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 2020
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.
Open to anyone aged 18-30, the Slam consists of a qualifying round and a live final. The winner will receive £250 to spend at Church House Bookshop and the much-coveted Theology Slam Trophy.
If you’d like to take part, you’ll need to write 500 words on how theology relates to one of the twelve topics and provide a short video introducing yourself.
The topics you can choose from are:
- Theology and on-demand services
- Theology and populism/nationalism
- Theology and masculinity
- Theology and celebrity
- Theology and #MeToo
- Theology and the environment
- Theology and race
- Theology and mental health
- Theology and friendship
- Theology and work
- Theology and disability
- Theology and austerity
The three best submissions will be selected to proceed to the live final. Finalists will receive a half-day session with a public speaking trainer.
The final will take place on the evening of 26 March 2020 at St John’s Church in Hoxton. Finalists will present a 7-10 minute talk without notes in front of a live audience. Each presentation will be followed by one question from the judges.
Finalists will be judged by a panel of experts and leading theologians.
Revd Dr Isabelle Hamley – Chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury
Selina Stone – Tutor and Lecturer in Political Theology at St Mellitus College, London
Mark Greene – Executive Director, The London Institute for Contemporary Christianity (LICC)
Hannah Malcolm – Winner, Theology Slam 2019
Enter the Theology Slam 2020 competition
Theology Slam 2019
The final of the first Theology Slam took place on 7 March 2019 at St John’s, Hoxton.
Three finalists - who were chosen from nearly 75 entries - delivered their talks to an audience of nearly 150 people. The judges praised all the finalists for the quality of their talks, and chose Hannah Malcolm as the winner.
Watch the entire event here:
The three finalists were:
Hannah Barr, 27, a first-year ordinand and Ph.D. student at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. (Theology and #MeToo.).
Watch Hannah’s talk:
Hannah Malcolm, 26, project co-ordinator at God and the Big Bang, an organisation that runs workshops for young people on science and religion. (Theology and the Environment).
Watch Hannah’s talk:
Sara Prats, 23, from Spain, who is studying for a Bachelor degree in divinity at the University of London and for a Master’s at the University of Birmingham. (Theology and Mental Health).
Watch Sara’s talk:
Watch Professor John Swinton’s talk:
Watch Dr Eve Poole’s talk:
You can also listen to the talks on The Church Times Podcast.
The talks – and responses to questions from the audience and other speakers – were judged by our esteemed panel: the Revd Dr Isabelle Hamley, Chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury; Dr Eve Poole, theologian and Third Church Estates Commissioner; Professor John Swinton, winner of the Michael Ramsey Prize; and Mark Greene, executive director of the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity.
Read more about Theology Slam:
Theology Slam is a collaborative event by LICC, Church Times, SCM Press, and the Community of St Anselm.