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SRF Annual Conference 2023 - Cambridge


Topic: Humans and Other Animals: Multifaith Responses to the Significance and Symbolism of Animals in Science and Religion Dialogue


Date: 31st August – 2nd September 2023 (Bookings will open in March/April 2023) 

Deadline for abstract submission MIDNIGHT 9th June 2023

Deadline for conference registration MIDNIGHT 6th August 2023

Location: Westminster College, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0AA United Kingdom

The committee invites submission of papers that address the significance and symbolism of non-human animals within the science and religion dialogue. The committee welcome submissions from all faith perspectives and authors are invited to address the theme from a range of perspectives. Authors may find Waldau and Patton’s book A Communion of Subjects: Animals in Religion, Science, and Ethics a useful guide for the kinds of topics that may be appropriate for submission to the conference whilst bearing in mind the focus on SRF on science and religions in dialogue.

Abstract submissions should be received no later than MIDNIGHT 9th June 2023 (GMT) emailed to Finn Lawson.

We are expecting the conference to be a hybrid event, and abstracts are warmly invited for both onsite and online presentations. Please make a note of your preference in your submission email (this is just to support planning at this stage).


The animal and religions dialogue has been growing over the last 25 years, the aim of this conference is to bring this broadening area of scholarship to dialogue with the science-religion arena through two broad strands:

Strand 1

Perhaps viewed as the most prevalent interaction of science, religion and human-animal interactions, this strand focuses on ethical and environmental issues raised by anthropocentric views of the relationship. This strand focuses on animals in science and religion as the direct area of interest and thus includes but is not limited to matters of ecology, stewardship, and animal ethics (broadly construed and may relate to matters of urbanisation and conservation as well as animal-human relations).

Strand 2

The second strand recognises the broader implications of scientific and interdisciplinary approaches to non-human animals on wider areas of theological enquiry. This strand examines the new perspectives that can be bought to the science-religion conversation through critical engagement with “the animal” adding further depth, theory, or methodology to our theological discussion. Areas of enquiry for this strand may include (but aren’t limited to) the matter of bestiaries, mythology, and fables, the relationship(s) between humans and animals, Incarnation and embodiment, Ritual / proto-religious behaviour in animals and textual and ritual meanings of animal bodies.


Keynote Speakers and Titles

31st August 2023: The Gowland Public Lecture 2023 and Response TBC  


1st September 2023: Conference After-Dinner Speaker TBC

SRF Annual General Meeting

The SRF Annual General Meeting for SRF Members will take place as part of this conference. Time and date TBC.

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