Opening Oxford 1871-

1871 skyline logo crop

Project Team:

Professor William Whyte (Faculty of History | St John's College)

Professor Susan Doran (Faculty of History | Jesus College)

John Dunston (Harris Manchester College)

Professor Paulina Kewes (Faculty of English | Jesus College)



Partner Organisations:

African & African Caribbean Kultural Heritage Initiative

Everyday Muslim

Oxford Jewish Heritage

Oxford today resounds with many different voices. Walking on a Sunday evening, visitors can hear the singing of Anglican choral music as it mingles with other, more recent arrivals: songs in Sanskrit, Arabic, Hebrew, and a myriad of other sacred tongues. The talk on the streets is even more diverse, as scholars and tourists from across the globe debate what matters to them.

This vibrant, varied, international Oxford is a relatively new development. Until 1871, full membership of the University was confined to members of the Church of England. The Universities Tests Act finally removed these religious restrictions at Oxford. By opening up to people of diverse faiths – or no faith at all – the 1871 Act made it possible for Oxford to become the truly global and diverse place it is today.

Marking the 150th anniversary of the Act, this concert is a celebration of diversity and inclusion. Featuring performers from a variety of faith traditions, it will bring our communities together in song.



Part of the Humanities Cultural Programme, one of the founding stones for the

future Stephen A. Schwarzman Centre for the Humanities.