Postgraduate Conference-11 March 2022

Interruptions – Theological Responses to Suffering, Crisis, and Death
The Society for the Study of Christian Ethics Post-Graduate Conference 2022
11th March 2022, Oxford
Plenary Speakers:
Professor Karen Kilby
Professor John Behr

Call for Papers
To be human is to be, among other things, finite, dependent, and vulnerable. Although the ‘developed’ world is more technologically advanced than ever before, we still succumb to sickness, suffering, and finally death. These phenomena are existential certainties that nevertheless manifest as harsh interruptions of everyday life. In this way, modern existence is defined by a deep angst, even for those who believe in the creating and redeeming power of God. How can we do theology in the midst of these interruptions? What kind of ‘theologies of interruption’ can be formed in response to the crises we inevitably face? How are these theologies shaped by the post-Christendom, or perhaps increasingly post-secular, context we encounter in the west? It is now also time to take stock of the Christian theological heritage – which speaks of the God-man who suffered the brutal interruptions of his human life, being tortured and murdered for the sake of others – and reassess what insight might have been lost along the way. What, then, is the shape of Christian ethics before these perennial human crises in the distinctively twenty-first century form they take? We invite your participation in this conference as we consider how we should now live.
Some themes and questions the participants might want to consider include:

  • Suffering, crisis and death in their contemporary context: how might scriptural and traditional articulations of ‘interruption’ inform ethical responses to distinctively twenty-first-century issues? Are there any aspects to these perennial interruptions that are distinctive to the 21st century context? Do the major technological advantages of late modernity equip us to address the phenomena of suffering and death? Or do they rather lead us to marginalize suffering and death? What kind of challenges does this present to theology and Christian ethics?
  • The relationship between human flourishing and suffering, crisis, and death: do these interruptions threaten human flourishing? How are interruptions related to human desires? What is the place of ascetism in our response to suffering and crisis?
  • Are there clear ecumenical gains to be made in developing theologies of ‘interruption’?
  • What would be the major emphases of a Christian ethic of dying and death?
  • Can suffering be explained? What kind of moral and epistemic perils such explanations might include? Is there meaningless suffering? Can suffering be redemptive? Can there be a constructive relationship between suffering and ethical formation?
  • What kind of theologies of pastoral care can be articulated at the face of suffering, crisis, and death? How have recent global crises – such as the covid-19 pandemic or the climate crisis – challenged our pastoral responses to these interruptions?


Submitting Paper Proposals
Post-graduate papers are a vital part of the SSCE’s annual post-graduate conference. If you would like your paper to be considered for the conference, we invite you to propose a paper by submitting 200-300 word abstract by 10.1.2022. We will inform you of our decision by 14.1.2022. The papers should be 2500-3000 words in length and they will be sent for all the participants before the conference. In the conference itself each presenter will give a 10-15 minute summary of their paper – this way we can make sure that more time is left for discussing each paper during the conference.
In order to submit send

  • your abstract
  • name, institutional affiliation, post-graduate status and a brief academic biography, to by 10.1.2022 with ‘Paper Abstract 2022’ as the subject of your email.


Participating in the Conference
We wish to offer access to the conference also for those are not able to travel to Oxford. Therefore, we are offering two types of participation: online and in-person. Below you can see what each participation option includes and their prices. More information about how to acquire your ticket will follow soon. You can follow us on Twitter (@PgSsce) and Facebook (SSCE Postgraduates) to stay updated. For any questions, you can email us at
In-person participation
• Ticket price: £25
• This option is required for those who give papers.
• Allows you to fully participate in the conversation and meet the other participants.
Online Participation
• Ticket price: £5
• Allows you to listen to all the papers, but participation in the conversation is limited.