Dr Susannah Cornwall

Senior Lecturer in Constructive Theologies


Extension: 5567

Telephone: 01392 725567

My research focuses on Christian constructive theologies. Much of my work has been in contextual theologies, particularly those relating to sex, gender and sexuality. I also have interests in disability, homelessness, contextual Bible study, postcolonial theologies, queer theologies, and theologies of art.

I have taught undergraduate-level courses including Religion in the Modern World, Introducing Christian Theologies, Body and Society, Postcolonial Theology, Theological Studies in Philosophy and Ethics, and Theological Ethics and Genital Surgery, and MA courses including Religion, Politics and the Media and Contemporary Issues in Theology, Religion and Gender.

My latest monograph, Un/familiar Theology: Reconceiving Sex, Reproduction and Generativity, was published by Bloomsbury T&T Clark in June 2017.

My first book, Sex and Uncertainty in the Body of Christ (Routledge, 2010), examined the Christian constructive theological and ethical implications of the existence and treatment of intersex. I returned to this in the project I led at the Lincoln Theological Institute, University of Manchester, between 2011 and 2013. This project was entitled Intersex, Identity and Disability: Issues for Public Policy, Healthcare and the Church. It included empirical work with intersex Christians in Britain, learning about the overlaps between their intersex and faith identities, and their experiences of talking about intersex with other Christians. As part of this project I edited  Intersex, Theology and the Bible: Troubling Bodies in Church, Text and Society, published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2015. A special panel was convened to discuss the book and its implications at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in Atlanta, Georgia in 2015.

My second book, Controversies in Queer Theology (SCM Press, 2011), examined ongoing debates in the area of queer theology, including: What is queer? Is queer theology synonymous with gay theology? Is queer theology inherently white or western? Is the Bible queer? Is the Christian theological tradition queer? Given the historical and contemporary treatment of LGBT by the Church, should queer people remain Christians?

As well as undergraduate and postgraduate-level teaching, I am committed to engagement and knowledge exchange with people in a range of contexts. I have been a support tutor and associate lecturer for the South West Ministry Training Course, working with trainee clergy, readers and members of the public on the Encountering Theology course. My third book, Theology and Sexuality (SCM Press, 2013), is part of the SCM Core Texts series, and is designed for use as an individual or class text for upper-level BA and MA students studying theology and sexuality, gender, sex and embodiment. It includes chapters on sexuality in the Christian tradition, sex and marriage, sex outside marriage, celibacy and virginity, transgender and intersex, and same-sex relationships. I also contributed to Sexuality: The Inclusive Church Resource (2014), part of a series designed to enable church communities to explore inclusion.