Theology is exciting. It is about God’s word, God’s world and God’s people. It is vitally important for the church to nurture young Christians into thinking, speaking and writing about God and the world, and it is even more important that the Church listen to their voices. #TheologySlam encourages us to do just that: listen to God, listen to the world, and listen to the voices emerging within the Church, so we can join into God’s work in the world today.
Archbishop Justin Welby
Theology Slam 2022
Theology Slam is back, continuing its search for the most engaging young voices on theology and the contemporary world. Judged by some of the top theologians and communicators in the Christian world, Theology Slam aims to encourage a new generation to think theologically about the world around them – and to encourage the church to listen to what they have to say.
Four finalists have been chosen to take part in a live final, to be held on 27 September, as part of the HeartEdge conference, “Humbler Church, Bigger God”, in Leeds. The talks will be judged by our expert panel: Anthony Reddie, Rachel Mann, Isabelle Hamley and Sam Wells.
One winner will receive the Theology Slam trophy, £250 to spend at Church House Bookshop, and will see their talk published in the Church Times.
This year’s competition is organised by SCM Press, Church Times, and HeartEdge.
> Book tickets to join the audience in Leeds
The Theology Slam final will also be live-streamed on our Facebook and YouTube pages. Join us at 7pm BST on Tuesday 27 September.
Meet the Finalists
Stephanie Addenbrooke, a doctoral student at the University of Oxford. Her talk will be on the theme of “work”, reflecting on her experience of prolonged sickness while working as an associate youth pastor, and asking “how the Church might respond to a culture obsessed with productivity”.
Alex Clare-Young, a pioneer minister in the United Reformed Church, currently serving in Cambridge, who is in the final stages of submitting a thesis for a Ph.D. in queer theologies at the University of Birmingham. Alex’s talk will be on the topic of “body”. “As a trans non-binary person, I am painfully aware that our lives are often reduced to objects of debate,” Alex Clare-Young says. “Our voices must be heard beyond debating our existence because we have lots to contribute to wider understandings of theology and anthropology.”
Amanda Higgin, who is in her second year of training as a Baptist minister at Regent’s Park College, Oxford, alongside working towards a Master’s degree in New Testament theology, with a focus on the Letter to the Hebrews. Her talk will be on the topic of “recovery”. “I was forced to suspend my studies in 2022 to recover from mental illness, which caused me to reflect on how Hebrews’ model of preaching to a traumatised community might help to lead people like me to recover new life from our familiar traditions,” she says.
Victoria Turner, who is in the final stages of her Ph.D. in World Christianity at the University of Edinburgh, where she is exploring developments in Christian mission. She is a member of the United Reformed Church and has published on youth, class, and ecumenism. “My interest in justice stems from my working-class background and exploration of World Christianity and liberation theology,” she says. “I’ve participated in and taught peace-making courses and believe justice the core of our discipleship and mission.”
Meet the Judges
Professor Anthony Reddie, director of the Oxford Centre for Religion and Culture
Canon Rachel Mann, Area Dean of Bury and Rossendale, Assistant Curate of St Mary’s, Bury, a Visiting Teaching Fellow of the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Met University, and a Visiting Scholar of Sarum College, Salisbury.
Prebendary Isabelle Hamley, Secretary for Ecumenical Relations and Theology and Theological Adviser to the House of Bishops
Revd Dr Sam Wells, Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, and contributor to Radio 4’s Thought for the Day
Theology Slam 2021
The 2021 final took place online on Thursday 18 March. Imogen Ball spoke on “Creativity in a time of pandemic”, Joshua House on “Community in a time of pandemic”, and Flo O’Taylor on “Justice in a time of pandemic”.
Watch Imogen Ball's winning talk:
You can also listen to the finalists’ talks on the Church Times Podcast.
Theology Slam 2020
The 2020 final was broadcast live on Tuesday 23 June. Sam Hodson spoke on theology and disability, Molly Boot on theology and #MeToo, and Augustine Tanner-Ihm on theology and race.
Watch Augustine Tanner-Ihm’s winning talk:
Listen to each of the talks on the Church Times Podcast.
Theology Slam 2019
The final of the first Theology Slam took place on 7 March 2019 at St John’s, Hoxton.
Hannah Barr spoke on Theology and #MeToo, Hannah Malcolm on Theology and the Environment, and Sara Prats on Theology and Mental Health.
Watch Hannah Malcolm’s winning talk:
You can also listen to the talks on The Church Times Podcast.
Read more about Theology Slam
Theology Slam is a collaborative event from HeartEdge, Church Times, and SCM Press.