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Coordinator of Centre for Encountering the Bible at Sarum College
Coordinator of the Short Course Programme at Sarum College
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I am a public theologian and I work with congregations, organisations, communities, and individuals to reflect on both developing theologies on specific public issues and on theology’s public impact. The majority of my work explores the various theological and social legacies created by social injustice, violence, peace, reconciliation and moral courage, with interests in both non-violent resistance and non-confessional and interfaith theological and ethical constructions and practice. Over the last 20 years, I have worked as a consultant, researcher, facilitator, and lecturer in the United States, former Yugoslavia, Great Britain, and Northern Ireland. I now live in Dorset and work half-time at Sarum College as the Coordinator for both the Centre for Encountering the Bible and the Short Course Programme in addition to my freelance/independent scholarship work.
Trinity College, University of Dublin
M.Phil in Reconciliation & Conflict Transformation
Trinity College, University of Dublin
Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond (Virginia, US)
Union University (Tennessee, US)
- Roles and Responsibilities
- Lecturer in public theology and biblical studies on both an independent/freelance basis and at Sarum College.
- I trained as a Baptist minister (not ordained) and have several years’ experience working in both local church and missionary contexts.
- Consultant to the Reconcilers Together ‘Journey to Hope’ programme based at St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace.
- Development Team member for Anvil Trust.
- External Research partner for The Shiloh Project, a research partnership project between University of Leeds, University of Sheffield, and University of Auckland (NZ).
- Co-host of the Outlander Soul podcast.
- Research Interests and Supervision
Born and raised in the Deep South of the U.S. in fundamentalist Southern Baptist culture, I learned early on about negotiating boundaries related to race, gender, identity, politics and faith. I’ve always been fascinated by cause and effect and the ways in which the stories we tell ourselves from our sacred texts and history shape our identities and collective memory for good or for ill.
Over the last 20 years, I have worked as a consultant, researcher, facilitator, and lecturer in the United States, United Kingdom, Former Yugoslavia, and Northern Ireland, working at the intersections of theology, peace/conflict, social justice, and reconciliation with particular focus on gender, identity, and resistance movements.
I’m also interested in the development of de-centred theology and religion, outside of traditional religious communities and texts and into the more secular/public sphere. I am an educator-activist-scholar, working to make connections between scholarship and activism, and the academy and community, in a way that educates and empowers religious and non-religious communities for positive change.
My current research projects include:
- Hospitality as Resistance: Sanctuary Churches and the Tradition of Faithful Protest in Solidarity with the Threatened Other
- #MeToo Jesus: Why Naming Jesus as a Victim of Sexual Abuse Matters (in partnership with Professor David Tombs and Dr Rocio Figueroa Alvear)
- We are Made of Stories: Reading Contemporary Fiction as Sacred Text (including co-hosting the Outlander Soul podcast where we read the Diana Gabaldon Outlander series through a religious, theological, and spiritual lens and engage with its fans about its sacred role in their lives)
- Cities of Refuge: Exploring Sanctuary & Restorative Culture In The Hebrew Bible
- Sarah as Victim & Perpetrator: Whiteness, Power, and Memory in the Matriarchal Narrative.
I have provided academic coaching and supplementary supervision for undergraduate and postgraduate students (MA, MPhil, and PhD levels). I would be interested in advising and supervising students in the areas of public theology, social ethics, contextual biblical studies, and feminist/liberationist theological methods.
- Safeguarding the Stranger: An Abrahamic Theology and Ethic of Protective Hospitality. Wipf & Stock/Pickwick, 2016.
Journal Articles and Chapters
- “Sarah as Victim & Perpetrator: Whiteness, Power, and Memory in the Matriarchal Narrative”. Review & Expositor: A Baptist Journal, November 2018.
- “Sexual Abuse and the Violence of the Cross” Paper co-authored with and presented by David Tombs at the Australian and New Zealand Association of Theological Schools (ANZATS) Conference, Melbourne, Australia. July 2016.
- Decade of Anniversaries Toolkit: Understanding Our Past, Shaping Our Future. Co-Authored with Helen McLaughlin. Community Relations Council: Belfast, 2013.
- “The Role of Protective Hospitality in Building Reconciled Communities,” in Thinking Peace: What is Reconciliation? Issue 7. Corrymeela Community: Belfast, 2013.
- “Beyond Coffee and Cake Hospitality: Joshua 2:1-22; 6:22-25.” A chapter in Letting the Other Speak: Proclaiming the Stories of Biblical Women by Tracy Kemp Hartman, ed. Lanham, MD: Lexington, 2012.
- “Conference Response.” Being the Other: Theological Students’ Conference 2011. Experiential Learning Paper, no. 6. Irish Peace Centres. (September 2011): 78-81.
- “The Impossibility of Being ‘All Things to All People’: The Realities of Trying to be a Scholar, Educator, and Activist.” Conference Response Paper. Delivered to the Interface Youth Theologians Conference. Maynooth, Ireland. March 2011.
- “The Holy Rite of Disagreement.” Studying Faith, Practicing Peace. Experiential Learning Paper, no. 4. Peer-reviewed. Belfast: Irish Peace Centres, 2010. pg. 77-83.
- “Redemption, Resistance and Liberation: A Christian Response to Modern Slavery.” Co-Authored with David Tombs. European Slave Trade Conference. Dublin, Ireland. July 2007.
- “Room at the Table: The Role of Hospitality in Inter-Religious Life.” In The Place for Others in Our Faith and Life: Foundations for Inter-Religious Peace Education. Building Bridges Towards Peace and Reconciliation in South-East Europe in partnership with the Conference of European Churches (CEC) and World Council of Churches’ South-East European Ecumenical Partnership (SEEEP). Sarajevo: Abraham: Association for Inter-Religious Peace Work, 2004. (A collection of papers and a corresponding workbook was published in Bosnian as a result of this project in order to assist local religious communities with issues arising from the legacy of ethno-religious conflict.)