Our research seminars for 2017-18 will take place from 11.30-12.30 on Tuesdays (Adam Room, Grove House, Froebel College in the Autumn; Duchesne 201, Digby Stuart College in the Spring). Click here to download a campus map. Those who wish to continue conversations over lunch are welcome to stay. 

Spring 2018

16th Jan, 30th Jan, 20th Feb, 6th Mar, 20th Mar

16th Jan

Dr Julian Gotobed, Senior Lecturer in Ministerial Theology, University of Roehampton

James McClendon: A Baptist Theologian in Diaspora
James McClendon, a Southern Baptist theologian, worked for most of his career as a theological educator outside of the mainstream of Southern Baptist life in Roman Catholic, Episcopal, and Interdenominational departments of theology and seminaries. His ecumenical experience prompted him to strike out in new directions of theological analysis and construction. This paper presents McClendon's biography in brief, an overview of his theological project, an explanation of how he understood the nature and task of theology, and concludes with some reflections on the significance of his ideas for church and academy.

30th Jan

Professor Nicholas Sagovsky, Whitelands Professorial Fellow

The Council of Nicaea: How the Church Settled (up to a point) the Biggest God Controversy of its first Three Hundred Years
All the major traditions of Christianity accept the Nicene Creed as amended by the Council of Constantinople - which is an anti-Arian statement. In this paper I shall discuss the origins of the controversy over the teaching of Arius, the convening of what is now seen as the first 'ecumenical council' at Nicaea, and the creed produced by the Council, and I shall offer an assessment of the achievement of what is now recognised as the first Ecumenical Council.

Nicholas Sagovsky is Whitelands Professorial Fellow at the University of Roehampton and a Visiting Professor at Kings College London.

20th Feb

Dr Pauline Muir, Birkbeck, University of London

Sounds Mega – Musical Discourse in Black Majority Churches in London
This research explores congregational singing through the lens of the local and global in Black Majority Churches (BMCs). The phenomenal growth of modern-day Pentecostalism is its ability to simultaneously negotiate the local and the global, and a number of scholars agree that up-tempo, lively music is integral to the black religious experience. However, there is a paucity of literature in the UK that analyses this area in a detailed and systematic manner. Methodologically, Nattiez’s model of musical discourse is employed within a framework of critical discourse analysis to interrogate his ‘esthesic’, ‘immanent’ and ‘poietic’ elements, - that is the experience by the receivers, the music itself and the perspective of the producers. The perspective of a multimodal analysis has uncovered multiple meaning-making processes within the context of a neo-Pentecostal mega church with an emphasis on prosperity gospel. The research concludes that the global Christian music industry and its supporting systems are not reflective of UK BMC congregations although these sounds dominated both the large and small churches. These findings make problematic the understanding of the local and the global in congregational singing in BMCs and the privileging of white music forms with its concomitant economic benefits.

6th March

Dr Clare Watkins, Reader in Ecclesiology and Practical Theology, University of Roehampton

Treasures Old and New: The distinctive contribution of Catholic approaches to practical theology in the UK and US
The historiography of practical theology as it is commonly taught and recounted, depends on a post-Enlightenment and characteristically Protestant approach to theological knowing. In our own British context, in particular, it has been widely recognized that – to quote Stephen Pattison – Catholic theology is the ‘sleeping giant’ of practical theology, which has yet to participate fully in the field. This paper questions this account, and suggests that there are good theological reasons for the (apparent) lack of a 'Catholic practical theology’, whilst at the same time suggesting that such a discourse is, in fact, discernible, all be it in some rarely discussed places. The paper concludes that, far from not having a practical theological contribution to make, the Catholic tradition has maintained an approach to practice and material realities, with which, perhaps, the modern accounts of ‘practical theology’ might fruitfully engage.

20th March

Professor Allan Anderson, Professor of Mission and Pentecostal Studies, University of Birmingham

The African Spirit World and Pentecostalism
Pentecostalism, through its experience of the Spirit, often unconsciously taps into deep-seated religious and cultural beliefs. Pentecostalism draws from these ancient sources in continuity with them, while also simultaneously confronting them in discontinuity. In doing so, it uses a biblical rationale for its beliefs and practices. This paper explains the popularity of Pentecostalism from this perspective.

Summer 2018

1st May

Dr R David Muir, Senior Lecturer in Ministerial Theology & Public Theology, Roehampton

'Prophesy Deliverance!' Martin Luther King as Preacher, Prophet and Public Theologian.

15th May

Rev Canon Professor Keith Ward, Oxford University; Heythrop College, University of London; University of Roehampton

Christianity and Theistic Evolution.


Further speakers to be confirmed.

For more information on events please contact the group convenor, Dr Andrew Rogers