Does Europe need religion?

Hosted by the Hellenic Observatory and the LSE Faith Centre

LSE Lecture Theatre, Centre Building, United Kingdom


Archbishop Nikitas of Thyateira and Great Britain

Archbishop Nikitas of Thyateira and Great Britain


Professor Kevin Featherstone

Professor Kevin Featherstone


Professor Kevin Featherstone

Revd Canon Professor James Walters

Europe's complex history is intricately woven with religious narratives, influencing art, politics, and societal norms. However, contemporary Europe is characterised by increasing secularism, a plurality of faiths, and the rise of non-religious identities. This event seeks to navigate the complex interplay between society and religion, discussing the relevance of faith to the challenges we face today. What is its value to our understandings of citizenship, new ethical challenges, and social cohesion?

Meet our speaker and chair 

His Eminence Archbishop Nikitas was born in Tampa, Florida. Following high school, Archbishop Nikitas studied at the University of Florida where he earned a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in 1976 and pursued additional graduate studies at the University of Thessaloniki for two years. Archbishop Nikitas was elected by the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to serve as the Metropolitan of Hong Kong and Southeast Asia, a position he held from December 1996 through August 2007. Upon his appointment as the Director of the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute (PAOI), he was named Metropolitan of the Dardanelles and a Hierarch of the Ecumenical Throne. He served at the PAOI from 2007 – 2019, where he was also a Lecturer in Orthodox Theology.  Archbishop Nikitas is well-known in the Metropolis of San Francisco having served for an extended period at the parishes of Ascension Cathedral in Oakland and Saint Nicholas Church in San Jose. His Eminence Nikitas was elected Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain on 12 June 2019.

Kevin Featherstone, Hellenic Observatory Director and Professorial Research Fellow, European Institute, LSE

Revd Canon Prof James Walters, is the founding director of the LSE Faith Centre and its Religion and Global Society Research Unit. He leads the team in the centre’s mission to promote religious literacy and interfaith leadership through student programmes and global engagement, along with research into the role of religion in world affairs. He is a professor in practice in the Department of International Relations and an affiliated faculty member at the Department for International Development. He has published a number of books including Baudrillard and Theology (2012), Religion and the Public Sphere: New Conversations (2018), A Christian Theology of Chaplaincy (2018), Religious Imaginations and Global Transitions (2018) and Loving Your Neighbour in an Age of Religious Conflict (2019). He was educated at Cambridge University and ordained priest in the Church of England in 2008 within which he is now a canon of Chichester Cathedral. As chaplain to the whole School, Jim is available to speak confidentially to any student or member of staff regardless of religious affiliation.

The Twitter Hashtag for this event is: #LSEreligion


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Watch the video here.

More about this event

The Hellenic Observatory (@HO_LSE) is internationally recognised as one of the premier research centres on contemporary Greece and Cyprus. It engages in a range of activities, including developing and supporting academic and policy-related research; organisation of conferences, seminars and workshops; academic exchange through visiting fellowships and internships; as well as teaching at the graduate level through LSE's European Institute.

The LSE Faith Centre runs innovative programmes and events promoting religious literacy and transformational interfaith leadership supporting students to explore, challenge and question religious differences. We host a wide range of religious and wellbeing activities for all LSE staff and students and we are working to create a fully faith-inclusive campus.  All this work is resourced by LSE's world-class research, bringing critical thinking to bear on the interaction of religion and global affairs through the Religion and Global Society Research Unit.


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