Annual Conference – 23rd-25th May 2022

Healing and Harm: Intersections of Trauma, Justice, and Scripture

We are in a time in which both the church and the world are facing difficult questions regarding the use and abuse of power, and how we can serve survivors of abuse and trauma. Especially as the church, there are many complex issues surrounding our participation in criminal justice, restorative justice, and our role as agents in justice and healing. Join us as we hear from a stellar line-up of scholars and thinkers who care deeply about seeing the church reflect God’s own concern for care for the suffering and justice for all.

Our 2022 annual conference will be held online between 23rd and 25th May. The theme for this year’s conference is ‘Healing and Harm: Intersections of Trauma, Justice, and Scripture’. This conference is being run in association with the Evangelical Network of Equal Justice USA. Registration for the conference is priced at £40 for general admission, £30 for students and clergy (plus Eventbrite fees), with a 10% Earlybird reduction. However, we are mindful that this price would be prohibitive for many in the global south. Scholars or students from these regions are warmly invited to apply for a 90% bursary. Please email Ashley Hibbard (mashleyhibbard@gmail.com) if you would like to request this.

Recordings will be available to ticket holders shortly.

Please note that all times are British Summer Time.
Click on the session to jump to contributor bios.

Sunday 22nd May
Annual worship service of the Centre for the Study of Bible and Violence
Monday 23rd May
Session 1: 7-9pm. Trauma and use of the Bible
Tuesday 24th May
Session 1: 1-3pm. Trauma and Scriptural Interpretation
Session 2: 7-9pm. Panel Discussion. Restorative Justice: Should the church get involved?
Wednesday 25th May
Session 1: 1-3pm. Panel Discussion: Criminal Justice and the church
Session 2: 7-9pm. Institutional Justice: Learning from the Christian Faith


23rd May: 7-9pm (Session 1)
June Dickie
Christopher Southgate
Trauma and use of the Bible

June Dickie has worked in Bible Translation and Scripture Engagement since 1990. After completing the translation with the Mwani team in Northern Mozambique in 2013, June served as a consultant in Nigeria and various other countries. In 2017 she completed a Ph.D in Biblical Studies, working with Zulu youth to help them learn to translate psalms into their own language, using the form of typical Zulu praise poetry. She then did 3 years of post-doctoral work in Psalms of lament, which took her into trauma-studies. She now works with various communities in three areas, and the intersections thereof: Psalms (translation and use), Performance (of biblical texts), and Trauma-healing. 

Christopher Southgate has been exploring the interface between scientific issues and Christian theology since the early 1990s. From 2017-21 he directed a project on healthy ministry in the face of sudden disasters, and he is a co-editor of Tragedies and Christian Congregations (Routledge, 2020). During the pandemic the project delivered over 100 courses on trauma-informed ministry. Chris’s other books include The Groaning of Creation (2008) and Theology in a Suffering World: Glory and Longing(2018). He is Professor of Christian Theodicy at the University of Exeter, and also a much-published poet (see christophersouthgate.org.uk).

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24th May: 1-3pm (Session 1)
Juliana Claassens
Brent Strawn
Trauma and Scriptural Interpretation

Juliana Claassens is Professor in Old Testament and Head of the Gender Unit at the Faculty of Theology, Stellenbosch University. She is the author of several books, including most recently Writing/Reading to Survive: Biblical and Contemporary Trauma Narratives in Conversation(Sheffield Phoenix Press 2020). Her research and teaching interests include Trauma Hermeneutics, Feminist and Postcolonial Interpretation of the Old Testament. She particularly enjoys engaging students in terms of the contemporary reception of the biblical texts, challenging harmful interpretations, and opening up interpretations that may be life-giving in nature. She currently is working on a commentary on Jonah for OTL (Westminster John Knox) in which she will be reading Jonah through the lens of trauma hermeneutics as it intersects with gender, postcolonial and queer biblical interpretation.

Brent Strawn is Professor of Old Testament and Professor of Law at Duke University and a Senior Fellow in the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University. In addition to authoring over 200 articles, essays, and contributions to reference works, he has authored five books, including, most recently, Honest to God Preaching: Talking Sin, Suffering, and Violence (2021). Brent is an ordained elder in the North Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church. He has appeared on CNN on matters ranging from Easter celebrations to Pope Francis to gun violence, and served as both translator and member of the editorial board for The Common English Bible.

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24th May: 7-9pm (Session 2)
Valerie Hobbs
Sam Heath
Nathan Cartagena
Panel Discussion: Restorative Justice: Should the church get involved?

