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.
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