Talks & Topics
Global Culture & Ethnicity
Talks & debates

Rituals and Seasons. Belief and Nature: Panel Talk

Part of Belief and Beyond Belief

What makes a ritual? From ancient sites of worship such as Stonehenge to modern wedding ceremonies, what it is about ritual that gives human life meaning and purpose? And how do the seasons shape the way we structure ritual, and even religion itself?

From ancient natural religions to contemporary faiths, we explore the religious beliefs which draw deeply on nature in order to reach transcendence. And the rituals which given form and focus to the ineffable.


- Elizabeth Jane Holden 'Libby' Lane is a Church of England bishop. Since January 2015, she has been the Bishop of Stockport, a suffragan bishop in the Diocese of Chester.

- Mahinda Deegalle is Professor in the Study of Religions, Philosophies and Ethics, College of Liberal Arts, Bath Spa University, United Kingdom. He is the author of Popularizing Buddhism: Preaching as Performance in Sri Lanka (State University of New York Press, 2006), the editor of Buddhism, Conflict and Violence in Modern Sri Lanka (Routledge 2006), Justice and Statecraft: Buddhist Ideals Inspiring Contemporary World (Nagananda International Buddhist University, 2017), Dharma to the UK (World Buddhist Foundation, 2008), Vesak, Peace and Harmony: Thinking of Buddhist Heritage (Nagananda International Buddhist University, 2015) and the co-editor of Pali Buddhism (Curzon 1996). He regularly appears in BBC World Service, Buddhist TV and recently in BBC Big Questions.

- Dr Shumaisa Khan grew up in the New Jersey and during her childhood went on trips to national parks and local farms, and every few years went to Pakistan to spend time with family. These experiences instilled in her an appreciation of the wider world and planted the seeds for her interests in ecology, social justice and human rights. During young adulthood, she started listening to Democracy Now, on WBAI, a listener-sponsored radio station in New York; listening to this regularly during her formative years also influenced her perspectives on democracy and social change. Currently she is a Lecturer on urban agriculture at the University of Brighton, where she also oversees the student-run Edible Campus rooftop garden. As a Representative of Wisdom in Nature, she designs and leads workshops on permaculture, nature connection, and Islamic ecology. Her studies and work experience have ranged from international health to environmental justice, and she has worked at several institutions in both the US and UK.

Chaired by Wendy Jones, author of seven books – both fiction and non-fiction, which have been translated into 11 languages, including Portrait of the Artist as a Young Girl, the biography of Grayson Perry.

Dates & times

This event has passed.


Royal Festival Hall
The Clore Ballroom, Level 2


Included in Pass

need to know

This event is included in the Saturday Pass, and is part of Rituals and Seasons: Religion and Our Natural Life.