21st Faith


We are a collaborative research project, investigating and questioning faith as a human feeling. 

This publication presents 32 creative projects created for an exhibition in October 2017 at The Workshop, Lambeth. 

What is Faith in

the 21st Century?

by Edward Green

and Rebecca Lardeur.


The purpose of this essay is not simply an investigative or explanatory one,

the purpose of this essay is strictly teleological: to redefine Faith within the 21st

Century. This was the goal and brief each participant was given at the beginning

of this collaborative research project: What is Faith in the 21st century?

35 projects were undertaken for 21st Faith, each presented a wide variety of viewpoints

and understandings on the subject of faith. This essay aims to summarise the individual

findings and analyse their art pieces alongside various definitions of ‘faith’.

The participants are mostly comprised of young, creative-thinkers from a diverse

range of backgrounds. Each participant chose to approach the brief with a different

outlook and through a different medium, which culminated in a healthy, varied range

of responses.

To create a common ground for the understanding of Faith in our research

we looked at the etymology of the word ‘Fides’, established 3,500 years before year

0 in the Indo-European language. Fides, in its Latin origins, means ‘to command,

to persuade, to trust’. This, to us, implied a well-rounded, inclusive ‘feeling of Faith’,

which resonated well within our contemporary context. It denoted Faith to be

something felt, almost intrinsically, within the person themselves; a phenomenology

of being. Faith is not something that can wholly be theorised in books and dogmas.

Faith is, this paper argues, not only related to theology.

This essay will repurpose the word of Faith as such throughout its development.

First, a definition for a new understanding of Faith is developed according to the

common themes presented at 21st Faith. Secondly, the social aspects of Faith will

be investigated to understand where Faith is expressed. The third will research the

positive aspects of Faith before concluding on the challenges Faith can bring to the

society of today.