festival

Belief and Beyond Belief

16 Jan 2017 - 16 Dec 2017

Throughout 2017, Southbank Centre and the London Philharmonic Orchestra present a new festival which explores what it means to be human. Belief and Beyond Belief explores the music, art, culture, science, philosophy, ritual and traditions that have risen out of religion in its many guises.

The seemingly innate need for humans to find meaning for their lives and a sense of where they fit into the universe, with all its mystery and majesty, is a constant in all periods of human history and has inspired some of the greatest music and art ever created.

Even in an era when religion is said to be on the decline, our headlines are dominated by it, often in extreme forms.

The festival also looks at the broader questions of what it means to be human and asks which aspects of religious belief can be useful to the world in the 21st century. What are the risks to societies if they become more secular, and how will that influence artists?

From Haydn to Strauss, from Kancheli to Glass, Belief and Beyond Belief looks at music that speaks of the divine and the human spirit.

From Richard Dawkins to Jeanette Winterson, from Rabindranath Tagore to Primo Levi, we investigate the struggle to define the absolute.

Nearly all of the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2017 Royal Festival Hall concerts form part of this festival, alongside a wide range of performances, lectures, debates, and literary events programmed by Southbank Centre.

With support from Coexist House and Cambridge Interfaith Programme.

Support our year-round festival programme

Help us to be a place where everyone can experience world-class art and culture that can stimulate, educate and inspire.

Make a donation

 

The belief in something greater than ourselves has preoccupied humanity for centuries. In this festival of music inspired by spiritual belief, we attempt to lay open the grandeur, enigma and conflict in our search for, and understanding of, the divine.
Vladimir Jurowski, Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor, London Philharmonic Orchestra

Filter stories

festival

11:30 am | 23 Sep 2017
Literature
Talks & Topics
Join talks and debates on religion, spirituality, belief and the world
11:30 am | 23 Sep 2017
Talks & Topics
Artists & Thinkers
Hear from religious leaders, writers and philosopher on where we should look for moral guidance
1:00 pm | 23 Sep 2017
Talks & Topics
Gender Politics & Equality
Hear this debate on the moral, spiritual and legal issues of abortion
1:00 pm | 23 Sep 2017
Talks & Topics
Gender Politics & Equality
Hear the differing voices on the key issue of same-sex marriage rights in this debate
2:30 pm | 23 Sep 2017
Talks & Topics
Religion & Beliefs
Discover how science enhances our understanding of whether human beings are innately good
2:30 pm | 23 Sep 2017
Talks & Topics
Religion & Beliefs
Discuss the differences and similarities within religions
4:00 pm | 23 Sep 2017
Talks & Topics
Religion & Beliefs
Are we ready to move past the ideas of good and evil?
7:00 pm | 23 Sep 2017
Classical music
Choral
Sir Willard White, Vladimir Jurowski and the LPO perform Enescu’s powerful opera Oedipe
3:30 pm | 24 Sep 2017
Classical music
Orchestra
Explore birdsong and man’s relationship with the natural world, in this Aurora Orchestra concert
7:00 pm | 25 Sep 2017
Classical music
Choral
Can the ultimate betrayal ever be forgiven? The OAE explores Judas and Christ’s last days

Pages

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 16:39
Watch this short trailer for the Orchestra’s upcoming concert season with us
Thu, 08/17/2017 - 15:54
Contemporary Classical
Listen to our Spotify playlist introducing the works of the 20th century composers
Thu, 05/04/2017 - 12:56
Religion & Beliefs
The author, advertising consultant and expert on Generation M shares her thoughts.
Wed, 05/03/2017 - 15:07
Religion & Beliefs
Talks & Topics
Why does this Benedictine monk think religion has a place in schools?
Thu, 04/06/2017 - 17:34
Religion & Beliefs
Belief and Beyond Belief festival panellist Canon Rosie Harper considers the topic of assisted dying
Thu, 03/16/2017 - 11:54
Hear the percussionist in conversation with Southbank Centre's Director of Music, Gillian Moore MBE
Fri, 03/03/2017 - 17:47
Religion & Beliefs
Talks & Topics
Explore how new technologies are impacting our perceptions and experiences of death, with Professor Josh Cohen
Fri, 03/03/2017 - 12:12
Religion & Beliefs
Talks & Topics
Hear comedian, actor and writer Cariad Lloyd's thoughts on life and death
Wed, 03/01/2017 - 13:03
See what poet Anthony Anaxagorou thinks about death, poetry and what comes next
Fri, 01/27/2017 - 15:22
Conductor Andrés Orozco-Estrada explores music from 2001: A Space Odyssey and Strauss’ Nietzsche-inspired Also sprach Zarathustra
Fri, 01/27/2017 - 14:47
Conductor Andrés Orozco-Estrada talks about the minimalist works of Philip Glass and John Adams
Fri, 01/20/2017 - 12:31
Conductor Vladimir Jurowski discusses the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s science-themed concerts part of Belief and Beyond Belief festival
Wed, 01/18/2017 - 16:23
Hear the LPO's Principal Conductor, Vladimir Jurowski, introduce our new festival Belief and Beyond Belief
Wed, 01/18/2017 - 15:14
Discover the key messages and themes in Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio
Mon, 01/16/2017 - 17:01
Members of the LPO share with us their favourite books on the themes of life and meaning
.

don't miss

23 Sep - 24 Sep
Literature
Talks & Topics
Join talks and debates on religion, spirituality, belief and the world
4 Nov
Literature
Talks & Topics
Join talks and debates on religion, spirituality, belief and the world
see all events

Throughout 2017, we will be hosting a series of themed weekends, exploring music, art, culture, science, philosophy, ritual and traditions around these themes.

For each weekend, we have a number of limited day and weekend passes available. Book your pass below.

How To Be Good: Gurus, Gods and Guidance

23 Sep - 21 Oct

For centuries, religious teachings have given guidance to believers on finding a virtuous path through life.

Book Pass

With God on Our Side… Religion and War

25 Oct - 14 Nov

How do religions that preach peace and understanding justify bloodshed?

Book Pass

Rituals and Seasons: Religion and Our Natural Life

22 Nov - 16 Dec

What do rituals, both ancient and contemporary, tell us about the way we construct meaning? Could religion help to tackle climate change?

Book Pass

stories

story
Why does this Benedictine monk think religion has a place in schools?
story
Belief and Beyond Belief festival panellist Canon Rosie Harper considers the topic of assisted dying

explore our themes

This festival is comprised of a series of themed weekends, find out more about them below.