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Refugee Stories: Changing the Narrative

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Refugee Stories: Changing the Narrative

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Location: Heythrop College

Through the media, we all see images of refugees and hear stories about them. These, inevitably, help to form public perceptions. Yet behind the public perceptions, there are human realities. Besides the stories told about refugees, there are also the stories waiting to be told by refugees. Who takes the time to encounter those seeking asylum? Where is the refugee’s voice? Who listens? What is their story?

This conference will be the fruit of a unique collaboration between the Heythrop Institute for Religion and Society and the Jesuit Refugee Service UK, bringing together academics working in theology and related disciplines, practitioners serving refugees, and - most importantly - those seeking asylum themselves.

The willingness to encounter refugees, and to listen to their stories, opens up the possibilities of new public perceptions, ones more in touch with the human realities of men, women and children who seek asylum on our shores. Refugees themselves, if given the chance to tell their own stories, have the capacity to change the narrative.

The conference will run from 9.30am to 5pm and will be followed by a Reflection with Words and Music from 6pm to 7pm accompanied by a reception.

Speakers include:

Sarah Teather (Director of Jesuit Refugee Service UK)
Professor David Herd (University of Kent)
Dr Joshua Ralston (University of Edinburgh)
Dr Liam Hayes (CAFOD, UK)

Reflection with Words and Music

Friedrich Spee (1591-1635) was a Jesuit priest, poet and composer, best known for his opposition to trials for witchcraft and his arguments against torture.  Continuing our theme, theologian Michael Kirwan SJ will reflect on the significance of Spee’s work for today on a backdrop of Spee’s music performed by the Heythrop Schola.


Please use the Book Now link above to reserve your place.


Limited accommodation is available within the College grounds. To check availability and to book a room, please visit the Heythrop Shop . For further information on accommodation please contact Campus Services on 020 7795 4163

Organising Committee

Dr Nicholas Austin, SJ (Heythrop College), Sarah Teather (Director, JRS UK), Dr Gillian Paterson (Heythrop College), Dr Sophie Cartwright, (JRS UK), Dr Michael Kirwan, SJ, (Director, Heythrop Institute for Religion and Society)

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