We are delighted to announce our sixth annual research conference, being run in partnership with the Cateclesia Institute titled “The Kingdom and the Power: Legacies of Empire in Scripture and Beyond”. It will take place between 3rd and 5th June 2024, in person at Woodlands Church, Bristol, UK and it will also be accessible online. As part of the Conference we are hosting two evening events that are included in your ticket but can also be signed up for separately for those wishing to just attend these events. Find out more below.

The Centre for the Study of Bible and Violence aims to facilitate cutting-edge research into the interpretation of biblical violence and the use of the Bible in a violent world. We are a confessional Christian institution, and one of our core convictions is that scholarship should be academically robust, irenic, dialogical, collaborative, non-competitive and generous. To this end we welcome dialogue and collaboration with scholars of all faiths and none, willing to learn from anyone while honouring our mutual prerogative to disagree with courtesy.

3-5 June – The Kingdom and the Power: Legacies of empire in scripture and beyond
Mon 3 June, 7.30pm – ‘Blessed are the Peacemakers’ Book Launch with Revd Dr Helen Paynter and respondents. View the Event page here.
Tue 4 June, 7.30pm – The Church, the Far Right, and the Claim to Christianity with Dr Maria Power. View the Event page here.

2.00pmWelcome and opening addressDr Helen Paynter / Dr Trevor Laurence
2.40-5.00pm(Mis)appropriation of EmpireChair: Dr Trevor Laurence
Keynote Speaker: Dr Helen Paynter
5.30pmBuffet dinner
7.30-9.00pmBlessed are the Peacemakers’ Book LaunchChair: Dr Ashley Hibbard
Author: Dr Helen Paynter
9.30amDevotions (optional)
10.00am-12.30pmNuance of EmpireChair: Dr Ashley Hibbard
Keynote Speaker: Dr Peter Hatton
2.00-3.30pmEsther 8-9: Difficult text workshopChair: Dr Brandon Hurlbert
3.45-4.45pmA Postcolonial Reading of EmpireChair: Kristin
Speaker: Dr Zac Niringiye
5:30pmDinner (only dessert and drinks will be provided)
7.30-9.30pmThe Church, the Far Right, and the Claim to ChristianityChair: Dr Maria Power
9.00amDevotions (optional)
9.30amThe Holy Spirit, Christian Faithfulness, and Empire (Practical Theology)Chair: Francis Mathew
Contributors including Dr Oleksandr Geychenko
12 noonClose

Ticket Options:

Ticket includes an evening meal on Monday, and lunch on Tuesday. You will need to arrange your own meal on the Tuesday evening although we will provide dessert and drinks.
Accommodation is not included in the ticket price.

General Admission: £120
Clergy: £80
Students: £80
Online Ticket: £60
Global South: £5


Dr Oleksandr Geychenko

Dr Oleksandr Geychenko is rector of Odesa Theological Seminary, Ukraine, where he got his undergraduate education and then served as senior librarian and academic dean. Oleksandr is the issuing editor of Theological Reflections: Eastern European Journal of Theology and has served on multiple editorial boards, including for the Journal of European Baptist Studies and the Slavic Bible Commentary (E-AAA, 2016). He has a PhD in theology from the University of St. Andrews, UK.

Bishop Dr Zac Niringiye

Bishop Zac is a theologian and pastor and a civic-political activist in Uganda, involved in several civil society-led social justice and peace campaigns as a Citizens’ Manifesto Ambassador, an initiative under the Uganda Governance Monitoring Platform coordinated by the Uganda National NGO Forum, notably the Anti-Corruption advocacy in the Black Monday Movement. In addition, a Senior Fellow in a budding think tank – The Institute of Religion, Faith and Culture in Public Life (INTERFACE). Currently researching and writing on The Uganda Crisis and Christian Witness and the Common Good, Bishop Zac holds a PhD in Theology and Mission History from Edinburgh University.

Revd Dr Helen Paynter

Helen is the founding director of the Centre for the Study of Bible and Violence, which exists to facilitate cutting-edge research in the areas of hermeneutics of biblical violence and the abuse of the Bible in a violent world, and to serve the churches by providing resources in these areas. Helen is passionate about the Bible and its power, through the Spirit, to transform lives. Conversely, she is very concerned about the ways that it is sometimes used to cause harm, in a variety of settings. She loves teaching and preaching, and helping others to learn to do so. Her most recent publication is Blessed are the Peacemakers: A biblical theology of human violence (Zondervan, 2023).

Revd Dr Peter Hatton

Peter is an associate lecturer at Trinity College and Bristol Baptist College and a former Methodist Minister. He earned his PhD at the University of Birmingham at the Book of Proverbs and his research interests are in Wisdom Literature of the Old Testament and the Intertestamental Period; Literary approaches to the Old Testament and Biblical Theology. Peter believes profoundly that all inspired Scripture is a reliable, authoritative guide for Christian discipleship.

Further Details


Woodlands Church, Woodland Road, BS8 2AA


Find below some nearby accommodation options:

The Washington Guest House5 minute walk
The Clifton Hotel8 minute walk
Berkeley Square Hotel12 minute walk
Premier Inn Lewins Mead25 minute walk
Hotel du Vin Avon Gorge25 minute walk


The nearest national train station is Bristol Temple Meads, and there is a local train station served by Temple Meads called ‘Clifton Down‘. This is around 5 mins walk away Woodlands Church. You can also catch the Number 1 or 2 bus to the BBC on Whiteladies Road. Alternatively there is a taxi rank outside of Temple Meads.

The nearest car park is located at Clifton Down Shopping Centre. There is some pay & display on-street parking nearby but please do check the signs when you park as there is a resident parking scheme. For more information check the Woodlands Church website.


What time will the Conference run?

It will start at 2pm on Monday 3rd June and end at midday following the final session on Wednesday 5th June 2024.

Will food and accommodation be provided?

Dinner (evening meal) will be provided on Monday 3rd June, prior to the book launch. Lunch (midday meal) will be provided on Tuesday 4th June as well as desserts and drinks in the evening for the session on ‘The Church, the Far Right and the Claim to Christianity’. Accommodation is not provided.

I don’t identify as a ‘Christian’ – can I come?

We welcome dialogue and collaboration with scholars of all faiths and none, willing to learn from anyone while honouring our mutual prerogative to disagree with courtesy.

I just want to come to an evening event – can I?

Yes! The evening events can be booked onto separately for those not coming to the conference. Sign up to the ‘Blessed are the Peacemakers’ event here. Sign up to ‘The Church, The Far Right, and the Claim to Christianity’ event here.