Diocese of Manchester

    Hannah wins Theology Slam final

    Congratulations to Diocesan Officer, Hannah Malcolm, who won the inaugural Theology Slam with an impassioned plea for the Church to learn how to mourn the damage caused by climate change. Hannah is Coordinator of the God and the Big Bang project, which runs workshops for young people on science and religion.

    Hannah was awarded the prize last week for her talk, which explored the theological implications of grieving the destruction of our planet. You can listen to her talk on the Church Times podcast below.

    Hannah, 26, impressed the judging panel with her short ten-minute presentation, made without notes. Weaving together liberation theology, the biblical tradition of lament, and the work of contemporary radical green activists, Hannah delivered a call for Christians to tap into “solastalgia”: a feeling of homesickness when already living at home.

    “All of us can experience a form of unnamed melancholy when places we love get destroyed,” she said. “This is solastalgia, and climate chaos will create unavoidable homesickness for all of us.”

    Instead of always looking for practical action to take, whether by boosting recycling or cutting out meat, the Church should instead learn how to become “co-mourners with creation”, she suggested.

    The Theology Slam was jointly organised jointly by SCM Press, the Church Times, the London Institute of Contemporary Christianity (LICC), and the Community of St Anselm.

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