The LSE Faith Centre
The state-of-the-art Faith Centre will be opening in the new student building later this year.
The Faith Centre is being headed up by LSE’s Chaplain and Interfaith Adviser Dr. James Walters. He recently visited the U.S. to talk about the state of the art Faith Centre:
We’re all conscious of how religion feeds into some of the most difficult issues facing our world today. Sometimes these disputes can cause friction on the LSE campus too. But we’re also conscious of how the religious diversity of our School is a great opportunity to build understanding and friendships among future leaders of different faiths.
The Centre will house a range of spaces for worship, prayer, meditation, meetings and seminars. It will allow the School to meet its commitments under equality legislation for staff and students of faith to carry out the obligations of their religion faithfully on campus. But it will also be a space where people of different faiths can encounter one another in the spirit of a dialogical university. It will be a space for everyone: those who have particular religious obligations to observe; those who wish to engage in dialogue with people of different faiths; and those who are of no fixed religious affiliation but are looking for a space for quiet and reflection.
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 colonized. But the desert has also been a place of inter-religious encounter, not least through commerce along trade routes. So our “sacred desert” will be 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.
To create the right kind of atmosphere within the Centre, this desert theme is the inspiration for a stained glass window designed by the President of the Royal Academy Christopher Le Brun. The window will add some beauty and inspiration to an otherwise functional space and add a new world-class work of art to the School’s collection. We welcome alumni support for this project.
For more information on the Faith Centre, email FaithCentre@lse.ac.uk.