Belief and Beyond Belief
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.
Support our year-round festival programme
Help us to be a place where everyone can experience world-class art and culture that can stimulate, educate and inspire.
5 May 2017
6 May 2017
7 May 2017
22 Jun 2017
23 Sep 2017
Throughout 2017 we will be hosting a series of themed weekends, exploring music, art, culture, science, philosophy, ritual and traditions around these themes.
For each weekend, we have a number of limited day and weekend passes available. Book your pass below.
Prophets, Visionaries and Power
8 Apr - 28 Apr
From the American election to the civil wars in the Middle East, to the refugee crisis in Europe.
For Good or For Ill: How Has Religion Shaped Society?
29 Apr - 22 Jun
How can we measure the many contributions religious communities make to culture?
How To Be Good: Gurus, Gods and Guidance
23 Sep - 21 Oct
For centuries, religious teachings have given guidance to believers on finding a virtuous path through life.
With God on Our Side… Religion and War
25 Oct - 14 Nov
How do religions that preach peace and understanding justify bloodshed?
Rituals and Seasons: Religion and Our Natural Life
22 Nov - 16 Dec
What do rituals, both ancient and contemporary, tell us about the way we construct meaning? Could religion help to tackle climate change?