What is SOF?
Sea of Faith is a network of groups and individuals who share the understanding that religions and religious faith are creations of the human imagination and who explore together the implications of such an understanding for their moral, spiritual, and social values.
Who we are
SOF has no creed. It welcomes people from all faith and humanist communities, and those with no involvement in any organised religion. The membership reflects a range of experiential, intuitive and intellectual concerns.
What we do
Within this informal network, in local groups or by personal contact, in national conferences, magazines and newsletters, mailings and through the Internet, members support each other, share their experiences, and explore the implications of their shared view of religion as a human creation.
Why we do it
All human endeavours are, in their origins and development, products of time and place. The Sea of Faith Network is no exception. We must be continually reinventing ourselves. In valuing all traditions we seek to promote understanding of how we make sense and meaning in our lives, and how we may engage with the world problems of our time.
What do the groups do?
These are autonomous bodies, some meeting monthly, some quarterly, some preferring open, unstructured discussion, others organising lectures, workshops and one-day events.
So why is it called SOF?
The Network originally took its name from a BBC television series The Sea of Faith, presented in 1984 by philosopher Don Cupitt, then Dean of Emmanuel College, Cambridge. The series and the accompanying book drew their title from Matthew Arnold’s poem, Dover Beach.
New to Sea of Faith — Start here!
A Reasonable Faith — an introductory booklet written for SOF by David Boulton. It was first published in 1996 and, while a little dated, is still very relevant.
Agenda for Faith “The rituals of faith are worth bothering with”, writes Stephen Mitchell, “in so far as they fire our imaginations and empower us to work through the human issues” which face us all. Agenda for Faith was published by SOF in 1997 and was reissiuesd with a new introduction in 2011. In Stephen Mitchell’s hands, faith becomes a hugely exciting business, challenging our ideas of God, self, history and reality itself.
Dover Beach — The poem by Matthew Arnold from which Don Cupitt’s seminal book, and the network, takes its name.
International SOF — Contacts for non-UK residents who are interested in SOF.
How to join SOF (UK) — Nationally and Locally
Sea of Faith Trustees and Officers — A list of our current Trustees along with contact details.
A Quaker perspective on SoF — David Boulton gives his Quaker take on SOF.
A Roman Catholic perspective on SoF — John Challenor, once Chair of Catholics for a Changing Church, gave his view on belonging to SOF.
A Humanist perspective on SoF — Margaret Chisman, a member of several humanist organisations and author of The Weekend Haiku Book, explained how SOF fits in with a Humanist worldview.
A Buddhist perspective on SoF — Mark Rivett offered a very personal view.
A Unitarian perspective on SoF — David Dulley, a retired lawyer and author of the “Mona” books, contributed this article to the UK SoF magazine shortly before his death in mid-1997.
Most of us think of ourselves as seekers, seekers after knowledge, seekers after truth. If our lives have purpose, we would like to find it. If life has meaning, we would love to know what it is.
If you are looking for clear-cut answers, absolute truths, moral and spiritual certainties, then read no further. SOF offers none of these. Life just isn’t that simple! We make our own meaning, create our own purpose. Not alone, as isolated individuals, but together, in conversation.
That’s a tall order, a challenge, and an adventure.
If the adventure appeals, you may find that SOF has something to offer you and that you may have something to offer SOF.
The Network’s Constitution
The Sea of Faith Network is a UK Registered Charity, with information available on the Charity Commission website.
A copy of the Network’s constitution is available to download.