politics & Equality
2:30 pm, 8 Apr 2017
Hear a range of speakers tackle the topic of women in religion
Talks & Topics
Religion & Beliefs
4:00 pm, 8 Apr 2017
Delve into the sacred text at the heart of Hinduism, the Bhagavat Gita
Talks & Topics
Global Culture & Ethnicity
4:00 pm, 8 Apr 2017
Novelist Elif Safak delivers a keynote address on the intersections of politics and faith
audience at a discussion group

Free

Classical music
5:15 pm, 8 Apr 2017
Stephen Johnson and David Constantine discuss Mahler’s Symphony of a Thousand
Classical music
Orchestra
7:30 pm, 8 Apr 2017
Multiple choirs, world-class soloists and the London Philharmonic Orchestra perform Mahler's Eighth

24 Apr 2017

Classical music
Chamber & Recital
7:30 pm, 24 Apr 2017
A 'superb and serious' organist ( The Guardian), Stephen Farr champions contemporary music

26 Apr 2017

Classical music
Orchestra
7:30 pm, 26 Apr 2017
Hear music by Wagner and Bruckner's Symphony No.7 at this concert, conducted by Marek Janowski

27 Apr 2017

Classical music
Orchestra
7:30 pm, 27 Apr 2017
Hear George Haas' "in vain", an extraordinary work where darkness and light collide

28 Apr 2017

Classical music
Orchestra
7:30 pm, 28 Apr 2017
From JS Bach to Richard Strauss, the LPO performs transcendence-seeking works inspired by faith

29 Apr 2017

Classical music
Chamber & Recital
12:00 pm, 29 Apr 2017
Explore two masterworks from Steve Reich, which were inspired by human rituals
Classical music
Chamber & Recital
12:00 pm, 29 Apr 2017
Explore two masterworks from Steve Reich, which were inspired by human rituals

30 Apr 2017

Literature
Spoken word & Live literature
3:15 pm, 30 Apr 2017
Witness a live reading of Primo Levi’s powerful account of survival at Auschwitz

5 May 2017

Classical music
Chamber & Recital
7:30 pm, 5 May 2017
The Colin Currie Group and Synergy Vocals perform music by Steve Reich

6 May 2017

Literature
Religion & Beliefs
11:30 am, 6 May 2017
A weekend of talks and debates on religion, spirituality, belief and the world
Literature
Religion & Beliefs
11:30 am, 6 May 2017 - 7 May 2017
A weekend of talks and events exploring religion, spirituality, belief and the world
Talks & Topics
Global Culture & Ethnicity
11:30 am, 6 May 2017
Come along to this discussion on religion’s contribution to human progress
Talks & Topics
Global Culture & Ethnicity
1:00 pm, 6 May 2017
Discuss how we can unite to make positive change in society
Talks & Topics
Disability & Inclusivity
1:00 pm, 6 May 2017
Discuss whether we are all equal in the eyes of God in this panel discussion
Talks & Topics
Gender Politics & Equality
2:30 pm, 6 May 2017
Hear a range of speakers tackle all kinds of topics from Belief & Beyond Belief
Talks & Topics
Politics & History
2:30 pm, 6 May 2017
Find out how religion functions behind bars

stories

story
We caught up with Devorah Baum, author of Feeling Jewish and The Jewish Joke
story
Hear comedian, actor and writer Cariad Lloyd's thoughts on life and death

explore our themes

This festival is comprised of a series of themed weekends, find out more about them below.