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Finalists chosen for theology competition

11 January 2019


THREE women in their twenties have been chosen to take part in the final of a new competition to find engaging young voices who think theologically about the contemporary world.

The inaugural “Theology Slam”, which was launched in September, is organised jointly by the Church Times, SCM Press, the Community of St Anselm, and the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity (LICC) (News, 28 September 2018). It was endorsed by the Archbishop of Canterbury

The competition was open to anyone, lay or ordained, between the ages of 18 to 30. Applicants were asked to write 500 words on one of 12 contemporary issues, which included Theology and Mental Health; Theology and the #MeToo Movement; and Theology and Artificial Intelligence.

Alongside the 500 words, applicants were also asked to submit a 90-second video to introduce themselves, and saying why they were interested in the topic.

Of nearly 75 entries received from male and female applicants, three have been chosen to take part in the Theology Slam Final at St John’s, Hoxton, in east London, on 7 March. Each of the finalists will deliver a talk of between seven and ten minutes, based on their 500-word entry.

The finalists are:

  • Hannah Barr, 27, a first-year ordinand and Ph.D. student at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. She will deliver a talk on Theology and #MeToo.
  • Hannah Malcolm, 26, project co-ordinator at God and the Big Bang, an organisation that runs workshops for young people on science and religion. Her talk will be on Theology and the Environment.
  • Sara Prats, 23, from Spain, a Master’s student at the University of Birmingham. her talk will be on Theology and Mental Health.

Each finalist will receive a half-day training session on public speaking before the final, free of charge.

The three talks will be judged on the night by a panel that consists of the Third Church Estates Commissioner and theologian Dr Eve Poole; the winner of the 2016 Michael Ramsey Prize, Professor John Swinton; the executive director of LICC, Mark Greene; and the Chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Revd Dr Isabelle Hamley. There will also be an audience question-and-answer session.

The talks will be filmed and made available on YouTube and social media.

The winner will receive a collection of books worth up to £200 and her 500-word entry will be published in the Church Times.

For more information and to buy tickets to the final, visit www.churchtimes.co.uk/theology-slam

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