Every year the Society for the Study of Theology (SST) has a graduate conference. The graduate conference welcomes young academics who are in the developmental stages of their career, and presents them with the opportunity to showcase their research, to engage in scholarly debates and to network with like-minded individuals. The 2019 SST graduate conference ‘Thinking As/Through Practice: Scripture, Liturgy, Spirituality’ makes provision for all those either intending to become academics or who are interested in theology and religious studies more broadly to present their thoughts in an open and lively context. The conference has two goals: to bring young aspirant thinkers together, and to provide a forum in which they may share their unique findings.
This year’s conference focuses particularly on the intersections of theory and practice as it variously found in academic, ecclesial and public contexts. Each context, although distinctive in its method and approach, stands open to the influence of the other. One might think of the role that theory plays in the organisation of action, and conversely, of the role that practice plays in grounding theory in the embodied and lived realities of persons. In both instances, a reciprocity exists between the modalities of practice, and the theorizing thereof. But how might one then think of spirituality? Does theory and practice stand in opposition to another when speaking of spirituality? Or are they two fundamental embodiments of one conceptual whole? Finally, can spirituality be performed?
To help participants think through these dialectics, Professor Graham Ward (Oxford) will give a keynote lecture broaching these themes. In addition to his keynote, participants across the disciplinary board are invited to present 20 minute papers. We especially invite papers from the fields: Philosophy of Religion, New Testament, Hebrew Studies, World Christianities, Art and Theology, Literature and Media studies. Questions that may be considered include but are not limited to:
When does theology become action?
Papers might consider how academic theology emerges in lived practice, or in what ways the writing and sharing of of theology impact ethics.
How do we think theological practice?
Papers might explore how the writing and shaping of theology is itself a spiritual and political practice.
How does our lived experiences inform our theological reflection?
Papers might examine how our experiences as embodied beings impacts on the work and production of academic or pastoral theology. Or what role does the person writing play in the shaping of theological discourse.
What does systematics have to say about how we read Scriptur
Papers might engage with the reading practices of the faithful in and outside of contexts of worship: what is the theological shape of how we red?
What does liturgy have to say about ethics?
Papers might consider the pragmatic consequences of certain liturgical pieties or the public consequences of a community’s worship life.
Where does doctrine emerge in political action?
Papers might explore the theological dimensions of direct, public political action or the theological consequences of such action on the ecclesial polities which endorse or critique them.
All of the above are to be considered suggestions and starting-points for inspiring submissions and papers. We look forward to reading your proposals!