Romania Conference

“Ecclesiology and Ethnography: Two Worlds or One?”
A Conference in the Baptist Faculty of Theology in the University of Bucharest, Romania
2-5 December 2015.
Keynote speakers: Pete Ward, Clare Watkins, Paul Fiddes, Oti Bunaciu, Susie Snyder, Jonas Ideström, Sune Fahlgren.
Those interested in coming and offering a short paper should reply to:

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EE Durham 2016 – dates

Advance Notice

The dates for next year’s conference in Durham will be 6-8th Sept

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New EE MA Module in Durham

I have just put together an MA Module in Ecclesiology and Ethnography in Durham.

As well as signing up for the full MA it is flexible so people can take this module for credit as part of their studies in other universities and also it can be audited an so form part of research training for doctoral studies.

It is possible to take this module at a distance with all lectures on line and participation in seminars also available at a distance.

I have attached below an extract from the Durham MA Module Guide 2015/16.  If you want a more detailed outline or want to discuss taking this at a distance or auditing the programme email me directly at

MA Module in Ecclesiology and Ethnography

Professor Pete Ward

In recent debates the study of the Church has become central to many theological and missional conversations. Church here might be understood very broadly as any kind of Christian action in the world and in society. So it can include for instance worship and political engagement, or community life and artistic expression as well as theological concerns around ontology and institutional life. Whatever the field of interest a key issue remains how to speak theologically about the ongoing life of the Church in the present. This issue comes out of the historical and theological location of Church. This means that ecclesiology that is concerned with the contemporary Church requires both theology and empirical/social scientific approaches. This module takes this dynamic as it’s starting point and seeks to explore the boundaries and intersections between theology and empirical methods as they relate to the study of the life and expression of Christian communities.

Students will explore the current debates within the ecclesiology and ethnography conversation. The starting point will be a consideration of how the theological nature of the Church determines the limits and the possibilities of research. This will lead on to theories of culture and how theology and culture intersect in ecclesiology. This cultural and theological perspective will form the basis for a discussion of ordinary theology and lived religion in current thinking. There will be an introduction to critical realist perspectives and questions of inter-disciplinarity in theology. These approaches will be compared to the key theories concerning method in Practical Theology.

The underlying purpose of this module is to lay the groundwork for the methodological issues that need to form the basis for students who intend to work in an interdisciplinary way combining aspects of empirical research and theology in their dissertations. There will be space to explore research questions and reflexivity in relation to students own research topics.

The teaching for this module will be delivered in a blended and a distance mode. Lectures delivered onllne available through DUO. Students will be required to keep a log of their notes and reflections on each lecture.   Each lecture will be supported by a seminar of 1.5hrs based on set readings and student reflections on the lectures. The seminars will take place weekly in Durham but students will also be able to participate at a distance using skype or another similar interactive platform

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Draft Durham Conference Programme 15-17 Sept

Ecclesial Practices

Symposium on Ecclesiology and Ethnography

15-17 September 2015

St John’s College, Durham




Tuesday 15th September  

11.30am Arrivals- Tea and Coffee

1.00am Lunch

2.00pm  Plenary Session 1

  • Sarah Dunlop: The Ecclesiology of the Megachurch
  • Paul Fiddes: Hauerwas and Healy: assessing a conflict over the centrality of ecclesiology

4.00pm  Tea

4.30pm  Session 2

Room 1

  • Tone Stangeland Kaufman & Jonas Ideström: Church and Action – Ecclesiological aspects in action research
  • Kristina Helgesson Kjellin: “It means a lot to pray in amarigna”. An anthropological study of identity formation and belonging among members of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus in Stockholm, Sweden

Room 2

  • Jakob Egeris Thorsen: Towards a Material Ecclesiology – An Attempt from Santiago Atitlán (Guatemala).
  • Birgitte Lerheim and Roger Jensen: Practicing Godparentship in the Church of Norway

6.30pm  Evening Meal

7.00pm  Evening Session

Room 1

  • Steve Taylor: Activist research: an examination of lived practices in ethnography and ecclesiology
  • Henk de Roest: “The Church on Shaky Ground. A Qualitative Enquiry. “

Room 2

  • Lieve Orye: Keeping descriptions alive: How to follow church forward?
  • Robin Greenwood: Transforming church Conversations: Blessing and participatory action research

Wednesday 16th September

8.00 Breakfast

9.00am  Plenary Session 3

  • Ulla Schmidt & Kirstine Helboe Johansen: Lived Anthropologies in a Local Church
  • Lapyan Kung & Weizhong Zuo: The Practice of Calvinist Theology in China: A Case Study of Four Churches
  • Talk about the journal

11.00am            Coffee

11.30pm Session 4 (30 Minute papers)


