Faith Lives of Women and Girls Symposium

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A brief history of the Symposium

The first 2-day meeting of the Symposium was convened by Nicola Slee in November 2010 at Queen’s. Seventeen women scholars attended from the UK and Ireland, including postgraduate students and post-doctoral scholars engaged in qualitative research into some aspect of the faith lives of women and/or girls. A follow-up meeting in spring 2011 was convened at Queen’s, and this has set the pattern for subsequent years: ie a 2-day residential meeting in October/ November and a one-day meeting in spring, with a growing Symposium membership. Meetings consist of papers, workshops and other research-related activities.

There have been a number of book launches of members’ publications:

  • Anne Phillips The Faith of Girls (Ashgate) 2011
  • Susan Shooter How Survivors of Abuse Relate to God (Ashgate) 2012
  • Fran Porter Women and Men After Christendom (Paternoster) 2015
  • Dawn Llewellyn Reading, Feminism, and Spirituality (Palgrave Macmillan) 2015.

A collection of papers from the first meeting of the Symposium was published in 2013: The Faith Lives of Women and Girls, edited by Nicola Slee, Fran Porter and Anne Phillips (Ashgate, 2013). See here for further details. A second collection of essays on feminist research methodology applied to the study of female faith, Researching Female Faith: Qualitative Research Methods, which is by the same editors, was published in 2018. A third collection, Female Faith Practices: Qualitative Research Perspectives is due for publication in 2023 (more details to follow).

Revd Dr Anne Phillips has recently written a fascinating and informative account of the history and development of the Symposium, ‘The Faith Lives of Women and Girls: An Expanding Story’, in From the Shores of Silence: Conversations in Feminist Practical Theology, edited by Ashley Cocksworth, Rachel Starr and Stephen Burns, with Nicola Slee (SCM, 2023), pp. 76-94.