Our postgraduate conveners have been busy preparing the first official PG newsletter. Click here to download and enjoy reading a range of updates on PG matters along with an interview of our president David Clough.


Members and friends of the SSCE may be interested to know the details of the Mcdonald graduate studentship which has recently been advertised by Oxford University. Please note that applications for the studentship have a deadline of Jan 22. For more details, read the attached file.

SSCE 2016 Annual Conference

Christians and Other Animals

Westcott House, Cambridge
9th-11th September 2016

Animals have rarely loomed larger as a topic of Christian concern. In Pope Francis's 2015 encyclical Laudato Si, he emphasized St Francis’s concern for the humblest creatures, stated that all creatures were on a journey with humans towards the common point of arrival that is God, and that cruelty towards animals was contrary to human dignity. Soon afterwards, major US evangelical churches, including the Southern Baptists, signed up to the new statement on animals ‘Every Living Thing’. Global per capita consumption of animals continues to rise, with 77 billion birds and mammals and 2.5-6.8 trillion fish killed for food in 2014. Farmed animal practice continues to become more intensive, half of all fish now derive from fish farms, and new warnings have been issued about wild fish stocks. Use of animals on this scale is recognized as problematic for greenhouse gas emissions, human food and water security, environmental degradation, antibiotic resistance, and other aspects of human health.

Attending to the ethics of human practice in relation to other animals in a Christian context is therefore timely and important. We invite papers that treat fundamental aspects of constructing the human and non-human in a theological context, that interrogate theological and philosophical moral theory in relation to animals, or that treat particular ethical issues in relation to human use of animals. We hope that the conference will set a new benchmark for Christian discussion of this topic, and will be a valuable opportunity for participants to engage in dialogue concerning the many theoretical and practical challenges it raises.

Plenary Speakers included:

  • Ellen Davis (Duke Divinity School)
  • Carol Adams (writer and activist, author of, "The Sexual Politics of Meat")
  • David Clough (University of Chester and SSCE President)
  • Donovan Schaefer (Oxford)
  • Professor Diana Donald (curator for art exhibit at the Fitzwilliam)

Conference Documents:

Annual General Meeting Documents:

Conference Art Exhibition

​We were pleased to co-host a special exhibition curated by Professor Diana Donald in the Study Room at the Fitzwilliam Museum on the conference theme on Friday Sep. 9. Art works exhibited included: 

About the exhibition:

The chosen images cluster round three broad themes, which exemplify varied and even contrasting views of animals – shaped by Christian doctrine, but also by the individual interpretations of the artists concerned. 

  • the Genesis stories of the Garden of Eden, the fall of man, and Noah’s Flood, which were foundational for Christian views of the human-animal relationship
  • animals as the companions of the saints and participants in their miracles
  • animals as ‘the other’ – symbolising strange or demonic forces, or the grandeur of wild nature, as described in the Book of Job.

Works to be shown include:

  1. Roelant Savery, The Creation of Birds, 1619. Oil on panel.
  2. Lucas van Leyden, The Creation of Eve, 1529. Engraving.)
  3. William Strang, The Creation of Eve, an illustration to Milton’s Paradise Lost, 1895. Etching
  4. Johann König, Adam and Eve in Paradise, c.1629. Oil on copper.
  5. Albrecht Dürer, Adam and Eve, 1504. Engraving.
  6. Jan Saenredam after Abraham Bloemaert, Adam Naming the Animals, 1604, in a series of Genesis scenes. Engraving.
  7. Rembrandt, Adam and Eve Tempted by the Devil, 1638. Etching.
  8. Jan Sadeler after Maarten de Vos, Cain Tilling the Ground, Abel as ShepherdThe Sacrifices of Cain and Abel; and Cain, his Wife and Son Enoch, 1583. Etching and engraving.
  9. Marco da Ravenna after Raphael, Noah’s Sacrifice, c.1520-7. Engraving.
  10. Cornelis Cort after Maerten van Heemskerck, Noah’s Sacrifice after the Flood, c.1560. Engraving.
  11. Samuel Palmer, The Sleeping Shepherd: Morning, c.1857. Watercolour with body colour, gum arabic and ink.
  12. Albrecht Dürer, Saint Jerome in His Study, 1514. Engraving.
  13. Rembrandt, Saint Jerome Reading, 1634Etching.
  14. Guiseppe Maria Rolli, The Miracle of the Ass, late 17th or early 18th century. Pen and brown ink, brown wash over black chalk.
  15. Jacques Philippe le Bas, Saint Anthony of Padua Preaching to the Birds, 1735. Etching and engraving.
  16. Martin Schongauer, Saint Anthony Tormented by Demons, c.1470. Engraving.
  17. William Blake, ‘Behemoth and Leviathan’, from Illustrations to the Book of Job, 1825-6. Engraving, hand-coloured.
  18. Odilon Redon, ‘Des peuples divers . . . ‘, from The Temptation of Saint Anthony, 1896. Lithograph.

