from Signs of the Times No. 58 - Jul 2015
2016 Annual Conference of Modern Church
Performing the Faith: Shakespeare in the World
Shakespeare, the Theatre, and Theology Today
11 – 13 July 2016 at High Leigh Conference Centre, Hoddesdon, Herts www.cct.org.uk
Keynote speaker: The Most Revd and Rt Hon Lord Rowan Williams of Oystermouth
Chair: Revd Dr Alison Milbank
Chaplain: Revd Dr Paul Edmondson
2016 is the 400th anniversary of the death of England’s – some would say, the world’s – greatest playwright. Shakespeare’s links with religion are complex, but his plays contain much implicit (and occasionally more explicit) theology. And the very form of the drama owes much to religious traditions – even if the Church has at times viewed it with suspicion. To this day, whether on stage or on screen, drama – and not least the work of Shakespeare, staged and interpreted in ever-new ways - remains a most powerful medium for exploring truth and meaning. Liberal Christians, who read the books of Scripture, tradition and reason alongside each other, need also to learn to read this cultural phenomenon.
Our keynote speaker, Rowan Williams, needs no introduction; he has spoken and written much about the links between Shakespeare and theology.
Our Chair, Alison Milbank, Associate Professor of Theology and Literature at the University of Nottingham, is a well-known writer on the theological implications of English literature, and contributed a paper on Apocalyptic readings: the Bible and the novel to our 2011 conference on reading the Bible today.
Our Chaplain, Paul Edmondson, is Head of Research at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon, and an internationally noted Shakespeare scholar as well as a Minister in Secular Employment; his latest publication is Shakespeare: Ideas in Profile.
Other speakers will include Professor Ronnie Mulryne, Dr Bea Groves, Dr Graham Ward and Dr Alycia Smith-Howard.