Urban theology

Dr Chris Shannahan discusses his research.

Title:Urban theology
Duration: 2.50 mins

Hello I'm Dr Chris Shannahan and I work as a research fellow in urban theology here at the University of Birmingham. 

Previously I've worked as an inner-city Minister within the Methodist church in Trenchtown Jamaica, in the East End of London and across inner-city Birmingham.  Well, my work has largely revolved around supporting asylum seekers and refugees, developing community-focussed Christian-Muslim dialogue and broad-based community origanising.  This experience has fed directly into my work as a research fellow in urban theology which is focussed on a three-year research project led by my colleague Professor Martin Stringer, exploring the impact that the experience of social exclusion has on the ways in which multi-ethnic and multi-faith cohort of urban youth think and talk about questions of faith, meaning and identity. 

Alongside this challenging and exciting research project, I'm also the coordinator of the Birmingham Urban Theology Forum, which brings together people from faith community groups from across the city of Birmingham with colleagues from different academic disciplines here at the University to explore the relationship between challenging urban questions and the nature of faith in the city. 

The devleopment of this forum has stimulated my commitment to begin work on a community eductaion initiative exploring faith and urban life aimed at developing opportunites for key workers and volunteers within faith and community groups across the city to critically reflect upon their expereince of living and working and worshipping in the city in the 21st century and thinking through the theological challenges and questions that their experience throws up. 

In my research, in my teaching and in my work in the community I'm particulary interested in exploring the changing relationship between relgious faith and the complex nature of the city in the 21st centurey.  If this is something that excites or challenges or interests you then please do get in touch with me by emailing me here at the University.  I look forward to hearing from you and hopefully to working alongside you in the months and years to come. Please do get in touch.