Passion for Justice: Global and Faithful Perspectives on Human Sexuality
Tuesday 11th to Friday 14th July 2006 at High Leigh Conference Centre.
Organized in collaboration with the Centre for the Study of Christianity and Sexuality and the Student Christian Movement.
Chair: Elaine Graham
"The Church and sexuality form a rich and heady mix for journalists and media commentators. But despite the very real troubles and debates going on in the churches at the moment, and the seriousness of much that is at stake, much of the press coverage looks predictable and one-dimensional."
Conference photos: Joan Dorrell
Speakers (with text)
Global and faithful perspectives on human sexuality
Elaine Graham is Samuel Ferguson Professor of Social & Pastoral Theology, University of Manchester.
"Inspired by Josephine Butler, maybe the day would come when the headlines would not be about the Church's timidity and discomfort about sexuality, but about its passion for justice instead!"
The Bible - air balloon or millstone?
Trevor Dennis is Vice Dean of Chester Cathedral.
"Some years ago in Salisbury Cathedral I heard a lecture by David Jenkins. I shall always remember how he began. He thumped the lectern and cried: 'We have made God into a thug!'.
And now we have turned the Bible into a monster."
Marilyn McCord Adams
A shameless defense of a liberal church
Revd Canon Marilyn McCord Adams is Regius Professor of Theology at Oxford University.
"In Europe and North America, in social and legal change relating to gender and sexual mores, our Church has been a follower rather than a leader.
Now the comprehensive Broad Church is being replaced: by new definitions of the Church, and new, narrower conceptions of its polity.
The Liberal vision of a less stringent polity is grounded in fundamental convictions about God and humanity, not least: God is very, very big and we are very, very small."
Justice for children too!
Adrian Thatcher is Professorial Research fellow in Theology, University of Exeter.
"Children are sadly neglected in theology, and in the ecclesial polemics about sexuality, yet in the teaching of Jesus they are centre-stage.
I wanted to show how children have been marginalised amidst ecclesial incivilities, to inquire why, and to return them to any discussion of the 'meanings' of sexuality."
Beyond Individualism: the ecology of sex and sexuality
Martin Prendergast is Executive Secretary of Catholics for AIDS Prevention & Support (CAPS), and a founder member of the Lesbian & Gay Christian Movement.
"June 2006 marked the 25th anniversary of the first diagnoses of HIV - the Human Immuno-deficiency Virus. The idea of an ecology of sexuality offers a framework to grasp the issues: 'a change in any part of one of the tangled banks of life we call eco-systems can have broad and often unexpected implications for any living thing seeking to survive within them.'"