Durham Conference September 2022 (updated September 13)

The Durham Conference is the annual conference for the E&E network bringing together scholars working on ethnographic approaches to ecclesiology.


September 16, 2022


September 18, 2022


St John's College, 3 South Bailey, Durham, UK   View map

Ecclesiology and Ethnography Conference 2022

This is the annual conference for the network bringing together scholars working on ethnographic approaches to theology and the study of religion. It is is a wide ranging conference, and part of the joy is discovering a diversity of specialisms and learning. Past papers have included ethnography, anthropology, systematic theology, ecclesiology, practical theology and social science approaches. Attendees range from senior scholars to local ministers and this is an excellent place to present as a post graduate or early career researcher, or as a pastor/scholar in ministry. Learning is generously shared and critiques are supportive. We encourage single and multi-authored papers.

If you are interested in proposing a paper, please click here to find more information and a proposal form. See also the conference time table below.

The Conference is run in association with The Department of Theology and Religion and St John’s College, Durham University and is based in St John’s College, in the centre of historic Durham. Our meals and accommodation will also be within the college. A limited number of en-suite rooms are available, allocated on a first come, first served basis. Extra nights’ accommodation is available by booking directly with the College at victoria.raitt@durham.ac.uk. St John’s College is about a fifteen minute walk from Durham Rail Station. From Newcastle airport you can ride the Metro to Newcastle Central Station, where you can find frequent trains to Durham. Otherwise, you can book a car with Airport Express to take you from the airport directly to St John’s College.

The Durham Conference is particularly friendly which is helped by the conversations in the college bar, and folk music night on the Saturday. Bring your instruments and join in!


Book conference here


Time Table of the E&E Durham Conference 2022

(as of September 13, 2022 – may be subject to change)


Friday 16th September


11.30 am: Arrivals, Tea and Coffee  


1.00 pm: Lunch


2.00 pm: Plenary Session (55 Minute Papers) Lecture Room

  • Full paper 1: Dustin Benac: Theology for an Adaptive Church: Ecclesial Ecologies as Site and Source of Theological Inquiry
  • Full paper 2: Elisabeth Tveito Johnsen: Digital ecclesiology: Churches ‘online selves’ as exaggerated versions of their ‘offline selves’


4.00 pm: Tea


4.30 pm: Track Sessions (45 Minute Papers)

Room 1 Learning Resource Centre (LRC)

  • Andy Hardy: Investigating Challenges of the Communication of a Missio Dei Theology to a Reformed Congregation: A Clue for a Missional Ecclesiology of Human Flourishing
  • Ashley Cocksworth and Nick Ladd: Faith Long Lived: Ecumenical Experiences of Saying Creeds among Older Christians in Roehampton Churches

Room 2 All Churches Room

  • James Butler: Denomination doesn’t matter?: What denomination and tradition contribute to the practice and theology of ecumenical mission
  • Helen Cameron: How might Theological Action Research contribute to a process of institutional self-reflection? Introducing Project Violet

Room 3 The Etchells room

  • Heather Major: Living with Churches in the Borders: Using Metaphors in Research


6.00 pm: Evening Meal


7.00 pm: Seminar Session (30 Minute Papers)

Room 1 Learning Resource Centre (LRC)

  • Annie Dimond: Writing God in Anthropologically Engaged Theology
  • Bella Anand: What is the impact of Christian Zionism on Political Theology in the UK – The findings
  • Daniel Tai-yin Tsoi: “Body of Christ broken for you….” – A theological qualitative study to investigate the meaning and experience of the Eucharist among the diaspora Iranian Christian converts from Islam in the Church of England

Room 2 All Churches Room

  • Iain Shaw: What can the ‘lived experience’ of Church of England Ministers tells us about the reasons for suffering and evil in the world?
  • Marie-Claire Klassen: A Lectio Approach to Theological Ethnography?: Ethnography as a Spiritual Praxis
  • Meghan Byerly: Collective Virtue and Baptist Churches: How Collective Intellectual Humility Looks in the Baptist Church Meeting

Room 3 The Etchells room

  • Rathiulung Elias KC: Visions of Rapture and Progress: Socio-economic Entanglements in Tribal/Indigenous Christianity of Northeast India
  • Nok-Ki Yeung : Theology and the peace of the church reconsidered: In dialogue with John Webster
  • Kjersten Darling: The Limited Gospel: How “Good News” has failed the Evangelical Imagination


