Chris Shannahan

I am an urban political theologian and a Minister within the Methodist Church. Sinced the 1990s I have tried to combine grass roots political activism with the pastoral work of a Church minister and my developing research as an urban theologian. Below you will see something of my journey –

  • 2015 – present: Research Fellow in Faith and Social Relations at the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University, UK
  • 2013-2015- Lecturer in Religion and Theology at the University of Manchester, UK.
  • 2013 – Published my second book ‘A Theology of Community Organizing’.
  • 2012 – Teaching Fellow in Religion and Society at the University of Birmingham.
  • 2012 – ‘Bromford Dreams’ graffiti spiritualities project and conferences
  • 2010-2012 – My two year ethnographic project working alongside unemployed young men on a large urban housing estate exploring the impact that social exclusion had on the ways in which they spoke about truth, meaning, identity, community and spirituality
  • 2010 – Published my first book on urban theology – ‘Voices from the Borderlands’
  • 2009-2012 – Research Fellow in Urban Theology at the University of Birmingham, UK.
  • 2003-2009 – Community Minister and founder of the ‘Yeast in the City’ community ministry project in inner city Birmingham.
  • 2003 – Founder member of Birmingham Citizens community organising network
  • 1998-2003 – Methodist minister in Handsworth, Birmingham and co-ordinator of the Queens/Handsworth Contextual Theology Project.
  • 1996 – Founder member of London Citizens, the first broad based community organizing network in the UK.
  • 1996-2002 – Member of the Racial Justice Committee of the British Methodist Church.
  • 1993-1998 – Methodist minister in the East End of London.
  • 1992-1993 – Youth worker in Trenchtown, Kingston Jamaica
  • 1985-1990 – Religious Education teacher in inner city secondary/high school in London.

4 thoughts on “Chris Shannahan

  1. This is fantastic! I am a firm believer that pastors should be “organizing pastors.” (While in seminary – which was United Methodist – I served as a community organizer for my urban CPE placement. Since then, I’ve been actively involved in organizing and participating in actions/campaigns with other community organizing groups in Chicago and have tried to teach and empower my church youth and parishioners to be organizers, as well.)

  2. Jean Hurlston (Revd)

    Hi Chris, Just wondered whether you (or any students you know) have looked at the impact of StreetAngels (or even Street Pastors) on the life of a town?

    1. Hi Jean – Very interesting thought. I haven’t [yet] but it’s a really interesting idea. One or two of my former students were Street Pastors and wrote essays on their work. Sounds like this could be an interesting action research project for someone….

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