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“Doctrines are produced over time as social constructions in the terms available in any historical and cultural context and also as a catalyst to social construction. Doctrine is always both the product and producer of social construction, the shaper and the shaped.”

Christine Helmer (2014)

“Believers should certainly learn that to belong to a living tradition is to be forbidden to look to the past too credulously, seeking unmistakable evidence of indubitable “facts” of doctrine…   [T]he faithful believer is willing to look to the future with the intention of better understanding, and, if necessary, remedying the past. And there is no saying what new configurations of meaning …this may allow to come into being.”

David Bentley Hart (2022)


Two-day workshop: Friday August 18th 10am – 4.30pm and Friday September 1st, 10am – 4.30pm

Led by Associated Professor Geoff Thompson, Pilgrim Theological College


Freed from the shadow cast by dogmatism, the contemporary study of Christian doctrine is lively, operating on multiple fronts, and unpredictable. This workshop will explore doctrines not as impositions but as invitations to explore, critique, proclaim and reform.


Day 1:

  • Overview of contemporary discussions, introducing ideas of Willie James Jennings, Christian Helmer, Mike Higton, David Bentley Hart, Anne M. Carpenter
  • Doctrine, Performance and Queer Theory  (presented by Rev Liam Miller, PhD student, Charles Sturt University)

Day 2:

  • Case Study 1: Unlocking the doctrine of providence from colonial ideologies
  • Case Study 2: Sex, Gender and the doctrine of imago dei
  • Doctrine, Theology and Wisdom in the Uniting Church


In person cost: $80 (incl. morning tea and lunch)

Online cost: $30

Student discount: 50%


To register, click here