There is probably no more persistent trope in Christian theology than the doctrine of the fall, nor one that clashes on its surface most with the science of evolutionary theory. The fall has received an enormous amount of theological attention in recent years. Anthropologists Graeber and Wengrow (in the Dawn of Everything) point to the theological story of the fall as one of the founding myths of our origins which binds us into a pessimistic narrative of our ability as humans to organize ourselves collectively. This conference will examine the notion that there is something wrong with us, and imagine also how we can re-frame the doctrine, and re-imagine the solutions that might allow for individual and corporate thriving. Can we imagine a doctrine of the fall that is true of evolutionary science and leaves room for hope?


Dates: October 27th and 28th 2023

Location: Parnell Conference Centre, 10/20 Gladstone Road, Parnell, Auckland 1052

Keynote speakers:

Dr. Bethany Sollereder

Dr. Bethany Sollereder is a research coordinator at the University of Oxford. She specialises in theology concerning evolution and the problem of suffering. Bethany received her PhD in theology from the University of Exeter and an MCS in interdisciplinary studies from Regent College, Vancouver.

Dr. Kathleen Rusthon RSM

Kathleen P. Rushton RSM is an independent biblical interpreter who was a lecturer at Christchurch campus of Te Kupenga – Catholic Theological College and is a Teaching Fellow at Trinity Methodist College, Auckland. Her research focuses on  anticipatory readings of John’s Gospel which aim to accommodate both biblical hope and science’s unfinished universe.  

Other speakers:

Rev. Dr. Anne Van Gend, Emma Belcher, Dr. Doru Costache, Dr. Martin Samson, Rev. Dr. John Owens SM, Dr. Hugh Bowron, Dr. Sarah Beattie, Dr. Hugh Bowron and Rev. John Howell.