The books that inspired our Theology Slam Finalists
The Theology Slam Live Final, organised by SCM Press, the Church Times and LICC, is livestreamed on Thursday 18th at 7pm. Ahead of the big night, we asked our finalists to list some of the books that have inspired them.
Joshua House, speaking on 'Community in a Time of Pandemic'
- The Body Keeps the Score: Mind, Brain and Body in the Transformation of Trauma, by Bessel Van Der Kolk. I have suggested this book for two reasons. Bessel Van Der Kolk is a world leading expert in the field of Trauma research and this book reflects that knowledge. And secondly, because it gives a wholly comprehensive biological account of what trauma is and how it affects people.
- Spirit and Trauma: A Theology of Remaining, by Shelly Rambo. I have suggested this book because it is who I draw upon in my speech considerably, with the notion of remaining. It is this which provides the theological groundwork to my talk.
- Feminist Trauma Theologies: Body, Scripture & Church in Critical Perspective, edited by Karen O'Donnell and Katie Cross. I have this collection of essays to thank for bringing my attention to trauma theology. I draw heavily upon Feminist theology in my own theology, particularly in my approach to Trauma Theology, so this collection of essays acts as an important avenue into understanding their important relationship.
Imogen Ball, speaking on 'Creativity in a time of Pandemic'
- Phyllis Trible’s God and the Rhetoric of Sexuality explores the relationship between the womb and compassion from a feminist perspective. Trible uses Literary criticism to discuss this metaphorical relationship, opening her discussion around God and sexuality in the Bible.
- Christy Bauman’s Theology of the Womb is a more recent offering exploring a variety of questions relating women’s bodies to theology. Bauman’s background in psychotherapy influences the trajectory and emphasis of this book, away from biblical criticism and towards a spiritual exploration.
- Ruth Valerio’s 2020 Lent book Saying Yes to Life discusses the natural world around us and the impact that we have on it. Her fresh perspective on the creation narrative and God’s process of creation was of particular interest in relation to this topic.
Flo O'Taylor, speaking on 'Justice in a time of Pandemic'
- Simone Weil: An Anthology is a collection of Simone Weil’s essays and extracts from her personal notebooks and letters that cover both her spiritual and more political writing. Her writing is unsettling and inspiring in equal measure, and if you want to explore the theme of force, affliction and attention, I’d go straight to her essay called 'The Illiad or the Poem of Force’.
- William Cavanaugh, The Theopolitical Imagination. This short book gives a brilliant introduction to the importance of imagination in the political and theological. Cavanaugh expertly identifies the modern nation state as the product of a particular political imagination, and invites the church to resist this imagination and pursue a theopolitical imagination of solidarity and resistance centred around the eucharist.
- Anna Rowlands, Elizabeth Phillips and Amy Daughton, T&T Clark Reader in Political Theology. If you wanted to explore political theology as a way of thinking about Christian theology more generally, this new reader would be a brilliant place to start. Anna is my supervisor, and having been taught by her, I would recommend her perspective and insights absolutely.