Dates and times
Our Faith to Faith programme in partnership with Interfaith Glasgow continues with a new season of dialogue and discussions focusing on different religious and cultural issues each month.
September's "Faith to Faith" dialogue event will explore the theme of faith and nature.
Nature plays an important role across religions, whether this is through celebrating the earth's creation and beauty, or seeing the natural world as an embodiment of divinity, and spiritual in itself. This month we will have two speakers who will be speaking on the Pagan and Shinto traditions respectively.
The recognition of the divine in nature is at the heart of Pagan beliefs - this can be through worship of natural features (mountains, trees), deities of nature, or a reverence for the spirituality of nature. Followers of traditional Japanese Shintoism believe that Kami are sacred spirits or "holy powers" found in the forms of wind, rain, mountains, trees, rivers and fertility - to name a few. The spirits show concern for humans and upon receiving respect, can intervene positively and nurture our lives.
Steffy VonScott is the Presiding Officer of the Pagan Federation (Scotland). He is also their National Interfaith Officer for Scotland, sits on the Pagan Heathen Symposium, and is a prominent Pagan rights activist in his home country. Steffy is also the Treasurer of Renfrewshire Interfaith Group, previously their Chair, and was the first Pagan to be elected to the role of Chair of a regional Interfaith Group in his home country. Steffy speaks at Pagan events across Scotland, as well as at Colleges, Universities, City and Community Councils, and Museums. In his spare time, Steffy studies the Ancient Near East, alongside the Archaeology of Ritual, at both the University of Glasgow and the University of Edinburgh, with a focus on early Mesopotamian religion.
Dr Saeko Yazaki
Saeko Yazaki is a lecturer in Religious Studies (Islam, Muslim-Jewish relations, and Japanese traditions) at the University of Glasgow. She came to Glasgow in 2012 after working at the Centre of Islamic Studies, University of Cambridge, as the Outreach and Project Manager. Her areas of research include the mysticism and epistemology of religion and she is also pursuing comparative study of monotheistic and non-monotheistic faiths. Currently she is carrying out research on Muslim-Jewish relations, a comparative analysis of Sufism and Zen in the modern Western world, clothing of Shinto deities, and Kimono.
There is always plenty of tea, coffee and cake as well as time for conversation.