You are invited to participate in the Oxford Symposium on Religious Studies
The Oxford Symposium on Religion brings together scholars of religion from a wide background, both internationally and in terms of their specific religious interests. This allows for broad engagement and is different from narrowly specialist conferences. The very great majority of past participants have found this approach rewarding and professionally helpful.
In a global situation where religion is culturally and politically predominant for many, yet marginalised and diminishing for others, and where spirituality is frequently disengaged from institutional religion, the Symposium regularly explores the place of religion in contemporary society – the nature of belief, the place of ritual, the place of family, the significance of community, the balance between Faith (belief, doctrine, and creed) and Practice (ritual, sociology, ethics, politics). Typically, our delegates hail from different faiths and none in what might be called a multifaith world and discussion is conducted with openness and mutual respect.
We do not shy away from controversy, either, regularly thinking about religion and politics – how religion affects political life, for example, in the USA, UK, Israel, and Muslim fundamentalist states and how to enable pluralism and tolerance between societies with clashing ideologies.
We also consider ethical questions such as the clash of ideology between a secular state and religious ethics, sex and marriage, the place of women, war and peace, and Black Lives Matter, to name but few.
To accommodate time zones, we will start our symposium each day at 1:30 p.m. Oxford time. The virtual meeting platform is “zoom meetings.”
The Oxford Symposium on Religious Studies is a forum for discourse and presentation of papers by scholars who have a particular interest in the study of religion. Canon Brian Mountford MBE, former Vicar of St Mary's Church and Fellow of St Hilda's College at the University of Oxford, will host the March 2021 session.
You are invited to make a presentation and lead a discussion on an aspect of religious studies, or you may wish to participate as a panel member or as an observer. We will also host poster sessions. Your disquisition must adhere to an abstract of about 300 words approved by the Programme Committee of the Symposium.
You are also encouraged to submit a paper, in keeping with your abstract, which may be published in an appropriate journal or book of conference proceedings. All papers presented for publication or inclusion in books or sponsored journals will be subject to peer review by external readers.
Keynote speaker is Dr Emma Percy, a member of the Faculty of Theology and also Chaplain and Welfare Dean of Trinity College. She has been active in WATCH (Women and the Church) for several years and is currently serving as Chair. Dr Percy was educated at Cambridge and Durham universities and was one of the first generation of women priests in the Church of England, ordained in the spring of 1994. She has served in chaplaincy and parish ministry for over 25 years. Before moving to Oxford she was Vicar of Holy Trinity, Millhouses, Sheffield. Her research interests include feminist theology, the theology of mothering and the theology of Anglican ministry. Her two most recent books are Mothering as a Metaphor for Ministry (Routledge, 2014) and What Clergy Do: Especially When It Looks Like Nothing (SPCK, 2014).