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The Faerie Queene Liturgy Project

Event Date: Wednesday 14 April 2010
St George’s House, Windsor Castle

The Faerie Queene Liturgy Project seeks to create new liturgical texts and solidarity-building rituals for contemporary society inspired by the quest for holiness in Book 1 of Edmund Spenser’s now neglected epic poem. The scholar and writer Ewan Fernie will work in conjunction with major contemporary poets Jo Shapcott and Michael Symmons Roberts, as well as with the theologian Andrew Shanks, who has made a case for ‘shaken poetry’ as a source of religious renovation. This team will prepare two extraordinary, inclusive events for the two very different environments of Manchester Cathedral and St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, working in each case with an impressive group of consultants including scholars, artists and theologians. The culminating event in Windsor will feature Andrew Motion and form part of the Windsor Spring Festival, 2011. The event in Manchester, on May the 8th, 2011, will be preceded by a procession, through the city streets, with Catalan-style ‘gegants’, giant puppet figures, representing Spenserian figures.

This recording is of the inaugural meeting of The Faerie Queene Liturgy Project in St George’s House, Windsor Castle. The Windsor group includes: Ewan Fernie; Andrew Shanks; Jo Shapcott; Michael Symmons Roberts; Sarah Apetrei (Postdoctoral Fellow in Theology, Keble College, Oxford and expert in early modern female spirituality); David Fuller (Emeritus Professor of English, Durham, former University Orator and co-author of *Signs of Grace*); Graham Holderness (Professor of English, Hertfordshire, poet, novelist, and critic of early modern/religious literature); Kevin Morris (Vicar of St Michaels and All Angels, Chiswick); Andrew Taylor (University chaplain, arts administrator, parish priest); Salley Vickers (bestselling novelist and advisor to the Liturgical Commission of the Church of England); Monawar Hussain (Muslim Tutor at Eton College); Ben Quash ( Professor of Christianity and the Arts, King’s College, London and formerly Academic Convenor of the Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme), and David Ruiter ( Professor and Chair of the English Department at the University of Texas, El Paso).

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Audio:

Ewan Fernie/Andrew Shanks: Introduction

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Monawar Hussain/Jo Shapcott/David Ruiter

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David Fuller/Andrew Taylor/Sarah Apetrei

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Morning Discussion

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Graham Holderness/Kevin Morris/Salley Vickers

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Afternoon Discussion

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The HEIF (Higher Education Innovation Fund) has awarded the The Faerie Queene Liturgy Project money which has enabled the project to commission new music from the composer Tim Garland. Garland will compose four original ‘Faerie Queene Canticles’ for jazz trio Acoustic Triangle and the Royal Holloway College Choir. These canticles will set part of the original text inspired by The Faerie Queene that is produced by the project. The project is seeking further funding to support this new musical dimension of its work.

The Faerie Queene Liturgy Project is part of the broader AHRC / ESRC Faerie Queene Now Project. A sister Fable and Drama Project led by Co-I Simon Palfrey is working with schools and the Globe Theatre to trial and evolve new conceptions of virtue using Spenser as springboard.

For more details of The Faerie Queene Now project and notification of associated public events, please see the project website

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