The University of Manchester
School of Arts, Languages and Cultures
Samuel Alexander Building, WG16
Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK
Phone: +44 (0)161 275 3064



The University of Manchester
School of Arts, Languages and Cultures
Samuel Alexander Building, WG8
Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK
Phone: +44 (0)161 306 1663


What does it mean to exist in complex relationships with machines? What insights can be offered to our understandings of these relationships by the theologically significant theme of ‘love’? What critical assessments can be made of our multiple uses of technologies in shaping our futures, by reflecting on our pasts?

Project blog
Events and Outputs
> Conference: Care and Machines
Useful links 

Disquiet over the prevalence of social and economic individualism has a long history. In a world of mobile Capital and increasingly mobile people, communities of common tradition and locality appear to be under threat from the advent of a fragmented market society. Are these complaints against individualism justified? And crucially, how should Christians respond to them? Digging down into the substance of these questions, this project will consider the theological, liturgical and scriptural resources Christians have for understanding the notion of individualism in relation to issues of education, public life and the formation of democratic citizenship.


FINAL CALL FOR PAPERS: Theology and Exclusion

Extended Deadline for submissions: Sunday 25th January, 2015
Particularly interested in papers that address: gender and/or sexuality, exclusion and theology/religions
For Between Theology and the Political - 26th - 28th March, 2015, University of Manchester



Being A Christian Student (Reflective Workshop at Nexus Cafe

Do you identify as a Christian (or as someone open to Christian spirituality) who has been studying at University within the last three years? If so, join Ben Wood and Gary Keogh from the University of Manchester for a reflective workshop exploring what it means to be a Christian student living in a multi-religious and multi-Church city. The organisers are interested in hearing your experiences on what it’s like to be a Christian in Higher Education. How do you understand the idea of Church? How do you decide which Church to go to? What particular spiritual challenges do you think Christian students face? No big religious labels or declarations of faith required. Just pull up a chair and tell us what matters to you.
While the proceedings of the workshop will be recorded by the organisers, all biographical details will be deleted to ensure the anonymity of participants. A write up of the work-shop will be available for participants on request, and will only be viewed by a small band people directly connected with the project. If you wish to attend the work-shop, please contact either Ben Wood ( or Al Lowe (
This event is part of a project run by the Lincoln Theological Institute, called ‘What’s Next for Individualism’? You can find more about the project at:

New LTI Briefing Paper: Post-liberalism and the Religious Turn


This briefing paper (part of the What's Next for Individualism project) explores the religious roots of a quiet revolution taking place in Britain’s two main political parties in the form of Blue Labour and Red Toryism. Placing religious language at the centre of their conception of public life, these movements offer a decisive to both Thatcherism and New Labour. By creatively draws on strands of Catholic Social Thought, Burkean conservatism and English Radicalism, both offer a decidedly Post-liberal model of politics

You can view this Briefing Paper here: 


Self and the City (April 24-25th)

Online Booking Opens on Friday 14th November 2014:


Speakers Include: Dr Ethna Regan (Mater Dei Institute of Education), Professor Linda Woodhead (University of Lancaster),The Revd Professor Timothy Gorringe (University of Exeter), Professor Michael S Northcott (University of Edinburgh), Dr Anna Rowlands (University of Durham), Revd Canon Stephen Spencer (Canon of Musoma Cathedral), Dr Jessica Dubow (University of Sheffield), Dr Chris Shannahan (The University of Manchester) Dr Alana Vincent (University of Chester)

By bringing together theologians, social theorists and political activists, this two-day conference considers the relationship between cities and self-identity. Read through the lens of the Christian tradition, we will reflect on the ecclesiastical, doctrinal and political meanings produced by urban living.  Key to this enterprise is an exploration of the dimorphic nature of the city. From Babylon and Rome to Jerusalem and Augustine’s De Civitate Dei, urban spaces signify both sacred possibilities and moral dangers.

The early monastic movement fled from the corruptions of the city, while the role of the urban bishop was highly political.  In contemporary culture these trends have been repeated in variants of both New Monasticism and 'Hipster Christianity' and 'Cafe Churches'. The enduring nature of these postures of embrace and retreat, raise significant questions for theo-political reflection. Can cities offer untapped resources for faithful discipleship? Or do urban spaces distort the priorities of the Church? Can the individualism(s) encouraged by the anonymity if the city supports Christians in developing alternative communities? Or is urban life a threat to the formation of such a counterculture? With these themes in mind, the conference organizers would welcome papers on the following areas:

The inner-city Church

Discipleship and identity

 Persons in the city

Consumerism and leisure

 Urban planning and theology

Nomad-ism and pilgrimage

 Networks and communities


 Urban and Rural Space

Theologies of the Public and Private

 Christianity and Counterculture

Sacrament and consumption




By bringing together a variety of voices from a range of disciplines, ‘Between Theology and The Political’ is a three day conference which will explore key themes of theo-politics. Over the course of three days, theo-political theory will be considered in the context of its relationship to praxis. In the last thirty years civil society has assumed a significant place in political rhetoric, theory, and practice. Therefore, this three-day conference will examine civil society through three theological lenses; the work of Hegel (Day 1), theological reflections on exclusion (Day 2) and the engagement between faith and social activism (Day 3).





Colonial powers bring their religion with them and often this religion becomes an instrument of rule. When empires fall, the residue of imperial suspicion lingers. When colonial powers beat a retreat, older religious resentments and new tensions may emerge. We hear daily news reports in cities around the world about violent clashes between Christians and Muslims, Buddhists and Muslims, Shia and Sunnis, Catholics and Protestants and more. Why have we not as frequently heard of postcolonial cities where people of multiple faiths peacefully coexist?  How do people of goodwill organize for cities based on multiplicity of identities, languages, religions, and shared public space? What role do theologians and theorists have in fostering collaborative spaces for faith communities to coexist in ways that work for justice for all people? How are the misuses of religion addressed? How do our religions and theologies need to change to foster people of multiple faiths living side by side after empire?

Call for papers available at