Durham Conference September 2022 (booking now open, updated July 1)

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 (update: list of papers available below)

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.

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


List of Papers at the E&E Durham Conference 2022

(as of July 1st 2022 – the list will be subject to changes)


Keynotes (55 min)

  • Andrew Root et al.: Panel around The Secular Age and Qualitative Research
  • Ashley Cocksworth: Faith Long Lived: Ecumenical Experiences of Saying Creeds among Older Christians in Roehampton Churches
  • Dustin Benac: Theology for an Adaptive Church: Ecclesial Ecologies as Site and Source of Theological Inquiry
  • Helen Cameron et al.: Panel around Evangelical Engagement with Qualitative Research – authors meet critics
  • Kirsten Donskov Felter: Make space! Creating church with newcomers
  • Mookgo Solomon Kgatle: Spiritual Fathering in African Independent Pentecostal Churches: Towards Inclusive Model


Track sessions (40-45 min)

  • A. Roger Tucker: Lived religion in a Christian Developmental Organization operating in the vulnerable communities on Cape Flats, South Africa
  • Abraham Wilar: The Future of Ecumenism as Peace: An Ethnography Approach
  • 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
  • Clare Watkins: ‘Conversatio’: conversing, conversation, and the generation of theological wisdom in practice (Presented in collaboration with the Lived Catholicism Network)
  • Elisabeth Tveito Johnsen: Digital ecclesiology: Churches ‘online selves’ as exaggerated versions of their ‘offline selves’
  • Hans Austnaberg: A healing ritual in the Sunday service: A contextualised liturgical development in the Malagasy Lutheran Church?
  • Heather Major: Living with Churches in the Borders: Using Metaphors in Research
  • Helen Cameron: How might Theological Action Research contribute to a process of institutional self-reflection? Introducing Project Violet
  • Jack Barentsen: The legitimacy and authority of church leadership in particular frameworks of hope and salvation
  • 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
  • James Butler: Denomination doesn’t matter?: What denomination and tradition contribute to the practice and theology of ecumenical mission
  • 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
  • Kim Stefan Groop: Te 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
  • Léon van Ommen: Can we “understand” each other? Examining the methodological Implications of Damian Milton’s “Double Empathy Problem”
  • Marten van der Meulen: Finding a missional ecclesiology: marginality, discernment and time as elements for understanding church
  • Pete Ward: The Bluegrass Study
  • Pierre Chineegadoo: Ecclesiological Tension and Inclusion: A Case Study of Seventh-day Adventist Remnant Ecclesiology
  • Sarah Dunlop: Exploring the reflective practice of Anglican laity: finding manna in the desert


Seminar sessions (25-30 min)

  • Andre Joseph Theng: Ethnographic Investigations into Online Ecclesial Practices: Catholic Memes on Social Media
  • Andrew Dunlop: Towards an espoused ecclesiology of the mixed ecology: interim results from a Theological Action Research project
  • Annie Dimond: “Theological Agency?”: Tensions in Power Description in the practice of Ethnography as Theology
  • Avril Baigent: Forming religious identity – why teenagers might identify as Catholic. (Presented in collaboration with the Lived Catholicism Network)
  • Bella Anand: What is the impact of Christian Zionism on Political Theology in the UK – The findings
  • Bjarte Hetlebakke: The notion of calling among pastors in The Church of Norway
  • 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
  • Gael Pardoen: Living Catholicism in Queer Spaces: A Methodological Exploration (Presented in collaboration with the Lived Catholicism Network)
  • Iain Shaw: What can the ‘lived experience’ of Church of England Ministers tells us about the reasons for suffering and evil in the world?
  • Katja Stoessel: Trauma, sadness, or depression – how thick is thick enough
  • Kjersten Darling: The Limited Gospel: How “Good News” has failed the Evangelical Imagination
  • 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
  • Melanie Lim: Reimagining Church: A Theological Reflection and Response to Malaysian Millennials’ Church Paradigm
  • Monica McArdle: The girl who learnt to kneel’ in conversation with those who are exploring whether they too would like to kneel
  • Nok-Ki Yeung : Theology and the peace of the church reconsidered: In dialogue with John Webster
  • Padraig Mc Bennett: ‘Exploring the Changing Religious Landscape of a Post Catholic Ireland: Case Studies in Younger Demographics’
  • 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
  • Rathiulung Elias KC: Visions of Rapture and Progress: Socio-economic Entanglements in Tribal/Indigenous Christianity of Northeast India
  • Sandra Hansen: Negotiation of gender and cohabitation in a Norwegian Pentecostal perspective


A conference programme will be published here in August. Please sign up for our newsletter to stay updated on this conference.

St John’s College have asked us to change our dates for September 2022. We hope that this is enough advance notice for everyone to arrange their plans. We do apologise for any inconvenience.

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