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Food and Human rights EVENT POSTPONED

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Iona Community Glasgow offices

21 Carlton Court

Glasgow

G5 9JP

United Kingdom

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EVENTPOSTPONED A workshop to explore the question of 'food and human rights' from the perspective of faith, theology and the churches

About this Event

PLEASE NOTE: This event has been postponed due to the Coronavirus crisis, and will be rescheduled at a future date, provisionally autumn 2020. If you are interested in attending, please REGISTER and we will send you further information in due course.

Over the past ten years there has been an escalation of charitable food projects in many forms – with many initiatives run, or supported, by local Christian churches. Yet surprisingly little attention has been paid to the theologies underpinning and driving these practical caring Christian responses. More particularly, strong, and differing, views within the Christian community, and more widely in society, have emerged, asking searching questions as to what are ‘appropriate’ ways of enabling people on low incomes to access or afford food, or indeed, if this is a role for the churches at all?

In a series of three workshops, we will examine some of the ambiguous and contradictory theologies, practices and dynamics at work in Christian charitable food assistance.

In this second workshop we will focus specifically on the relationship between Christian charitable food assistance and human rights. There is a growing interest in the subject of the ‘human right to food’ within Scotland and at UK level. These draw on wider international debates, including the UN Covenant on Social, Economic and Cultural rights, which the UK signed up to in the 1970s, but never enshrined into domestic law. Within civil society there is a growing interest in some kind of domestic legislation to enact a Right to Food in Scotland, Wales and at Westminster. However, within the Churches (and more widely within society) the idea of ‘individual rights’ is disputed. This workshop will explore indicative issues such as:

• What do ideas of human rights, and the right to food in particular, look like from the perspective of people who are themselves struggling against food poverty?

• Churches have played a leading role in the development of a range of charitable food assistance initiatives in the UK in recent years. What is the relationship – if any – between foodbanks, community meals, community growing schemes, local pantries and other local initiatives, and human rights?

• From a Christian perspective, what are the benefits or tensions with talking about a human right to food? Is the ‘right to food’ a valuable tool for building social justice by the churches or is it too disconnected to Jesus’ own emphasis on fellowship, community and radical hospitality?

• Does the idea of a right to food obscure bigger questions about where our food comes from, environmental concerns, and simply reduce people to food consumers?

This will be a participatory workshop using an established method of theological reflection to ensure that every person’s contribution will be valued, and we will explore what insights can be generated on these questions from a range of perspectives including :

• People with first-hand experience of food poverty;

• Practitioners involved in running community-based food projects, both locally and nationally;

• Christian leaders and thinkers, who will help us explore faith and theology resources, including Catholic Social Teaching, and the insights of other denominational church traditions.

Each workshop will contribute towards the development of study materials to help local churches and others explore these questions for themselves.

The project is a partnership between Church Action on Poverty and the Centre for Catholic Social Thought and Practice based at Durham University, with funding from the Centre and the Passionists.

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Iona Community Glasgow offices

21 Carlton Court

Glasgow

G5 9JP

United Kingdom

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