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Page last updated: 15 Mar 17

BIAPT 2016 Conference

Wrestling with Angels?
Practical Theology as
Spiritual Practice

The 2016 annual conference was held on 12 – 14 July 2016 at Mary Immaculate College, Limerick.

The Keynote Speakers were Donal Dorr, Nicola Slee and Fáinche Ryan (see below).

The College is located in the beautiful medieval river-side city of Limerick located in the Shannon Region, in the heart of the west of Ireland. It is within close proximity to some of Ireland's most spectacular scenery. For things to see and do in Limerick City and County please visit either the Limerick or Discover Ireland official guides.

Keynote Speakers


Donal Dorr   
Wells of Inspiration: the Holy Spirit and practical processes

Donal Dorr is a missionary priest and theologian. In his speaking to our conference he will be drawing on extensive missionary experience in the global south, as well as academic work as a Research Fellow in the Theology of Development and consultor to the Pontifical Commission for Justice and Peace. He will speak to us on facilitation, inspiration and the Holy Spirit, drawing on a lifetime's work concerned with empowering grassroots activists in working for justice and care for the environment, in training activists and religious leaders in leadership skills, and in running spirituality workshops for people who are searching for meaning and purpose in their lives. An expanded edition of his book, Option for the Poor and for the Earth: Catholic Social Teaching, will be published by Orbis Books early in 2016. His previous books include Spirituality and Justice, The Social Justice Agenda, Integral Spirituality, Conversion and Holiness: The Teaching of John Wesley, and The Spirituality of Leadership.



Nicola Slee   
Practical theology as a spiritual practice of multiple attention

Nicola Slee is Director of Research at the Queen's Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education, Birmingham. A practical feminist theologian and poet, she has wide-ranging interests and commitments in the intersections between feminism, faith, liturgy, spirituality and poetry. From this place of intersecting wisdoms, she will speak to the Conference about attending to a complexity of voices, and the gifts needed for discernment in late modern theology. As in all her writings, Nicola will seek to connect as well as confuse academic, popular, spiritual, theological and sexual (amongst other) categories. Her most recent publications include The Faith Lives of Women and Girls: Qualitative Research Perspectives (co-edited with Fran Porter and Anne Phillips, Ashgate, 2013) and Making Nothing Happen: Five Poets Explore Spirituality (with Gavin D'Costa, Eleanor Nesbitt, Mark Pryce and Ruth Shelton, Ashgate, 2014). She is currently working on a theological reflection on Sabbath and, with Anne Phillips and Fran Porter, a collection of essays on researching female faith, with a particular focus on research methodology. She is a lay Anglican and honorary Vice-President of WATCH (Women and the Church).



Fáinche Ryan   
Reflections at the Burning Bush: Doing Theology Practically with Thomas Aquinas

Fáinche Ryan is the Assistant Professor in Systematic Theology at the Loyola Institute, Trinity College Dublin. Her current research interest lies in the area of questions of ecclesiology and leadership. Her publications include The Eucharist: What do we believe? (2012) and Formation in Holiness. Thomas Aquinas on Sacra Doctrina (2007). Before taking up her position in Trinity College Dublin, Fáinche lectured at the Mater Dei Institute, Dublin City University, and at the Margaret Beaufort Institute, Cambridge. She will address the question of 'formation in holiness' from her research into the concept of sacra doctrina in the work of Thomas Aquinas and her work on Eucharistic theology.

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