TRS Staff Out and About 2015/16

A selection of some of the conference and symposia papers to be offered by staff nationally and internationally in 2015/16.

January – May 2016


September – December 2015


  • Professor Fabrizio Ferrari has been invited to present the paper 'Agriculture in a Mediaeval Bengali Śaiva text: On Ritual and Technical Knowledge' at the International workshop Making Connections on the Margins. Perspectives on Indigenous and Vernacular India. The workshop, organised by the University of Venice in collaboration with University College Cork (Ireland), Aarhus University (Denmark) and the International Culture Institute of Venice, was hosted in Venice on December, 4th 2015.

  • Professor David Clough gave one of the plenary presentations at the conference ‘Money Talks: How Can We Tackle Financial Exclusion’ in Liverpool on 22nd September, as part of an AHRC funded series organized by The University of Edinburgh and the Church Urban Fund.

June – August 2015

  • Professor David Clough was invited to give a plenary paper 'The Human Meaning of Non-Human Animals: Religious and Philosophical Perspectives' at the Nordic Committee on Bioethics two-day seminar on the Ethical Dilemmas of Consuming Animals [link to:], 27th-28th August, in Helsinki.

  • Dr Yafa Shanneik, Dr Sufyan Abid, Chris Heinhold and Prof Oliver Scharbrodt present in a panel on “Ethnography of Contemporary Shi’ism” at the World Congress of the International Association for the History of Religions, University of Erfurt, 23-29 August 2015.

  • Dr Suzanne Owen will be presenting three papers at the World Congress of the International Association for the History of Religions in Erfurt, Germany, 23-29th August: “Unsettled Natives in the Newfoundland Imaginary”, “Pagans and the Category of Religion: the debates continue”, and, with James Cox, “Indigenous Religions as a World Religion: Challenging the Axial Age Theory”.

    January – May 2015

  • In July, Professor David Clough will be one of the keynote speakers at the University of Oxford Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion interdisciplinary conference ‘The Human Difference’. He will be speaking alongside academics addressing the topic from the perspectives of anthropology, biology, philosophy, psychology, and theology, giving a paper that asks why we are so anxious about locating the distinctiveness of the human.

  • Chris Heinhold is invited to present on “Ethnogeography as a theoretical framework for examining generational dynamics within transnational Shia networks” at the Annual Muslims in the UK and Europe Symposium, organised by the Centre for Islamic Studies at the University of Cambridge, 29-31 May 2015.

  • Dr Sufyan Abid is invited to present on “Purifying and multiplying the profits: Motivations, aspirations and practices of doing charity and philanthropy among South Asian Muslims in Birmingham, UK” at the Ninth European PhD Workshop in South Asian Studies at Lund University, Sweden, 18-19 May 2015.

  • Dr Yafa Shanneik is invited by the Cross-Cultural Identities Research Group of the Open Univerity to give a seminar presentations on the topic “Crossing and Dwelling: Iraqi Shia Women in London”, 12 May 2015.

  • Professor David Clough will be giving a keynote paper at the conference "Humanity in question: what animals can teach us” at the University of Geneva. 6th-9th May 2015

  • Dr Alana Vincent will be speaking at a roundtable on “Can Cities Produce Good Citizens?” at Self & the City: Political Theology and Urban Identities, hosted by the Lincoln Theological Institute, University of Manchester, 24-25 April 2015.

  • Dr Yafa Shanneik, Dr Sufyan Abid, Chris Heinhold and Prof Oliver Scharbrodt organised and presented a panel on “Twelver Shia Communities in Britain: Transnational and Diasporic Perspectives” at the Second Annual Conference of the British Association for Islamic Studies, 13-15 April, University of London.

  • Dr Yafa Shanneik, Dr Sufyan Abid, Chris Heinhold and Prof Oliver Scharbrodt presented at a research workshop on “Being Shi’i Muslim in Europe: Local and Transnational Dimensions” at the Aga Khan University’s Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations (AKU-ISMC), London, 12 April 2015.

