Dr Susannah Cornwall

Research interests

Theological and ethical implications of intersex conditions; Theological and ethical responses to transgender, variant gender and homosexuality; Sexual ethics; Christologies; Theologies of disability; Theology and the body; Queer theologies; Feminist theologies; Relational theologies; Postcolonial theologies; Contextual Bible Study; Theology and art; Environmental ethics.

Research projects

2017-19 Modelling Transgender Spiritual Care: Pilot Framework for People Undergoing Gender Transition in NHS England Gender Clinics (in partnership with West of England NHS Specialist Gender Identity Clinic).

This project, funded by the Sir Halley Stewart Trust, explores the development of spiritual and pastoral care for people undergoing gender transition, including those who have no religious beliefs. Spirituality and religious involvement correlate positively with improved wellbeing and mental health, and the NHS Contract of Care 2014-15 and the Health and Social Care Act 2008 require medical teams to provide for service users’ religious and spiritual needs. However, there are currently no specific guidelines or frameworks in use by NHS England to ensure transgender people’s spiritual care.

As well as formulating a spiritual care framework, to be piloted by the West of England Specialist Gender Identity Clinic, the project will also develop training resources on transgender spiritual care for healthcare chaplains.

 

 

2015-   Mind the Gap? Perceptions and Realities of Sexualities and Diversities Education for Church of England Ordinands (with David Nixon, South West Ministry Training Course)

The project involves empirical work with ordinands and staff at three theological education institutions (TEIs) using the new Common Awards curricula to learn how and where education on sexualities and diversity is delivered.

Outputs from the project include:

  • with Nixon, David, "Mind the Gap? Perceptions and Realities of Sexualities Education for Ordinands", Practical Theology 2017

 

2011-2013: Intersex, Identity, Disability: Issues for Public Policy, Healthcare and the Church.

Lincoln Theological Institute, University of Manchester.

The project had several components:

1. Empirical interviews and questionnaires with intersex Christians in Britain, focusing on the interactions between intersex identity and faith identity, and experiences in church contexts.

2. Work with healthcare chaplains and pastoral carers.

3. Academic work on intersex and theology, including an international conference in Manchester in March 2013 (see http://lincolntheologicalinstitute/iid-conference); an edited volume on intersex, theology and the Bible; and a lecture tour of US seminaries.

Outputs from the project include:

Journal articles:

  • "British Intersex Christians' Accounts of Intersex Identity, Christian Identity and Church Experience", Practical Theology 6.2 (2013), 220-236
  • “Telling Stories About Intersex and Christianity: Saying Too Much or Not Saying Enough?”, Theology 117.1 (2014), 24-33.
  • “Intersex and the Rhetorics of Disability and Disorder: Multiple and Provisional Significance in Sexed, Gender and Disabled Bodies”, Journal of Disability and Religion 19.2 (2015), 106-118, DOI: 10.1080/23312521.2015.1010681
  • “Identity and Formation in Theological Education: The Occasion of Intersex”, Journal of Adult Theological Education 12.1 (2015), 4-15.

Edited volume on intersex, theology and the Bible:

  • Cornwall, Susannah (ed.) (2015), Intersex, Theology and the Bible: Troubling Bodies in Church, Text and Society, New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan

Briefing papers on intersex, theology, policy and pastoral care:

  • “Intersex, Identity, Disability Project Briefing Paper 1: Intersex Conditions/DSDs: A Guide for Christians”, Manchester: Lincoln Theological Institute (open access online publication) (2012).
  • “Intersex, Identity, Disability Project Briefing Paper 2: Intersex Conditions/DSDs and Pastoral Care: A Guide for Healthcare Chaplains, Ministers, and Pastoral Carers”, Manchester: Lincoln Theological Institute (open access online publication) (2012).
  • Intersex, Identity, Disability Project Briefing Paper 3: Intersex Conditions/DSDs: Some Implications for Church Policy”, Manchester: Lincoln Theological Institute (open access online publication) (2013).
  • “Intersex, Identity, Disability Project Briefing Paper 4: Intersex Conditions/DSDs: Some Christian Theological Implications”, Manchester: Lincoln Theological Institute (open access online publication) (2012).

Resources for healthcare chaplains, designed for use with parents whose children have intersex conditions/DSDs

 

2010: Readings from the Road, British Academy-funded small research project

Outputs from the project include:

Journal articles:

  • Cornwall, Susannah (2012), “Contextual Bible Study: Characteristics and Challenges”, Modern Believing 53.1, 14-22.
  • Cornwall, Susannah and David Nixon (2011), “Readings from the Road: Contextual Bible Study with a Group of Homeless and Vulnerably-Housed People”, Expository Times 123.1, 12-19

Research collaborations

2017-19 Modelling Transgender Spiritual Care: Pilot Framework for People Undergoing Gender Transition in NHS England Gender Clinics (in partnership with West of England NHS Specialist Gender Identity Clinic).

This project, funded by the Sir Halley Stewart Trust, explores the development of spiritual and pastoral care for people undergoing gender transition, including those who have no religious beliefs. Spirituality and religious involvement correlate positively with improved wellbeing and mental health, and the NHS Contract of Care 2014-15 and the Health and Social Care Act 2008 require medical teams to provide for service users’ religious and spiritual needs. However, there are currently no specific guidelines or frameworks in use by NHS England to ensure transgender people’s spiritual care.

As well as formulating a spiritual care framework, to be piloted by the West of England Specialist Gender Identity Clinic, the project will also develop training resources on transgender spiritual care for healthcare chaplains.

 

2015-   Mind the Gap? Perceptions and Realities of Sexualities and Diversities Education for Church of England Ordinands (with David Nixon, South West Ministry Training Course)

The project involves empirical work with ordinands and staff at three theological education institutions (TEIs) using the new Common Awards curricula to learn how and where education on sexualities and diversity is delivered.