The theme of the LSE Faith Centre is the “sacred desert”. The desert is a place of spiritual significance in nearly all the world religions. From the ancient Hindu traditions of the Thar Desert of Rajasthan to the origins of the Judeo-Christian tradition at Sinai, the desert has been experienced as a place of profound religious intensity. Crucially, the nomadic tradition of the desert reflects the need for space to be shared and not colonised. But the desert has also been a place of inter-religious encounter, not least through commerce along trade routes. So our “sacred desert” is a place of stillness for all people, a place where different religious groups can “set up camp” for a while, but also a place for all to encounter people of other faiths, to hear their stories, to share hospitality and to converse about the issues of the day.
The theme of the “sacred desert” is captured in our striking stained glass windows designed by the President of the Royal Academy Christopher Le Brun. Return to this page soon to see a video about its production.
About the artist
Christopher Le Brun is a painter, sculptor and printmaker. He is the 26th President of the Royal Academy since Sir Joshua Reynolds and the youngest to be elected since Lord Leighton in 1878. Born in Portsmouth and trained at the Slade and Chelsea Schools of Art in London. He is a prizewinner at the John Moores, and has participated in the Venice Biennale. A former trustee of the Tate, the National Gallery and Dulwich Picture Gallery, he is currently trustee of the National Portrait Gallery and the Prince’s Drawing School , which he helped establish in 2000. The image below shows Christopher working on a full-scale version of the design at the glass studio in Germany.