Valerie Hobbs is Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics at the University of Sheffield. Her areas of expertise include disciplinary and institutional discourse and religious language, and much of her research has taken place in the context of abuse in faith communities, with a focus on advocacy work. Her book, An Introduction to Religious Language, was published by Bloomsbury in 2021.

Sam Heath leads Equal Justice USA’s engagement with evangelical people and spaces. His faith background in Southern Baptist, Presbyterian, and now Anglican denominations enables him to tell stories about the realities of justice and injustice in America and hold together a view of the world as a place both exceptional and exploitative. He was a church elder in Charlottesville, VA for 6 years, where he still lives with his wife and three kids. Before joining with EJUSA in 2021, Sam taught high school history for 10 years in North Carolina and Virginia. He has a B.A. in education and psychology from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and a master’s in theology from the University of Virginia.

Nathan Cartagena is a son of the US South (Mom) and Puerto Rico (Dad), Nathan is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Wheaton College (IL), where he teaches courses on race, justice, and political philosophy, and is a fellow in The Wheaton Center for Early Christian Studies. Nathan also serves as a scholar-in-residence for World Outspoken, a group committed to ministering with Latin churches.

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25th May: 1-3pm (Session 1)
Matt Martens
Lynden Harris
Sam Heath
Panel Discussion: Criminal Justice and the church

Matt Martens has been a lawyer for more than 25 years, working as a criminal defense attorney, federal prosecutor, and law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist. During the presidential administration of George W. Bush, Matt was a political appointee in the Justice Department under U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft. Matt was valedictorian of his law school class at the University of North Carolina and earned a master’s degree from Dallas Theological Seminary. His first book, Reforming Criminal Justice: A Christian Proposal, will be published by Crossway in 2023.

Lynden Harris is the founder of Hidden Voices, a radically inclusive, participatory, and co-creative collective committed to a more just and compassionate world.  For twenty years, Lynden has collaborated with underrepresented communities to create award-winning works that combine narrative, performance, mapping, music, digital media, and interactive exhibits. Lynden is a Restorative Justice Circle Keeper.

Her book Right Here, Right Now: Life Stories from America’s Death Row was published by Duke University Press in 2021.

Sam Heath leads Equal Justice USA’s engagement with evangelical people and spaces. His faith background in Southern Baptist, Presbyterian, and now Anglican denominations enables him to tell stories about the realities of justice and injustice in America and hold together a view of the world as a place both exceptional and exploitative. He was a church elder in Charlottesville, VA for 6 years, where he still lives with his wife and three kids. Before joining with EJUSA in 2021, Sam taught high school history for 10 years in North Carolina and Virginia. He has a B.A. in education and psychology from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and a master’s in theology from the University of Virginia.

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25th May: 7-9pm (Session 2)
Robert Chao Romero
Malcolm Foley
Institutional Justice: Learning from the Christian Faith

Robert Chao Romero is an associate professor in the UCLA departments of Chicana/o Studies and Central America Studies, and Asian American Studies.  He received his Ph.D. from UCLA in Latin American History and his Juris Doctor from U.C. Berkeley, and is also an attorney.  Romero is the author of several books, including, “The Chinese in Mexico, 1882-1940” and “Brown Church: Five Centuries of Latina/o Social Justice, Theology, and Identity.” “The Chinese in Mexico” received the Latina/o Studies book award from the Latin American Studies Association and “Brown Church” received the InterVarsity Press Readers’ Choice Award for best academic title. Romero is also an ordained minister and faith rooted community organiser. 

Malcolm Foley serves as the Special Advisor to the President of Baylor University for Equity and Campus Engagement as well as the director of the Black Church Studies Program at Truett Theological Seminary. He is also a pastor at Mosaic Waco.

Malcolm holds a B.A. in Religious Studies with a second major in Finance and a minor in Classics from Washington University in St. Louis. He then completed a Master of Divinity at Yale Divinity School, focusing on the theology of the early and medieval church, and a Ph.D. in Religion at Baylor University. His research investigates African American Protestants responding to lynching from the late 19thcentury to the early 20th century and broadly addresses how communities can resist the violence inherent to racial capitalism.

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Annual Service – 22nd May 2022

The annual worship service of the Centre for the Study of Bible and Violence

A Christian worship service, ecumenical in nature, and global in scope. It will be conducted in English.

All supporters, friends and allies of the CSBV are warmly invited to join us. We will take the opportunity to give thanks for God’s work in and through the CSBV, and to pray for his blessing for the future.

The event will be held on Sunday 22nd May at 3pm British Summer Time (UTC +1). The Annual Service is free of charge and booking is simply for the purpose of administering the Zoom links.

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