festival

For Good or For Ill: How Has Religion Shaped Society?

29 Apr - 22 Jun
How can we measure the many contributions religious communities make to culture?From music and art, to science and social cohesion, we debate what contributions religion has made to society and how those weigh up against issues such as discrimination and violence committed in the name of a God.

We welcome back the Colin Currie Group who perform Steve Reich’s Tehillim, which incorporates both driving rhythms and vocals inspired by the ritual chanting of the Hebrew Bible at synagogue.

Our partner orchestra for the festival, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, perform Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with its world-embracing climax, Ode to Joy.

This is the fifth part of our year-long festival, Belief and Beyond Belief, and our last before a break for the summer.

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Thu, 04/27/2017 - 15:18
Journalist Arwa Haider introduces the hip-hop artists involved in our Beats Without Boundaries event
Orchestra
Classical music
Fri, 04/21/2017 - 12:50
A closer look at Georg Friedrich Haas‘ in vain with the Royal Academy of Music's Head of Composition
Orchestra
Classical music
Fri, 04/21/2017 - 11:52
Hear about the creative decisions behind in vain, and its political significance, from the composer
Orchestra
Classical music
Fri, 04/21/2017 - 11:08
Listen to a specially created Spotify playlist, giving a glimpse into the composer's eclectic taste
Electronic
Folk & World
Fri, 04/21/2017 - 09:59
Yep, change your life. Here's your guide to what promises to be an unforgettable 10 days
Electronic
Rock & Pop
Wed, 04/19/2017 - 10:39
Soulwax and grime superstar Giggs are among the newly added acts
Wed, 04/12/2017 - 16:55
Experience Nordic children’s storytelling our Swedish-inspired Room for Children
Tue, 04/11/2017 - 13:18
The award-winning pianist speaks to us ahead of his debut Southbank Centre performance
Thu, 04/06/2017 - 17:34
Belief and Beyond Belief festival panellist Canon Rosie Harper considers the topic of assisted dying
Thu, 04/06/2017 - 12:20
Hear the two artists discuss different approaches to Reich’s composition

today

Classical music
Orchestra
7:30 pm, 28 Apr 2017
From JS Bach to Richard Strauss, the LPO performs transcendence-seeking works inspired by faith

tomorrow

Classical music
Chamber & Recital
12:00 pm, 29 Apr 2017
Explore two masterworks from Steve Reich, which were inspired by human rituals

30 Apr 2017

Literature
Spoken word & Live literature
3:15 pm, 30 Apr 2017
Witness a live reading of Primo Levi’s powerful account of survival at Auschwitz

5 May 2017

Classical music
Chamber & Recital
7:30 pm, 5 May 2017
The Colin Currie Group and Synergy Vocals perform music by Steve Reich

6 May 2017

Talks & Topics
Global Culture & Ethnicity
11:30 am, 6 May 2017
Come along to this discussion on religion’s contribution to human progress
Literature
Talks & Topics
11:30 am, 6 May 2017 - 8 May 2017
A weekend of talks and events exploring religion, spirituality, belief and the world
Literature
Religion & Beliefs
11:30 am, 6 May 2017
A weekend of talks and debates on religion, spirituality, belief and the world
Talks & Topics
Global Culture & Ethnicity
1:00 pm, 6 May 2017
Discuss how we can unite to make positive change in society
Talks & Topics
Disability & Inclusivity
1:00 pm, 6 May 2017
Discuss whether we are all equal in the eyes of God in this panel discussion
Talks & Topics
Gender Politics & Equality
2:30 pm, 6 May 2017
Hear a range of speakers tackle all kinds of topics from Belief & Beyond Belief
Talks & Topics
Politics & History
2:30 pm, 6 May 2017
Find out how religion functions behind bars
Talks & Topics
Gender Politics & Equality
4:00 pm, 6 May 2017
Meet the Muslim women breaking new ground, challenging perceptions around the role of women in Islam
audience members at a Pre-Concert Talk

Free

Classical music
6:15 pm, 6 May 2017
Dr Benjamin Walton leads a discussion on how Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony
Classical music
Orchestra
7:30 pm, 6 May 2017
Hear Beethoven's Ninth – not just another symphony, but an experience with the power to change lives

7 May 2017

Talks & Topics
Health & Wellbeing
1:30 pm, 7 May 2017
We discuss the intersections between clothing and religion
Talks & Topics
Artists & Thinkers
1:30 pm, 7 May 2017
Take a tour through the history of Christianity in this conversation with experts
Literature
Religion & Beliefs
1:30 pm, 7 May 2017
Join talks and debates on religion, spirituality, belief and the world
Talks & Topics
Politics & History
3:00 pm, 7 May 2017
Discuss whether the actions of some is affecting the belief of others in an illuminating discussion
Talks & Topics
Children & Young people
3:00 pm, 7 May 2017
We hear from a range of faith leaders and educators about religion in the classroom
Talks & Topics
Gender Politics & Equality
4:30 pm, 7 May 2017
Meet the women of faith who are leading their communities and making the world a better place

22 Jun 2017

Classical music
Orchestra
7:30 pm, 22 Jun 2017
Royal Academy of Music students perform Mahler's monumental Second Symphony

23 Sep 2017

Literature
Religion & Beliefs
11:30 am, 23 Sep 2017
Join talks and debates on religion, spirituality, belief and the world
Talks & Topics
Artists & Thinkers
11:30 am, 23 Sep 2017
Hear from religious leaders, writers and philosopher on where we should look for moral guidance
Talks & Topics
Gender Politics & Equality
1:00 pm, 23 Sep 2017
Hear this debate on the moral, spiritual and legal issues of abortion
Talks & Topics
Gender Politics & Equality
1:00 pm, 23 Sep 2017
Hear the differing voices on the key issue of same-sex marriage rights in this debate

Our weekend pass for Belief and Beyond Belief: For Good or For Ill: How Has Religion Shaped Society? gives you access to talks, panels, and debates throughout the Saturday and Sunday of the festival.

Weekend Pass: £25

Book a Weekend Pass

Day Passes: £15 / £7.50 concessions

You can also book a pass to attend one or more days

Book a Saturday Pass

Book a Sunday Pass

explore our themes

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

shop music

Royal Festival Hall Cushion

Crosley Record Player

Cardboard Radio
Beethovens Missa Solemnis Recording

LPO Beethoven's Missa Solemnis