Posted by: rogermitchell | June 21, 2017

What a shift in the social imaginary!

The unexpected result of the General Election is, in my view, evidence of an exciting change in the spiritual climate of the UK. 

Despite and perhaps, redemptively, even because of the terrible terrorist atrocities including the murder of Jo Cox MP and the poverty and austerity related horrendous Grenfell Tower fire, something is shifting in the social imaginary.  After attending the Manchester vigil for the victims of the arena bomb, Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party,  observed that what we need is love and solidarity. As a proponent of the politics of love I could not agree with him more and am super encouraged by the emphasis on love in the current political vocabulary.

This evening, once again, I have been facilitating the Richardson Institute Critical Thinking Group with its commitment to cultivating a culture of positive peace for Morecambe Bay. We heard reports of the start-up group of the local Poverty Truth Commission that it helped initiate, the developments around Infrastructures for Positive Peace that we have been focusing on since a successful conference last November and interacted with Dr Andy Knox’s recent blog post on his strategy for health as a social movement All of this gave substance to the conclusion that not only is there a shift in the social imagination, these are signs of real traction on the ground.

Clearly we need all the resources we can find to articulate and practice the politics of love.

For which reason I’m glad to say that among these the Political Theology for Peace certificate of postgraduate achievement that I teach is available again in the coming academic year. This exciting postgraduate resource for those grappling with the challenges to peace and justice in and through their occupational spheres and localities is provided through the Richardson Institute for Peace Studies and located in the PPR Department here at Lancaster. The course runs from January to April 2018 and is taught via an intensive residential teaching weekend and five online webinars. Assessment is based on a 5,000 word mini-dissertation on a subject central to the main obstacles to peace within the personal work-life situation of the student concerned. The course is ideal for those seeking to discover and apply love-based contemporary theological resources to their field and in some exceptional circumstances evidence of parallel life experience may be accepted in place of a relevant first degree.

This is likely to be the last year I will be delivering this course, as my seven year research fellowship is coming to a conclusion, so this is a final opportunity to take on board a unique resource which past students have been very positive, even euphoric about! The course carries a postgraduate certificate of academic achievement and costs £805 (unfortunately £1720 for non-EU students). The initial residential weekend is scheduled for January 19th-21st 2018. The syllabus is attached as a separate blog page (see above) and the link to for enrollment is here: Online registration is now open, and applicants are recommended to begin the process as soon as possible. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions about the course. If you commence the online process, please let me know too.


  1. As one of those euphoric about the course, which I did several years ago now, I would urge anyone interested in what is happening and what might be possible locally, nationally, globally in terms of a politics of love, to take the opportunity of this certificate of postgraduate achievement before it disappears for ever! By the way, I am one of those who didn’t have a first degree but was accepted on the course on the basis of my life experience. You really don’t want to miss this…. !!!

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