  • Prof Oliver Scharbrodt presented at the annual Shi’i Studies Symposium at the University of Chicago on “Muhammad Al-Shirazi (1928-2001): The Collective Governance of the Jurisconsults (ḥukūmat al-fuqahā’) in the Time of Occultation”, 3-4 April 2015.

  • 13th-15th April, 2015 Professor David Clough will be convening the Theological Ethics Seminar at the Society for the Study of Theology conference in Nottingham, and offering a conference short paper entitled ‘A Superhuman Church? The Church and Other Animals’.

  • 23rd March, 2015 Professor David Clough gave two lectures and participated in a debate at the Manchester High School for Girls VIth Form Conference.

  • Wendy Dossett explores the language of Higher Power in 12-step recovery from substance use disorders on Things Unseen 20th March 2015.

  • 16th-18th March, 2015 Professor David Clough presented a paper to the Theology and Ethics Research Seminar at New College, Edinburgh, entitled 'Consuming Flesh: The Theological Ethics of Raising and Killing Other Animals for Food’. He is also the plenary speaker at the Society for the Study of Christian Ethics Postgraduate Conference on ‘Consuming Creatures’ and will be offering the two plenary papers.

  • On the 3rd March Professor David Clough gave an invited lecture to the Loreto College Philosophy Society entitled ‘Can a good person eat meat?’

  • Dr Sufyan Abid was invited to the inaugural conference of the new Asia Centre at the University of Sussex “New Perspective of and from Asia”,  and presented on “Karbala in London: Transnational Networks of South Asian Shia Muslims in Britain”, 25 February 2015.

  • On Sunday 15th February, Professor David Clough participated in a discussion on BBC Radio Ulster’s ‘Sunday Sequence’ programme, discussing the philosopher Peter Singer’s positions on animal ethics and infanticide. The programme is available to listen online.

  • 10th February, 2015 Professor David Clough video-conferenced with a group of Canadian postgraduate students of the University of Toronto who have been studying his book On Animals, vol. I: Systematic Theology for a Question and Answer session.

  • 26th January, 2015 Professor David Clough presented a paper at Trinity College, Bristol's Research Seminar, entitled 'Consuming Flesh: The Theological Ethics of Raising and Killing Other Animals for Food’. 

  • 20th January, 2015 Dr Alana Vincent chaired an international research seminar on Animals, Theology and Critical Theory at Chester, with attendees from Oxford, Leeds, Sweden, Canada and the United States. Dr Vincent and Professor David Clough both gave papers.

  • 9th-11th January, 2015 Professor David Clough represented the UK Society for the Study of Christian Ethics as its President at the annual meeting of the US Society of Christian Ethics in a very chilly Chicago.

    July – December 2014

  • Prof Oliver Scharbrodt was invited to give a seminar on “Translating Al-Kafi: how to make a classical Shii text accessible to 21st century readers” at the Al-Mahdi Institute in Birmingham, 10 December 2014. For further information, see: Research Seminar: "Translating Al-Kafi: how to make a classical Shii text accessible to 21st century readers"

  • On December 3rd 2014 Professor Elaine Graham visited the Radboud Universiteit in Nijmegen as a guest of the Soeterbeeck Programme. The topic of her lecture was ‘Beyond Hope: Constructing a Public Ethic of Discernment, Realism and Imagination.’

  • Dr Alana Vincent gave a paper entitled “Hope in What? Justice for Whom?” at the symposium Justice, Hope and Redemption: Jewish Perspectives at St Benet’s Hall, University of Oxford, on 2 December 2014.

  • In November Dr Chris Baker presented a seminar to the Commission on Religion and Belief in British Public Life, established by the Woolf Institute. The topic of seminar was 'Spiritual Capital and Progressive Localism', and was presented at one of the Commission's regular residential events, the topic of which is Faiths and Social Action. The Commission is chaired by Rt Hon Baroness Butler-Sloss of Marsh Green GBE and the seminar featured in the final report to be launched in the run up to the next General Election and presented to the new government as a contribution to public policy within its first 100 days.

