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Theology Slam 2021 to tackle major issues of Covid-19 pandemic

Theology Slam - the competition that spotlights the best young voices on theology and the contemporary world – will return in 2021 with a focus on the global COVID-19 pandemic and its impact.

The pandemic has upended millions of lives around the world. Amid so much uncertainty and loss, how do we make sense of what’s happening around us – and how should we respond? Theological reflection is essential to help us address these big questions, both as individuals and as a society, and Theology Slam is a key forum for this crucial discourse.

Recognising the significance of Theology Slam ahead of the 2020 Live Final in March, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said: “It is vitally important for the church to nurture young Christians into thinking, speaking and writing about God and the world, and it is even more important that the Church listen to their voices. #TheologySlam encourages us to do just that: listen to God, listen to the world, and listen to the voices emerging within the Church, so we can join into God’s work in the world today.”

Now in its third year, the competition is organised jointly by the Church Times, SCM Press, and the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity (LICC). Over 4000 people have watched the 2020 live final.

Theology Slam is open to anyone aged 18 to 30, and consists of a qualifying round and a live final. Entries open on 1 December 2020. The deadline for submissions is 11:59 p.m. on 11 January 2021.

In the qualifying round, applicants submit 500-word reflections offering theological insights on one of six key issues, including ‘grief in a time of pandemic’ and ‘creativity in a time of pandemic’. Applicants also submit a short video introducing themselves and why they are interested in their chosen topic.

Three entrants will then be chosen to take part in the online Theology Slam Live Final on 18 March 2020. Finalists will pre-record talks of between seven and ten minutes based on their original entry. Each finalist will also receive a half-day training session on public speaking before they record their talk.

The finalists’ talks will be judged on the night by an expert panel of leading theologians:

· Elizabeth Oldfield – Director of Theos Think Tank

· Revd Dr Isabelle Hamley – Chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury.

· Dave Benson – Director of the Centre for Culture & Discipleship, LICC

· Augustine Tanner-Ihm – winner of Theology Slam 2020


The winner will receive £250 to spend at Church House Bookshop and the Theology Slam trophy, and their talk will be published in the Church Times.

Entrants are invited to offer theological perspectives on:

· Justice in a time of Pandemic

· Power in a time of Pandemic

· Work in a time of Pandemic

· Community in a time of Pandemic

· Grief in a time of Pandemic

· Creativity in a time of Pandemic



For more information, contact David Shervington at SCM Press:


T: 020 7776 7545