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What if Christmas was banned? Nottingham exhibition explores Christmas conflict through the ages

On 14 December a light-hearted theatrical performance – the Ghosts of Christmas Past – will take place at the National Justice Museum.

gingerbread house with caution tape
Criminalising Christmas will explore conflict through the ages

Hosted by staff from Nottingham Trent University, the event will explore the themes of religious toleration and conflict in Nottingham’s history through imagined ghostly characters of Saxons and Vikings, Puritans and Royalists, and a First World War soldier.

The performance aims to foster an understanding of the tensions of the past – and how they were, or were not, resolved, and explore how we might better understand and deal with the problems of the present.

The free, fun and family friendly event takes place at 6pm and will be followed by mince pies.

It marks the launch of a new exhibition at the Museum, Criminalising Christmas, which explores Christmas conflict through the ages and encourages visitors to think about religious diversity and human rights.

The exhibition will run until 6 January and will feature interactive displays on the Christmas period in three different historical periods: Pagans and Christians in the early middle ages; the Commonwealth era and the "ban" on Christmas; and the First World War Christmas truce and the treatment of conscientious objectors.

The performance and exhibition have been created by Dr Helen Hall and Professor Tom Lewis from the Centre for Rights and Justice at Nottingham Law School and have two key messages - the long of history of religious diversity in Nottingham and the UK, and the right to freedom of belief for everyone as part of a fair and stable society.

Dr Helen Hall said: “Exploring these ideas through history can be valuable, as we can learn lessons from the past and confront problems and situations in a way which is less emotive and threatening than directly jumping into present day issues.”

Professor Tom Lewis added: “The lesson that, over many centuries human beings just like us, have faced and dealt with, or failed to deal with, problems of conflict and intolerance in this city, can be extremely helpful and instructive for us today.”

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    About Nottingham Trent University

    Nottingham Trent University (NTU) was named University of the Year 2017 at the Times Higher Education Awards, and Modern University of the Year in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018. These awards recognise NTU for its high levels of student satisfaction, its quality of teaching, its engagement with employers, and its overall student experience.

    NTU has been rated Gold in the Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework – the highest ranking available.

    NTU is one of the largest UK universities. With 30,000 students and more than 4,000 staff located across four campuses, the University contributes £900m to the UK economy every year. It is one of the UK’s most environmentally friendly universities, containing some of the sector’s most inspiring and efficient award-winning buildings. 96% of its graduates go on to employment or further education within six months of leaving.

    Our student satisfaction is high: NTU achieved an 88% satisfaction score in the 2018 National Student Satisfaction Survey.
    The University is passionate about creating opportunities and its extensive outreach programme is designed to enable Nottingham Trent to be a vehicle for social mobility. NTU is among the UK’s top five recruiters of students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

    NTU is home to world-class research, and won The Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2015 – the highest national honour for a UK university. It recognised the University’s pioneering projects to improve weapons and explosives detection in luggage; enable safer production of powdered infant formula; and combat food fraud.

    With an international student population of over 3,000 from around 100 countries, the University prides itself on its global outlook

Published on 11 December 2018
  • Category: Press office; Nottingham Law School