  • Prof Oliver Scharbrodt was invited to act as discussant at the international conference “Imams in Western Europe: Authority, Training, and Institutional Challenges” at LUISS Guido Carli University and John Cabot University, Rome, Italy, 5-7 November 2014.

  • The following staff presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion and Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, November 2014:

      • Dr Dawn Llewellyn (panellist) Researching Sexuality and Religion: Cultivating Self-Reflexive Practices and Ethical Relationalities.

      • Dr Matthew A. Collins, ‘Abraham, Isaac, and Polar Bears: Reading Genesis 22 Through the Lens of “Lost”’ (Bible and Popular Culture Section)

      • Prof. David Clough (Presiding) Rethinking Animals and Religion through Literature (Animals and Religion Group)

      • Dr Matthew A. Collins, ‘Judah, Ephraim, and Conceptual Identity in the Qumran Dead Sea Scrolls’ (Qumran Section)

      • Dr Hannah Bacon (Presiding) New Plantings: Emerging Scholar’s Vision of the Future of Feminist Theology and Scholarship (Women's Lounge Roundtable)

      • Dr Ben Fulford, ‘The Constrictions of Piety and the Possibilities for Lament: Consolation, Redemption and Fragility in Friedrich Schleiermacher’ (Schleiermacher section)

      • Dr Hannah Bacon (Panellist) Women's Caucus Leadership Team Meeting

      • Dr Suzanne Owen (Presiding) Edgy Indigeneity: Transgender, Altered States, and Willful Elisions (Feminist Theory and Religious Reflection Group and Indigenous Religious Traditions Group)

      • Dr Hannah Bacon, ‘Watch your Weight and Count your Syns! How the Discourse of Syn Encourages and Facilitates Practices of Body-policing among Women within One UK Secular Commercial Weight Loss Group’ (Body and Religion Group)

      • Dr Wayne Morris ‘We Are Nothing Special!: Disability and What It Means to Be Human’ (Religion and Disability Studies Group)

      • Dr Paul Middleton, ‘Satan’s Hordes and God’s Vigilantes: Mobs, Martyrs, and the Legitimation of Christian Violence’ (Violence and Representations of Violence among Jews and Christians Section)

      • Dr Suzanne Owen, ‘New animism: A new Theology?’ for a session 'Animism and Paganism: the Dialog Continues' of the Contemporary Pagan Studies Group.

  • Dr Wendy Dossett gave a talk at the Chester Literature Festival entitled ‘‘May the Force be with you’: Using Popular Culture in Addiction Recovery.’ Town Hall, Chester on 21st October 2014. 5.30pm.

  • Dr Wendy Dossett gave the opening keynote at the UK Recovery Federation Conference at the Athena Conference Centre in Leicester: 'Creating Narratives for the Recovery Movement: the Good, the True and the Beautiful' on September 26th 2014.

  • Prof Oliver Scharbrodt gave a paper on “‘The Shia Mile of London’: Using a Spatial Methodology in Researching Shii Transnational Networks“ at the conference “Inside Out: Reflexivity and Methodology in Research with British Muslims” on 10 September 2014, organised by the Muslims in Britain Research Network at Cardiff University.

  • Dr Paul Middleton gave a paper at a conference at the University of Chester, Mathew Henry: The Bible, Prayer, and Piety (14th-16th July) called, “‘Thou shall break them with a rod of iron”: Matthew Henry on the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple’.

  • Dr Paul Middleton gave two papers at the International Society of Biblical Literature conference in Vienna (6th-10th July): 'I Am a Christian Woman!': Social Identity in the Passion of Perpetua’ in the Apostolic Fathers and Related Early Christian Literature section; and ‘Saintly Lives and Holy Deaths: Martyr-Saints in the Book of Revelation’ in the section on Apocalyptic Literature.