An interactive and engaging day of talks, workshops, and discussions exploring what it means to be Buddhist in Britain today.

Saturday 21 October 2023 10:00 – 16:00 BST

Burmese Buddhist Vihara, 29-31 Osler Street Ladywood Birmingham B16 9EU

The UK Association of Buddhist Studies (UKABS), the Network of Buddhist Organisations (NBOs) and the Centre for Applied Buddhism (CfAB) are hosting a one-day, in-person conference for academics, practitioners and guests exploring what being Buddhist in Britain means today.

Bringing together practitioners from diverse traditions of Buddhism, including those born to Buddhist families and those not born to Buddhist families, for a day of group discussions, short talks, experience sharing, and friendship, the conference will cover some important topics including gender, race, social class, challenges for the Buddhist community of practice in a post-covid Britain, being young and Buddhist, and many more!

Guest speakers will include academics from the field of Buddhist studies, monastic leaders from various Buddhist traditions, lay-member Buddhist practitioners, community faith leaders, PhD students and others.

There will be a light lunch served during the day for all participants.

The conference will open with brief welcome remarks by Dr. Elizabeth J Harris, President of the UKABS Committee, Kaspa Thompson, Chair of NBOs, Jamie Cresswell, Director of the Centre for Applied Buddhism. Dr. Caroline Starkey, Associate Professor of Religion and Society at University of Leeds, will begin the day with a brief introductory talk on Buddhism in Britain to give some context for participants who may be new to exploring the topic.

It is strongly recommended that you register your place at the conference in advance since the venue hosting the event has a limit and can hold up to 100 people. It may be possible to turn up on the day without registering.

To register: Being Buddhist in Britain: a practitioner conference Tickets, Sat 21 Oct 2023 at 10:00 | Eventbrite

Provisional programme:

10.00 Coffee available

10.15 Introduction and welcome – Lucy Plummer (MC) and Jamie Cresswell

10.18 Welcome to Pagoda, Ven. Nagasena

10.20 Prof Elizabeth Harris

10.30 Kaspa Thompson

10.40 Amal Abeyawardene

10.50 Caroline Starkey [A recording of the this lecture is available here]

11.10 Coffee Break

11.35 Ice Breaker groups

12.00 Break out discussion groups

13.00 Lunch

14.00 Roma and Lucy

14.15 Discussion pairs

14.20 Short plenary

14.30 Rahena Harilall

14.40 Keith Munnings

14.50 Coffee break

15.10 Ven. Udunuwara Indaratana

15.20 Break out discussion groups

15.45 Plenary

16.00 End