Dr Hannah Bacon

Deputy Head of Department

I am a contextual theologian with an especial interest in the relationship between gender, theology and the body. My current research looks at how Christian theology might inform and transform contemporary social discourses on the body, and the female body in particular.

Telephone 01244 511035
Email h.bacon@chester.ac.uk

Qualifications

BA (Liv), PhD (Liv), PG Cert HE (Liv) FHEA

Overview

I obtained my PhD in 2003 from the University of Liverpool. Whilst studying for my doctorate and for a short time after graduating, I taught a range of modules in Christian theology but also in areas such as sociology of religion, identity studies, religious studies, and study skills. I also worked part-time for a charitable organization which produced religious education materials for schools and colleges across the UK and edited a theological journal. I served as an examiner for the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA) for two years, marking AS level religious studies papers on religious ethics.

My PhD research focused on the doctrine of the Trinity and considered how a move away from an exclusive focus on God language might enhance and deepen feminist debate. In proposing a shift from speaking to thinking God, I argued that the Trinity be assessed on its ability to affirm the central values and principles which underpin feminist theological method. As such, this research conducted a creative dialogue between feminist theological method and Trinitarian thought. 

After completing my PhD, I joined the staff at the University of Chester in August 2004. Although my research has continued to engage with aspects of Christian doctrine – mainly, Trinity and Incarnation – I have become increasingly interested in how theological tradition constructs the female body and might help transform contemporary social discourses about bodies. My current research focuses on a qualitative study of one secular, commercial dieting group in the UK and considers how discourses of sin and salvation serve to normalize weight loss. This project addresses the role of theology in resourcing secular, commercial weight loss programs but also asks how aspects of the Christian tradition might be used to transform theological and cultural approaches to the body, appetite and food which are harmful for women’s bodies.  

Teaching

Undergraduate Modules

  • TH4041 Christian Theology: An Introduction
  • TH5041 Contextual and Practical Theology
  • TH6042 Feminist Perspectives in Christian Theology
  • TH6051 Dissertation

 

Postgraduate Modules

  • TH7029 Themes and Methods in Practical and Contextual Theology
  • TH7025 Research Dissertation

Research

Research Interests

My research is mainly located in contextual and feminist theologies. I have particular research interests in:

  • Body Theology
  • Dieting/weight loss and feminist theology
  • Feminist theology and Trinity
  • Feminist/theological Method
  • Gender, theology and Christian ‘orthodoxy’

 

PhD Supervision

I welcome enquiries for research at doctoral level in any of my research areas listed above or from students wishing to explore other areas within:

  • Contextual, Practical and Public Theologies
  • Contemporary Spiritualties and Religion and Society
  • Systematic Theology

 I have supervised one PhD to successful completion on

  • ‘An Examination and Assessment of the Role and Status of women in the ‘Holistic’ Ministry of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY) (August 2011)

I am currently the principal supervisor to students working in the following areas:

  • Feminist eschatology
  • Christian burial rites after miscarriage

I also contribute in a supervisory capacity to projects in:

  • Fresh-expressions and postmodernity

 

External Funding

2003 – 2004   PhD research funding (c.£6,000) – Arts and Humanities Research Board.

Published work

Books

2009      Bacon, H. What’s Right with the Trinity? Conversations in Feminist Theology (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2009).
2011 Bacon, H. & Morris, W. with Knowles, S. (eds). Transforming Exclusion: Engaging Faith Perspectives (London: T & T Clark, 2011)

Other Select Publications

2013    ‘God and Thinness: Is Christian Theology Feeding the Secular Commercial Weight Loss Industry?’, The Bible in Transmission (forthcoming, Spring 2013), The Bible Society.
2013    ‘Expanding Bodies, Expanding God: Feminist Theology in Search of a Fatter Future’, Feminist Theology (forthcoming, 2013). 
2012 ‘Thinking the Trinity as Resource for Feminist Theology Today?’, Cross Currents, 62.4 (December 2012): 442 – 464.
2011 ‘Does Size Really Matter?’, in H. Bacon and W. Morris (eds), Transforming Exclusion: Engaging with Faith Perspectives (London: T & T Clark, 2011), pp. 101 – 113.
2011 ‘Concluding Comments’, in Morris, W. & Bacon, H. (eds), Transforming Exclusion: Engaging with Faith Perspectives (London: T & T Clark, 2011), pp. 117 – 120.
2009 ‘A Very Particular Body: Assessing the Doctrine of Incarnation for Affirming the Sacramentality of Female Embodiment’. In J. Jobling and G. Howie (eds), Women and the Divine: Touching Transcendence (Hampshire: Palgrave, 2009) pp. 227–52.