  • Joanne McKenzie: ‘The person God made me to be’: Negotiating Class and Evangelical Identity
  • Tim Edge: “Identifying the Theology of the Christian Volunteer in the Church of England working outside their Congregation.”
  • Carol Marples: The interface of Installation art and Worship

Room 2

  • Derrick L. Watson: imagining commonties: interruptions on a material site
  • Arne Olsson: Brokers in reconciliation work – strengths and weaknesses
  • Hans Schaeffer: Practical Ecclesiology and the Role of Liturgy

Room 3

  • Jasper Bosman: Celebrating the Lord’s Supper as Act of Moral Formation
  • Nadine van Hierden & Marinka Verburg: “processes of making meaning” in the “Fresh Expressions” of the Dutch Protestants Church
  • James Butler: The Practices of Small Missional Communities and how they resource and sustain Social Engagement

1.00pm  Lunch

2.00pm  Session 5

Room 1

  • Steve Holmes: Performing catholicity: why ecclesiology needs ethnography
  • Mike Higton: Doctrine and Ethnography

Room 2

  • Tim Pratt: Curating Congregational Change Amidst Crisis Involving Ministerial Departure: Transitional Ministry
  • Maggi Dawn: Sing to the Lord a New Song: a study into how songs become established in church repertoires

4.00pm  Tea

4.30pm Session 6 (30 Minute papers)


  • Andreas Holmberg: Ecclesiology from the margins. How parishes in the periphery contribute to a renewed ecclesiology
  • Sunniva Gylver: Exploring the professional self-understanding and ecclesiological thinking of folk church clergy!
  • Alison Fenton: Flourishing and Respectability: Some Christening Stories’

Room 2

  • Teresia Derlen: From Cottage to Cathedral. Exploring the possible diversity in Eucharistic understanding between Church leadership and laity in 17th century Sweden.
  • Julie Gittoes: Going beyond our frontiers: an ecclesiology open to the divine light
  • Timothy K. Snyder: Lives of Work between Theology & Social Research

Room 3

  • Christopher Button: Person Centred Theology: What does theology have to say to the person centred approach in The Salvation Army Homelessness Unit
  • Mark Scanlan: Possibility, Fragility and Ambiguity: Seeking the Church in the Ministry of Youth Groups
  • Deborah Joy Allan: Sociology and the Spirit: Qualitative Research in ‘Holy Ghost Communities.’

6.30pm  Evening Meal


Thursday 17th September

8.00am Breakfast

9.00am  Session 7


  • Helen Cameron: Towards a theology of governance for a global denomination
  • David Goodhew: Church Growth in the NE

Room 2

  • Gretchen Schoon Tanis: Making Jesus Attractive – the Ministry and Message of Young Life
  • Kirsten Donskov Felter: Present and truly human. Ideals of pastoral practice among ordinary members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark

11.15    am        Coffee Session 8

  • Jonathan Miles Watson: ‘Rupture and Redress in the Anthropology of Christianity: an ethnographic example from the Indian Himalayas’
  • Pete Ward: The Gospel as Paradox and Light

1.00pm  Lunch


Dr Sarah Dunlop, University of Birmingham

Prof. Paul Fiddes, University of Oxford

Ann Harrison, St John’s College Durham

Dr Kristina Helgesson Kjellin, Church of Sweden Research Unit

Dr Jakob Egeris Thorsen, Aarhus University, Denmark

Dr Steve Taylor, Uniting College and Flinders University, Australia

Prof. Henk de Roest, Protestant Theological University, The Netherlands

Dr Lieve Orye, Catholic University, Leuven, Belgium

Knut Tveitereid, NLA University College, Bergen, Norway

Prof. Ulla Schmidt and Dr Kirstine Helboe Johansen, Aarhus Univeristy, Denmark

Prof. Lapyan Kung and Weizhong Zuo, Chinese University of Hong Kong

Joanne McKenzie, Durham University

Tim Edge, Durham University

Carol Marples, University of St Andrews

Derrick L. Watson, University of Chester

Arne Olsson, University of Lund, Sweden

Jasper Bosman, Kampen Theological University, The Netherlands

Nadine van Hierden and Marinka Verburg, Protestant Theological University, The Netherlands

