TRS Chester

— the unofficial blog of Theology & Religious Studies, University of Chester


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Publication: Charming Beauties and Frightful Beasts (Fabrizio Ferrari)

charming_beauties_and_frightful_beasts_non_human_animals_in_soProfessor Fabrizio M. Ferrari (University of Chester) and Professor Thomas Dähnhardt (University of Venice) are the editors of Charming Beauties and Frightful Beasts: Non-Human Animals in South Asian Myth, Ritual and Folklore (Equinox, 2013). The study of non-human animals as other-than-human persons (including animal-spirits and divine animals) has marked a significant shift in the ethics and politics of the academic study of religion. Charming Beauties and Frightful Beasts investigates Continue reading

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Reflections: The Morning After (Wendy Dossett)

Bayer_Heroin_bottleThe morning after a vibrant two-day event, delegates from the Recovery from Addiction: Bridging the Gap between Policy and Practice conference woke to the sad news that the initial inquest into Peaches Geldof’s death had revealed that heroin is likely to have played a role in her death. Social media, previously channelling devastation at the loss of this young celebrity, lit up with questions, many freighted with judgement. How could she use heroin when looking after her much-loved 11 month old son? Like Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Winehouse before her, how could someone so privileged and talented throw their life away so selfishly, and so stupidly? Without first-hand experience of the value-distortions of active addiction it is undoubtedly Continue reading


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Publication: Between a Rock and a Hard Place (Elaine Graham)

Cover Image for Between a Rock and a Hard PlaceBetween a Rock and a Hard Place: Public Theology in a Post-Secular Age

This book begins with sociological theories of secularization and the ‘post-secular’, and proceeds, via public theology, to Christian apologetics. My concern is to respond to social and cultural trends in the West which suggest that religion, far from becoming marginal to society, is returning to public prominence as a significant factor in global politics and civil society. Tony Blair’s recent comment that ‘religious extremism’ will Continue reading


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Reflections: A Trustworthy Sentiment? (David Clough)

P1110648When it broke a couple of weeks ago, it was hard not to be affected by the story of Marius, the graceful, gentle, beautiful, healthy, young giraffe shot and publicly dismembered at Copenhagen Zoo. In our reactions, many of us experienced moral sentiment, a distaste, or even revulsion, in relation to an apparently brutal act. The ethical question that follows is what to make of this feeling.

The justification of the killing offered by the Zoo aimed to overcome sentiment by appealing to the desirability of their goal of maintaining a Continue reading


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Student perspectives (Liam Metcalf-White)

Liam Metcalf-White is a 3rd year undergraduate studying our BA Religious Studies, and was game enough to accept the invitation to talk us through a few days in the life of a Chester student. 

Monday morning had been a time to get ready for the week ahead, making sure that all my notes were in order and that I had enough food to make some packed lunches. An afternoon spent perusing through books that may be useful for my dissertation was followed by an evening of cooking dinner, a little light reading and an early night in preparation for Continue reading


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Cultural lens: God Loves Uganda (Jon Morgan)

Hidden Perspectives

On Friday night I was privileged to attend a special screening of Roger Ross Williams’ 2013 documentary God Loves Uganda at the Showroom cinema in Sheffield, the final instalment of an LGBT film festival organised by Hidden Perspectives in association with POUT.

For those of you who have not come across it, Hidden Perspectives is a project based in the Department of Biblical Studies at the University of Sheffield and headed-up by Dr Katie Edwards (Lecturer in The Bible in Contemporary Culture and Society), which aims to Continue reading