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Entries open for Theology Slam 2022

01 March 2022


Imogen Ball delivers her winning talk during the 2021 Theology Slam final

Imogen Ball delivers her winning talk during the 2021 Theology Slam final

ENTRIES open today (1 March) for Theology Slam 2022, a competition to find engaging young voices that are reflecting theologically on the contemporary world.

Now in its fourth year, the competition is organised jointly by the Church Times and SCM Press, and, for the first time this year, HeartEdge.

Theology Slam is open to anyone aged 18 to 35 (the age limit was previously 30), and consists of a qualifying round and a live final. The deadline for submissions is 11.59 p.m. on 6 June.

In the qualifying round, applicants submit 500-word reflections and a 90-second video offering theological insights into one of seven issues:

  • Work
  • Body
  • Grace
  • Justice
  • Space
  • The Virtual
  • Recovery.

Four entrants will be chosen to take part in the Theology Slam Live Final on 27 September during the HeartEdge conference in Manchester. They will deliver talks of between seven and ten minutes based on their original entry.

The finalists’ talks will be judged on the night by a panel of theologians: the director of the Oxford Centre for Religion and Culture, Professor Anthony G. Reddie; the writer and Area Dean of Bury and Rossendale, Canon Rachel Mann; the Secretary for Ecumenical Relations and Theology and Theological Adviser to the House of Bishops, Prebendary Isabelle Hamley; and the Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields, in central London, Canon Sam Wells.

“Are you sure the Vicar’s under 35?”

The winner will receive £250 to spend at Church House Bookshop and the Theology Slam trophy, and the winning talk will be published in the Church Times.

The Associate Vicar of HeartEdge, the Revd Jonathan Evens, said on Tuesday: “Theology underpins and runs through all that HeartEdge does. As a result, we are keen to encourage and share new voices on theology and the contemporary world, and the Theology Slam is a great opportunity to do just that.

“HeartEdge also looks to prioritise voices from the edge and young people exploring theology often find themselves in that space. To encourage a new generation to think theologically about the world around them — and encourage the Church to listen to what they have to say — is just want we want to do. So, we are very excited to join with SCM Press and the Church Times in organising Theology Slam 2022.”

The co-founder of Theology Slam and Associate Publisher of SCM Press, David Shervington, said: “This is now the fourth year we’ve run Theology Slam, and we continue to be consistently amazed at the quality of the entries.

“We’re especially excited this year to be partnering with HeartEdge for the first time, a movement that shares so much of the vision behind Theology Slam. I’m so looking forward to finding out which new, previously unheard voices Theology Slam helps to uncover this year.”

Theology Slam was won last year by Imogen Ball, an ordinand and MA student in her final year at Trinity College, Bristol (News, Comment, 26 March 2021). For the past two years, the final has taken place online, owing to the pandemic and lockdown restrictions.

For more information, visit www.churchtimes.co.uk/theology-slam; to apply, visit www.churchtimes.co.uk/theology-slam-entry-form-2022

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