James Butler, Durham University

Dr Steve Holmes, University of St Andrews

Prof. Mike Higton, Durham University

Dr Gretchen Schoon Tanis, UOL

Dr Tone Stangeland Kaufman, MF The Norwegian School of Theology, Oslo

Dr Jonas Ideström, Church of Sweden Research Unit

Tim Pratt, AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand

Dr Maggi Dawn, Insitute of Sacred Musc, Yale Divinity School, USA

Andreas Holmberg, Church of Sweden

Sunniva Gylver, MF The Norwegian School of Theology, Oslo, Norway

Alison Fenton, Durham University

Teresia Derlen, King’s College, London

Dr Julie Gittoes, Guildford Cathedral

Timothy K. Snyder, Boston UNiversity, USA

Christopher Button, King’s College, London

Mark Scanlan, Durham University

Deborah Joy Allan, University of Aberdeen

Prof. John Swinton, University of Aberdeen

Dr Helen Cameron, Ripon College, Cuddesdon

Dr David Goodhew, Cranmer Hall, University of Durham

Dr Hans Schaeffer, Theological University of Kampen, The Netherlands

Kirsten Donskov Felter, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Prof. Pete Ward, Durham University, MF The Norwegian School of Theology and NLA University College Bergen

Dr Jonathan Miles Watson, Durham University

Dr Birgitte Lerheim, Faculty of Theology, University of Oslo, Norway

Dr Roger Jensen, The Pilgrim Centre of Oslo, Norway

Greg Ryan, Durham University

Dr Simon , Ecclesial Practices Journal

Dr Andrew Rogers, University of Roehampton

Matthew Prevett, Westminster College, Cambridge and University of Wales Trinity Saint David

Dr Kirstine Helboe Johansen, University of Aarhus

Dr Robin Greenwood, Leech Fellow, St John’s College, Durham

David Emerton

John Berard, Durham University

Christine Dutton, Hartley Victoria College, Manchester

Avril Baigent, Durham University

Helen Froud, University of Aberdeen

Liv Rægevik-Slinn, Salvation Army, UK

Teofil Harii


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CFP on Taize

The Taizé Community:

A Symposium at Sarum College

Fri 30 October 2015, 12:00 to Sat 31 October, 16:00


Leaders of the established Christian churches—popes, metropolitans, archbishops of Canterbury—would visit with amazement. They could not understand how, as the world turned unremittingly secular and their own churches dwindled down to congregations

of old women, one monastery in France could be crammed with the noisy, enthusiastic, back-packing young … Pope John Paul II called Taizé “a spring of water”.

The Economist, August 25, 2005

Sarum College is the venue for an academic symposium that will explore and review

the significance of the Taizé Community in the 75th year since the founding of the Taizé community (also the centenary anniversary of the birth of its founder, Brother Roger).

The symposium aims to create the opportunity to assemble a wide variety of contributors whose work and study relates to the unique phenomenon of the Taizé Community. It is hoped that the Taizé Community will be represented at the symposium and that a selection of the papers will result in a publication.

Proposals for papers are invited which will provoke engagement with the Taizé Community. Long

(35 minutes) and short (20 minutes) papers are welcome on the following or other related topics:

  • The life and work of Brother Roger Schütz
  • Taizé and reconciliation in the post-2nd World War period
  • The influence and life of Taizé brothers e.g. Max Thurian
  • Taizé and its liturgical life e.g. music, communal daily prayer, silence
  • Taizé and its attraction for young people
  • Taizé and Christian witness in secularised society
  • Taizé as a monastic community
  • Taizé as a place of pilgrimage
  • The relationship of Taizé to historic Christian traditions
  • Taizé worldwide e.g. ‘Pilgrimage of Trust on Earth’
  • Taizé as a community of virtues
  • Commentators on Taizé e.g. Olivier Clément, Paul Ricouer

Short abstracts of up to 250 words, accompanied by a brief (up to 100 words) author biography are to be sent to James Steven:

Proposals are to be submitted by Monday 5 September 2015.

To book the Symposium go to                  

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Ecclesial Practices 2:1 Now available

Great new edition of our journal just out.

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New Book from Chris Scharen


Here’s some of the things we have said about the book

In Fieldwork in Theology Christian Scharen marks a turning point in practical theology by arguing for the central place of qualitative empirical research in the study of the Christian church via a detailed engagement with continental philosophy. This book is an essential read for all of those embarking on ethnographic research in theology.”

Pete Ward, Durham University

“Scharen’s book does the seemingly impossible–combine a presentation of Pierre Bourdieu’s work with an introduction to ethnography from a theological perspective. Doing one of these would have been achievement; doing both well while having each feed the other is a double gift. It is sure to be a touchstone for theological ethnography for some time to come.”

Todd Whitmore, associate professor, Department of Theology, concurrent associate professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Notre Dame

Fieldwork in Theology is remarkable in originality and scope. It combines a sophisticated parsing of social science theory with deep theological reflection to produce something that transcends both. Christian Scharen delivers an impassioned call for a carnal theology that seeks a disciplined understanding of the social world. Fieldwork in Theology deserves to be read by all who would seek to ground theology in the complexity of lived context.”

Omar M. McRoberts, author of Streets of Glory: Church and Community in a Black Urban Neighborhood

You can read more and order it here

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