About our curator:

‘Professor Diana Donald is an art historian who now works on human-animal relations in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. She is the author of Picturing Animals in Britain, 1750-1850 (2007); Endless Forms: Charles Darwin, Natural Science and the Visual Arts (2009); and The Art of Thomas Bewick (2013). She is presently working on a book for Manchester University Press, on the role played by women in animal protection in nineteenth-century Britain.’

For those who weren't able to attend the conference in person, you can now download audio recordings of our plenary sessions from the 2015 conference on our website at

To: All Members of SSCE
From: Margaret Adam (Committee Member) and Anna Westin (Postgraduate Co-Convener)
We head the SSCE sub-committee tasked with gathering and assessing other groups' and institutions' documents and practices that address gender disparity. In particular, we are investigating ways to encourage and support women in the field of Christian Ethics. We plan to present the SSCE Committee with recommendations for additional steps that SSCE might take in this direction. 
The recent Durham University report, 'Gender and Career Progression in Theology and Religious Studies', serves as the basis for our investigations. We have been collecting ideas and information from a wide range of sources, and we are eager to gather more. 
Please contact us if you would like to participate in this sub-committee. (Please write even if you have mentioned possible interest in the past.)
Please forward to us links and references that might be helpful, even if you are not interested in participating further in the work of the sub-committee. 
Thank you very much.
Dr Margaret B. Adam 
Visiting Tutor and
Honorary Academic Associate
St Stephen's House
16 Marston St
Oxford  OX4 1JX
07857 984235
Anna Westin 
Visiting Lecturer
St. Mary's University, Twickenham 
Waldegrave Road
Twickenham, Greater London TW1 4SX

We are pleased to pass along an announcement regarding a forthcoming special issue of the journal Theology. Comprising some of the most influential articles on Christian ethics that have appeared in Theology over the last fifty years, and with a substantial introduction by Robin Gill reflecting on major debates and developments in the field, this special online issue includes:

Ronald Preston on ‘R.H. Tawney as a Christian Moralist’ (1966)
Enda McDonagh on ‘Ethical Problems of Abortion’ (1968)
J. R. Lucas, John MacQuarrie, Helen Oppenheimer and G.R. Dunstan on ‘Marriage and Divorce’ (1975)
Michael Banner on ‘Five Churches in Search of Sexual Ethics’ (1993)
Nigel Biggar’s review article: ‘Any News of the Social Good?’ (1988)
Michael Northcott on ‘The Parable of the Talents and the Economy of the Gift’ (2004) Tim Gorringe’s ‘Reflections on The Good Pub Guide’ (2008)
David Horrell on ‘The Ecological Challenge to Biblical Studies’ (2009)
Look out for this free virtual issue of Theology, exclusively online at

Members may be interested to note that several new pages have been added to the SSCE website detailing the following:

If members have any feedback on these pages, please direct your correspondence to the society secretary, Jeremy Kidwell.

The Society for the Study of Christian Ethics invites submissions towards recognition as our inaugural artist in residence for 2015. Submissions are welcome from any artist working in the United Kingdom, working in any non-written medium (music, fine arts, sculpture, film, etc.) with the only constraint being that it will need to be exhibited at our annual conference in Sep 2015. In light of the 800th anniversary of the magna carta, our conference this year will be on the theme of "power and its limits" and though artists need not themselves be Christians, submissions should engage critically with Christian modes of reflection on this topic. Submissions will be considered by the SSCE committee starting on May 15, 2015 and should include a one page description of the proposed project and up to three additional pages of portfolio (though these supporting materials will not be required for consideration) which may include photographs or reproductions of existing work, a CD of audio, or DVD (please note: we cannot guarantee return of materials).
The artist in residence will receive free registration (including meals and accommodation) for the annual conference (September 4-6, 2015), an honorary one year membership to the society (which includes free subscription to the Journal, Studies in Christian Ethics) and will have the opportunity to exhibit their work at the annual conference.
Submissions should be sent via email to: or by postal mail to:
c/o Jeremy Kidwell, Secretary SSCE
School of Divinity
1 Mound Place

We are pleased to formally announce our annual conference to be held on 4-6 September 2015. The conference will be held on the theme of "power and the limits of power" and we have an exciting lineup of internationally recognised plenary speakers. For more details, go to our web page for the conference or you can skip right to online registration by clicking on this link. Early bird pricing on registration is available until July 1 and we will begin reviewing short paper proposals on April 15.



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