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Media, Faith and State (Joint RSA MCICH & CTPI event)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 from 5:45 PM to 8:00 PM (GMT)

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RSA Fellows’ Media, Creative Industries, Culture and Heritage Network

Joint Event with the Centre for Theology and Public Issues, University of Edinburgh

Tuesday 19th March in the Martin Hall, School of Divinity, New College, Mound Place, Edinburgh, EH1 2LX

Registration 5.45pm for event 6pm-8pm

There is no pre-event catering, but wine will be served over post event networking


The format will be along the lines of Any Questions, preceded by a short Opening Statement by each panellist.  The aim is to discuss the inter-relationships between Media, the Churches and Faith Organisations and the State.  Delegates are encouraged and requested to submit questions in writing by 14th March at the latest to and a number will be picked by the MCICH Steering Group.  The Panel may increase by one but currently comprises:

Iain Macwhirter, Journalist – biography to be added to this information page a.s.a.p.  He is a respected broadsheet journalist, a broadcaster and was University of Edinburgh Rector 2009-2012.

Professor Jolyon Mitchell, Professor of Communications, Arts and Religion and Director of the Centre for Theology for Public Issues and Acting Director of the Institute for Advances Studies in the Humanities.  He is  President of the Association of University Departments of Theology and Religious Studies. His  research and teaching focuses on: Peacebuilding, Violence & Communications; Film, Religion & Ethics; Media, Religion & Culture; Theology, History & the Arts; and Media Ethics. Jolyon worked as a producer and journalist for BBC World Service and BBC Radio 4 before appointment to the University of Edinburgh.   He is a regular broadcaster, and has given numerous invited lectures around the world.  Jolyon is also the author and editor of a number of books and numerous chapters & articles as indicated on his departmental website.


Professor Mona Siddiqui OBE FRSA FRSE, Professor of Islamic and Interreligious Studies and Assistant Princpal for Religion and Society, University of Edinburgh. Mona chairs the BBC Scottish Religious Advisory Committee. She joined New College in December 2011 after 15 years at the University of Glasgow..  Her main research is in classical Islamic law (fiqh), juristic arguments and the interface with contemporary ethical issues. She has an interest in Muslim theology which has developed into Christian-Muslim relations.  Her interest in Christian-Muslim relations developed over the years, inspired by involvement in a series of international seminars called Building Bridges, convened by Archbishop Rowan Williams.  She is currently a visiting scholar at Georgetown University on Templeton Funded “Religious Freedom” project 2011-2014. She has recently been working on a monograph on Jesus and Christian -Muslim Encounters with Yale UP.

Navraj Singh Ghaleigh FRSA, Lecturer, University of Edinburgh Law School, works on various issues within constitutional and environmental law - see further For the purposes of this Media, Faith and State RSA/CTPI event,, he will focus on freedom of expression and make an argument based on the notion of public discourse. In contrast to the dominant views that freedom of expression serves to preserve the marketplace of ideas or individual self-fulfillment or democracy, Navraj will argue that speech deserves special protection because it addresses matters of public concern which form public opinion. For the purposes of religious speakers or those that speak on religions, the public discourse approach challenges the way we currently regulate speech in ways that may be unsettling. Law should allow speech, even if outrageous, so as to ensure that speakers regard themselves as the authors of government decisions that affect them.

Iain G. Mitchell QC FRSA is a member of both the Scottish and English Bars. He is also a Reader in the Church of Scotland, a member of the Church & Society Council and the Science Religion and Technology Project of the Church of Scotland. He is the UK representative on the IT Committee of the CCBE and is a member of the IT Panel of the Bar Council of England & Wales. He is Chairman of the Scottish Society for Computers and Law and is an honorary lecturer at the Institut für Informations- Telekommunikations- und Medienrecht at the Wilhelms-Universität, Münster, Westphalia, as well as being a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists and Joint Editor of the International Free and Open Source Law Review, and of the former Scottish Parliament LawReview. He is Co-convenor of the Scottish Lawyers’ European Group. He was a contributor to the Church's papers The Internet - In whose Image? the SRTP paper on Neuroethics, and is presently contributing to the Church's paper on Human Rights. His publications include contributions to Electronic Evidence (Butterworths); The Open Source Law Book (Open Source Press) and Free and Open Source Software: Policy Law andPractice (OUP), as well as frequent journalism, including articles in The Scotsman regarding legal questions in the Independence Debate.    He is an E-consultee assisting the RSA Fellows’ MCICH Network Steering Group.


 Queries regarding access or other issues to (Chairman, MCICH Network)




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When & Where

New College
Mound Place
EH1 2LX Edinburgh
United Kingdom

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 from 5:45 PM to 8:00 PM (GMT)

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