On 11th September 2020, over 70 people attended the online Life on the Breadline mid-project conference: Faith-based Activism in Austerity Britain.
The conference addressed questions including: How has austerity impacted people in the UK? What are the implications of this for theology and faith-based social action?
New resources from the conference are now available where you can listen to the presentations from the day:
First, Dr Stephanie Denning and Dr Chris Shannahan spoke about the unequal impact of austerity and challenges for theology.
Our first guest keynote was given by Dr Sarah Marie Hall – ‘Legacies of austerity: rethinking social infrastructures, life-courses and families of the future’.
Professor Rachel Muers gave our second guest keynote – ‘Discerning the body: Christian social action, theology and class in austerity Britain’.
Life on the Breadline’s Professor Peter Scott brought the presentations together by reflecting on a political theology response to the challenges of austerity.
The conference concluded with a call to action: each the presenters shared what they would like participants to take away from the morning:
- Sarah Marie Hall: encouraged us to look at the work of the Women’s Budget Group, particularly their recent report on the impact of Covid-19.
- Rachel Muers: encouraged us to look at the work of Poverty Truth Commissions – for example in Leeds – and reminded activists to take of themselves in this ongoing period of crises.
- Peter Scott: reflected on the notable consideration of hope that was brought up in the Q&As.
- Stephanie Denning: asked researchers to question whether research challenges or feeds into stigma and stereotypes of poverty.
- Chris Shannahan: encouraged us to support campaigns for a living wage in the UK.