Durham Conference September 2017

Join us in Durham for the annual Ecclesiology and Ethnography conference, 12-14th September, 2017.


September 12, 2017


September 14, 2017


3 S Bailey, Durham DH1 3RJ, United Kingdom   View map

The Durham Conference on Ecclesiology and Ethnography

Please note: booking for the conference has now closed.

Conference Programme

Welcome to the 2017 conference.


Tuesday 12th September

11.30 am: Arrivals, Tea and Coffee

1.00 pm: Lunch

2.00 pm: Plenary Session (60 Minute Papers) Leech Hall:

  • Full paper 1: Clare Watkins: A Different Way of Knowing. Epistemology and Revelation understood through Theological Action Research approaches
  • Full paper 2: Jonas Ideström and Tone Stangeland Kaufman: A Wounded Body –  Theology on Church, Migration, and Welfare from an Action Research Project

4.00 pm: Tea


4.30 pm: Track Sessions (45 Minute Papers)

Room 1 Leech Hall

  • Elisabeth Tveito Johnsen: Exploring CHAT in PT

Room 2 Tristram Room

  • Frank Martin Brunn: Seven ways to motivate congregations to engage in community work
  • Theodore Hickman-Maynard: “Black is My Home Country”: Re-Membering Race on Gospel Grounds

Room 3 Wallis Room

  • Mark Scanlan: Youth Groups, Church and Mission – Moving Towards an Interweaving Ecclesiological Approach
  • Hans Austnaberg: Bible Reading in the Revival Movement in Madagascar


6.00 pm: Evening Meal


7.00 pm: Seminar Session (30 Minute Papers)

Room 1 Leech Hall

  • Alex D. J. Fry: Making Contact: What do clergy narratives reveal about their attitudes towards women priests?
  • Jill Marsch: “It’s easier to see who I really am when I meet people who are different!”
  • Samuel Tranter and David Bartram Torrance: Ethnography and Ethics: Making Christian Ethics Therapeutic and Theological

Room 2 Tristram Room

  • John Leach: Anti-Liturgical Anglicans
  • K.S. (Koos) Tamminga: Changing community, changing liturgy – a first analysis

Room 3 Wallis Room

  • Jana Šídlová: The parish as a communion of…?
  • Hans Riphagen: Tracing (ecclesial) placemaking throughout a neighborhoods’ existence
  • Dorte Kappelgaard: Developing Existential Meeting Spaces In the Local Church



Wednesday 13th September

8.00 am: Breakfast

9.00 am: Plenary Session (60 Minute Papers) Leech Hall

  • Muthuraj Swamy: The Significance of the Local Churches’ Efforts for Ecumenism in South India
  • Roberto Motta: A View from Brazil: Social Scientists Engaged in Simultaneous Processes of Unecclesification and Ecclesification

11.00 am: Coffee


11.30 am: Track Session (45 Minute Papers)

Room 1 Leech Hall

  • Gudrun Lydholm: Lutheran Salvationists
  • Hans Raun Iversen: Secular Lutheranism as Institutional and Mental Background for the Danish Welfare State and The Danish Folk Church

Room 2 Tristram Room

  • Hans Schaeffer: Educational Challenges for Religious Leader Development: The Story of Theological Universities and Seminaries
  • James Butler: The Slippery Nature of the term Discipleship: Exploring the understanding of Learning in the Methodist Church

Room 3 Wallis Room

  • Sarah Dunlop: Is ‘Being There’ Enough? Explorations of Incarnational Missiology with Chaplains
  • John Swinton: TBD

1.00 pm: Lunch


2.00 pm: Seminar Session (30 Minute Papers)

Room 1 Leech Hall

  • Jo Pestell: Questions of authority: towards the development of an ecclesiology for fresh expressions of church
  • Marinka Verburg: Community of faith in a fresh expression: who decides if it’s there?
  • James Jackson: Every Nation: Categorising an Emerging Ecclesial Collectivity

Room 2 Tristram Room

  • Chigemezi Nnadozie Wogu: Seventh-day Adventism in Nigeria: Ecclesiological Praxis of a Prophetic Community
  • Hector M Varela Rios: Concrete Religion: church-to-home adaptive reuse from a theological perspective
  • David Cho: Church-Based Language Education as a Religious Practice in Korean America

Room 3 Wallis Room

  • Iris Speckmann: Comparing commensality: a casestudy using ethnography in Systematic Theology
  • Nina Kurlberg: Institutional logics, Christianity and the practice of ‘Christian’ aid organisations

3.30 pm: Tea


4.00 pm: Seminar Session (30 Minute Papers)

Room 1 Leech Hall

  • Christopher Noble: TBD
  • Kathy M. Fitzgold: Millennials relating through Scripture

Room 2 Tristram Room

  • Alice Hague: Faith-based communities and environmental activism
  • Lynn McChlery: Discerning Vocation: How might Ignatian spirituality inform the experience of church assessors?
  • Jasper Bosman: Communion Revisited: Reflecting on Eucharistic Celebrations in Two Reformed Denominations

Room 3 Wallis Room

  • Avril Baigent: “How warm are your rosary beads?” Researching the lived-religion of Catholic teenagers.
  • Carolynn Pritchard: Liturgical Ethnography

6.00 pm: Evening Meal



Thursday 14th September

8.00 am: Breakfast

9.00 am: Track Session (45 Minute Papers)

Room 1 Leech Hall

  • Henk de Roest: “We all benefit…” Setting the agenda for ecclesial-ethnographic research
  • Jeffrey Y. McSwain: No Hercules at the Crossroads: Karl Barth’s Subversion of the Monergism–Synergism Spectrum

Room 2 Tristram Room

  • Julie Gittoes: A generous cathedral ecclesiology: radiators or drains?

Room 3 Vasey Room

  • Knut Tveitereid: Beyond binary understandings of Church
  • Sabrina Müller: “How everyday experiences become ordinary theology”

10.30 am: Coffee


11.00 am: Plenary Session Leech Hall

  • Jennifer Kryszak: Transforming Society: Visualizing the Kingdom in Secular Society
  • Pete Ward: Liquid Ecclesiology

1.00 pm: Lunch


Dates for next year: 11-13 September 2018


General Information

This is the annual conference for the network bringing together scholars working on ethnographic approaches to ecclesiology. 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 professors 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.  All papers are to be circulated prior to the event to enhance conference conversations and interaction. Established scholars, doctoral students as well as pastor/scholars working in church settings are welcome to propose papers. 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.  Please email Sarah Dunlop sarah.l.dunlop@durham.ac.uk with any dietary restrictions that you may have. If you require an additional night of accommodation, please email Sue Hobson at the college directly at s.l.hobson@durham.ac.uk. Please also let Sue know if you will be arriving later in the evening.  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.

Please don’t forget to pay for the conference before you arrive.


Conference Organising Group

Prof. Pete Ward, Durham University, NLA University College, Bergen and MF The Norwegian School of Theology Dr Sarah Dunlop, St John’s College, Durham Dr Knut Tveitereid, NLA University College, Bergen

Conference Advisory Group

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