Conference Will Explore Social Justice, 75 Years On from Beginnings of the Welfare State

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In 1941, while the world was at war, a meeting, widely considered as the first steps to a welfare state in Britain, was convened.

Gathered by William Temple, then Archbishop of York, the meeting, which became known as the Malvern Conference, considered the ‘ordering of a new society’ once the war was over.

In 2016, 75 years later, the world is again in crisis, as the nature of the welfare state - and the plight of socially-excluded people - continuously hits the headlines.

A commemorative conference, being held this summer, will explore whether we can emerge from these troubled times with a new social order and ask the question ‘What does social justice mean now in the contexts of faith, education, health, welfare, race, ethnicity, gender, class, public policy and economics?’

Social Justice: building a fairer, more equal society will be held in Worcester from June 23-25, and is a partnership between the University of Worcester and the William Temple Foundation.

Anne Hannaford, Director of Arts and Culture at the University, said: “This conference not only seeks to explore questions of social justice, but to challenge ourselves on ways in which we can contribute to positive change.”

The Conference will be opened by Professor Chris Baker, Director of Research for the William Temple Foundation and William Temple Professor Religion and Public Life at the University of Chester. His Opening Lecture will be entitled: ‘Faith in the Public Sphere? - in search of a fair and compassionate society for the 21st century’ and will take place in Worcester Cathedral.

Other speakers include Professor Pat Thane, of King’s College, London, who will challenge assertions about ‘intergenerational injustice’, paying particular attention to inequalities among retired people and among children since 1945; Professor Morwenna Griffiths, of Edinburgh University, who will explore ethical education; Professor Jon Glasby, of the University of Birmingham, who will review recent policy priorities in terms of what this says about our values as a society and as health and social care professions; and Professor Philip Goodchild, of the University of Nottingham, whose keynote will look at the role debt plays in society.

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