SRS 27th Annual Conference: Updated Details

27th Annual Conference

The Reformation, Migration and Exile

Westminster College, Cambridge, 31 March – 2 April 2020

Themes of migration and exile are written deep into the Judaeo-Christian tradition.  The Pentateuch tells the story of the migration of the Patriarchs to the Promised Land of Canaan, of the exodus and wilderness wanderings. The Babylonian Exile of the sixth-century BC and the promise of return shapes the later literature of the Old Testament, while the New Testament describes Christians as ‘strangers and pilgrims’ here on earth.

2020 marks 400 years since the Pilgrim Fathers set sail on The Mayflower, heading to the New World in search of religious liberty.  The Puritan settlers who travelled westwards in the Great Migration of the early and middle decades of the seventeenth century did so in search of religious liberty which would free them to establish ideal Christian community.  Inspired by this anniversary, this conference will explore themes of migration and exile across the Reformation.  Papers might consider the people or communities that moved in response to religious change, persecution or conflict, exploring the experience of displacement and exile, and the ways in which that experience shaped belief, practice and identity.

Equally, they might explore the theme more conceptually.  Alex Walsham has discussed religious change across the sixteenth- and seventeenth-centuries in terms of ‘migrations of the holy’.  Papers might, therefore, discuss how beliefs and practices migrated from one theological framework to another, or the ways in which texts and ideas moved across geographical, chronological or confessional boundaries.  Consideration might be given to how biblical narratives and themes of migration and exile were treated in the scholarship, commentary, preaching and devotion of the various churches of the Reformation.

Leading us in our consideration of these themes will be:

  • Liesbeth Corens (Queen Mary University London)
  • Crawford Gribben (Queen’s University Belfast)
  • Polly Ha (University of East Anglia)
  • Graeme Murdock (Trinity College Dublin).

As always, papers which reflect the current work of participants, regardless of their relevance to the theme, are welcome.  The conference is always particularly keen to hear communications from postgraduate and early career scholars.

Proposed paper titles together with an abstract (100-150 words) should be submitted by 10 January 2020 to Professor Charlotte Methuen (

Registrations must be received by 10 February 2020, either by the booking form (available from Charlotte Methuen or here: SRS 2020 Booking Form) or via Eventbrite (

A limited number of bursaries will be available for postgraduate students or early career scholars. For further information, contact Professor Charlotte Methuen ( The bursary form can be downloaded here: SRS bursary form 2020

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