Dr Tristan Cummings, 'Playing with gods? The importance of play for understanding the child’s right to religion'

Event date
24 May 2024
Event time
11:30 - 13:00
Oxford week
TT 5
Law Faculty - Seminar Room D

Tristan Cummings, Baker-Fellingham College Assistant Professor at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge

Tristan Cummings is the Baker-Fellingham College Assistant Professor at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge. Previously, he worked as a Stipendiary Lecturer at Merton College, Oxford where he is also a PhD researcher in law. His current research focuses on the intersection of family law, human rights law and religious freedom with a particular interest in the regulation of religious family law through a systems theoretical and reflexive law model. In his presentation, Dr Cummings will discuss the following:

At the root of religion, argues Hugo Rahner, is the metaphor of play. The relationship between play and religion runs deeply. David Miller reasons that play refers to a ‘mode of consciousness’, not (just) to a certain behaviour; play alludes to a ‘profound reality’. This presentation seeks to elucidate some of the connections between the right to play and the child’s right to religion, Article 14 UNCRC. Play is both an activity, connecting the child with others, and an attitude that transcends reality. Building on my forthcoming chapter in Naomi Lott's edited collection, this presentation draws together some of the interrelationships between play and religion as rights from a child-centred perspective to argue that a proper understanding of Article 14 UNCRC must make room for play. 

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