Introducing ‘Theology Slam’

theology slam

We’ve teamed up with the Community of St Anselm at Lambeth Palace, the Church Times, and London Institute of Contemporary Christianity to launch a new competition – Theology Slam.  

“All of us are theologians. The minute we say something about God, we are speaking theology. Young voices, unheard voices, need to be nurtured in the practice of reflecting on faith and the wider world, and this event will do just that. I encourage applications, and look forward to reading the winning entries.”

Archbishop Justin Welby

 

“As public affairs take unexpected and often unwelcome turns, Christians in all traditions need to re-learn the art of a prayerful, scriptural wisdom – in other words, a theology – that will address our current dilemmas and point to creative and healing ways forward. I am excited at the thought of the fresh work that will be stimulated and encouraged by this event.”

Professor NT (Tom) Wright

 

Since I participated in a TEDx myself, it has been a dream of mine to see a theology TED event, because it’s such a great format. I am delighted that the Theology Slam will give so many budding theologians the opportunity to showcase their thinking in this way. I hope it will also make their work accessible to a far wider audience than is often possible, so that we can all raise our collective theological literacy. 

Dr Eve Poole, Third Church Estates Commissioner

Theology Slam is a competition searching for the most engaging voices thinking theologically about the contemporary world. 

The competition is open to anyone aged 18-30. It doesn’t matter whether you are a theology graduate and now doing a PhD or whether you’ve never been to university, if you are interested in thinking about God, and using that thinking to try to get to grips with some of the most important issues of our times, then we’d love you to participate.

For the first round, we’re asking you to write 500 words choosing from any one of 12 themes:

  • Theology and Mental Health
  • Theology and #MeToo/Time’s Up
  • Theology and the Environment
  • Theology and Artificial Intelligence
  • Theology and the Gig-economy
  • Theology and Social Media
  • Theology and Migration
  • Theology and Political Tribalism
  • Theology and Netflix
  • Theology and Good Disagreement
  • Theology and Disability
  • Theology and Consumerism

There are a few things we’d like you to consider in your piece, so do check the web page for more details – but importantly you’ll need to be able to expand it into a 7-10 minute talk, should you be one of the three shortlisted Theology Slam finalists.

But this isn’t just about writing – we think that theology is at its best when its communicated well, so in this first round we also want you to send us a brief introductory video (no more than 90 seconds filmed on your smartphone) with an introduction to who you are, and an explanation of why you’ve chosen your topic.

The closing date for entries to round 1 is 7th December. The three best entries will then be given a chance for tuition from a public speaking trainer and invited to refine their piece into a punchy, provocative 7-10 minute talk, in front of a live audience and a panel of judges at the second and final round, the Theology Slam Final, to be held in March. The judging panel will consist of

Mark Greene, Executive Director of the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity

Dr Eve Poole, Third Church Estates Commissioner and author

Professor John Swinton, Chair in Divinity and Religious Studies at Aberdeen University

Dr Isabelle Hamley, Chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury

For more information, and to enter, visit https://www.churchtimes.co.uk/theology-slam

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