8.30 pm: Doctoral Student Reception 


Saturday 17th September


8.00 am: Breakfast


9.00 am: Plenary Session (55 Minute Papers) Lecture Room

  • Full paper 3: Kirsten Donskov Felter, Heine Hansen and Berit Weigand Berg: Make space! Creating church with newcomers
  • Book panel: Andrew Root et al.: Panel around The Secular Age and Qualitative Research


11.00 am: Coffee


11.30 am: Track Session (45 Minute Papers)

Room 1 Learning Resource Centre (LRC)

  • Clare Watkins: ‘Conversatio’: conversing, conversation, and the generation of theological wisdom in practice
  • Hans Austnaberg: A healing ritual in the Sunday service: A contextualised liturgical development in the Malagasy Lutheran Church?

Room 2 All Churches Room

  • Kim Stefan Groop: The re-opening of a Contested University Church: The inauguration of the Paulinum Assembly Hall and University Church of St. Paul in Leipzig in December 2017


1.00 pm: Lunch


2.00 pm: Seminar Session (30 Minute Papers)

Room 1 Learning Resource Centre (LRC)

  • Andrew Dunlop: Towards an espoused ecclesiology of the mixed ecology: interim results from a Theological Action Research project.
  • Padraig Mc Bennett: ‘Exploring the Changing Religious Landscape of a Post Catholic Ireland: Case Studies in Younger Demographics.’

Room 2 All Churches Room

  • Peter Lund Bullen: Negotiating ‘anglicanness’ in Rome: A Study of an Anglican Congregation in the Heart of Roman Catholicism
  • Ragnhild Annie Fuglseth: Digital Ecclesiology: The Local Parish on Facebook
  • Emma McDonald: Ecclesial Structures and Moral Discernment Among American Catholics Facing Infertility

Room 3 The Etchells room

  • Andre Joseph Theng: Ethnographic Investigations into Online Ecclesial Practices: Catholic Memes on Social Media
  • Avril Baigent: Forming religious identity – why teenagers might identify as Catholic
  • Gael Pardoen: Living Catholicism in Queer Spaces: A Methodological Exploration


3.30 pm: Tea


4.00 pm: Track Sessions (45 Minute Papers)

Room 1 Learning Resource Centre (LRC)

  • Hans Schaeffer and Karen Zwijze-Koning: “Lord, have mercy on us!”: An Ethnographic Understanding of Reflexive Church Renewal Practices in The Netherlands

Room 2 All Churches Room

  • Léon van Ommen and Henna Cundill: Can we “understand” each other? Examining the methodological Implications of Damian Milton’s “Double Empathy Problem.”
  • Jakob Dahlbacka: Political and Societal Engagement as a Positive Interface between Religion and Society in the Ostrobothnian Bible Belt – Laestadian views on governing authorities and political activity


6.00 pm: Evening Meal


Sunday 18th September


8.00 am: Breakfast


9.00 am: Track Session (45 Minute Papers)

Room 1 Learning Resource Centre (LRC)

  • Marten van der Meulen: Finding a missional ecclesiology: marginality, discernment and time as elements for understanding church
  • Pete Ward: The Bluegrass Study

Room 2 All Churches Room

  • Jared Yogerst: Aesthetic Experience as a Hermeneutic for Survivors of Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Jonas Thinane: Unfair Access to Public Universities: Theology/Religious Faculties in South Africa


10.30 am: Coffee


11.00 am: Plenary Session (55 Minute Papers) Learning Resource Centre (LRC)

  • Full paper 4: Sarah Dunlop: Exploring the reflective practice of Anglican laity: finding manna in the desert
  • Book panel: Helen Cameron et al.: Panel around Evangelical Engagement with Qualitative Research – authors meet critics


1.00 pm: Lunch


Provisional dates for next year: 15-17 September 2023


Please sign up for our newsletter to stay updated on this conference.


Conference Organising Group

Prof. Pete Ward, Durham University, NLA University College, Bergen and MF Norwegian School of Theology, Oslo;  Rev Dr Christian Scharen, Interim Pastor in New York City, USA; Dr Knut Tveitereid, MF Norwegian School of Theology, Oslo; Dr Gretchen Schoon-Tanis, Minister in Hamburg, Germany; Dr Jasper Bosman, Minister in Hattem, the Netherlands.

Conference Advisory Group

Prof. Paul Fiddes, Oxford University, Prof. John Swinton, University of Aberdeen, Dr Tone Kaufman, MF Norwegian School of Theology