95 Ways to Change the World: Results

To mark the 500th anniversary of Luther’s 95 theses, the Jubilee Centre, in collaboration with Christian Heritage and KLICE, launched a project to compile a set of new theses for today, or ’95 ways to change the world’. We invited anyone who wants to see the gospel transforming society and culture to propose responses to social issues that will lead to ‘true human flourishing’.

Each new thesis had to be 100 words or less, with three constituent parts:

an Affirmation – a positive value or ideal that is held to be good, just and true

an Analysis – how that good thing is being neglected, abused or spoiled currently

an Action – a realistic and feasible call to action

This structure reflects the Creation/Fall/Redemption framework of a biblical worldview, and was intended to encourage contributors to reflect theologically on both the causes and responses to the issue they care about.

Our Director, Jonathan Tame, with the final 95 Theses

Results

Well over 100 ideas were submitted by individuals from all around the world during 2017, and a final 95 Theses were selected to be displayed on the Reformation2017 website, and in an exhibit at the Round Church, Cambridge. The guidelines were minimal and so the contributions vary widely in their scope, depth of argument and intended audience. The theses were also loosely arranged into categories to make them easier to browse.

Overall, these 95 ‘ways to change the world’ reflect the vision, dreams, passions and concerns of the participants. The project is intended to stimulate conversation and encourage the next generation of Christian leaders (Luther was 33 when he posted the original theses) to think biblically about issues in society, and form strategies for engagement that lead to personal and social transformation.

Download a copy of the 95 New Theses here:

Download PDF

 

Prizes

A £500 prize was awarded to Katherine Ladd, whose thesis demonstrated a strong original idea with a realistic plan for implementation. Five runners up were offered a £100 scholarship to be used for either the Jubilee Centre’s Social Reformers Summer School in 2018 (which includes a workshop on turning a vision into a practical project) or towards the Jubilee Centre’s online training course Biblical Foundations for Public Leadership.

Winner

‘Broken Chains’ by Katherine Ladd

‘Human slavery is now a widely discussed issue and we felt that Katherine expressed her thoughts on this subject in a fresh and original way. She also demonstrates a very practical commitment to putting her idea into action. Katherine is a great example of how individuals can take small steps towards addressing issues that might initially seem overwhelming.’ – Calum Samuelson, Project Manager.

Katherine studies English at St John’s College, Cambridge and is the founder of Treated Right, a project to stand against human trafficking and exploitation by raising money and awareness.

 

Runners Up

‘Christian Charter Cities’ by Graham Brown

Graham’s thesis was chosen for its originality and ambition. He hails from London but now lives in Spain with his wife Monique and their two young children. By day he teaches English as a Foreign Language, but his real passion is ‘Charter Cities’, as described in this thesis. Graham and his wife have set up ‘Santuario Cristiano’ (‘Christian Sanctuary’  in Spanish), with the aim of helping Christian refugees.

‘Companion Robots’ by Florence Gildea

Florence’s submission on ‘Companion Robots’ discussed the use of robots in caring for the elderly, child-raising and as sexual partners, and it impressed us with its clarity and urgency. She is currently based in London, and works as a parliamentary researcher for an MP.

‘Ending Well’ by Chris Sutton 

Chris’s thesis centered on discussions around death, a subject which is often considered taboo. Chris is a minister in the Church of England, based in Sussex with his wife Teresa and their three children. He originally trained as an actuary, working in insurance and investment for a number of years and, having just finished his curacy, he will soon be the Interim Minister in Chichester Diocese. The idea for his thesis came from reflecting on his experiences as a pastor in funeral ministry.

 ‘Exploding the Myth of Affluence’ 

Drew’s contribution challenges ingrained cultural prejudices and provides simple actions to begin to address these assumptions. Drew is married to Anne and has two adult daughters. He teaches practical theology at Union Theological College in Belfast and is concerned with how Christians think about ordinary things (like shopping, eating, driving and watching tv), and that such thinking is based on robust Biblical principles.

 

 ‘Joined Up Living’ by Daniel Flenley 

Daniel’s thesis was chosen for its accessible actions and emphasis on local solutions. He works in an ecology consultancy in Hertfordshire and has a vision for increasing the use of the arts in conservation. He wants to help Christians engage with God’s breathtaking gifts of the arts and the natural world, that so often inspires them.

 

The 95 New Theses project forms part of the Reformation2017 initiative of the Jubilee Centre, supported by Christian Heritage and the Kirby Laing Institute of Christian Ethics. The theses proposed reflect the views of each author, and are not necessarily endorsed by the organisers.

 

Related Articles and Events

Nailing up the 95 New Theses:

On the 31st October, on the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing of the 95 theses, we nailed the 95 new theses to the doors of the Round Church, Cambridge. We were joined by Matthew Ward (HistoryNeedsYou) who played the part of Luther in this reenactment and opened our exhibition. You can watch the video and read the full report here.

Analyse, Affirm, Act:

Find out about the framework for the 95 new theses, and learn how a biblical way of thinking about the world, one which allows us to affirm the good, analyse the issue and act for change, can bring true social transformation—and help us move beyond ‘agree to disagree’.

Sculpture Project

As part of the ongoing project of Reformation2017 a series of sculptures have been commissioned to be displayed in central Cambridge in summer 2018.

 

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Category: News and Reviews

November, 2017

Comments (3)

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  1. Stephen de Garis says:

    I noted the aims of the winner and they are admirable, but how to implement change? There was no mention in what I read which was clearly only a summary as to how to change slavery. That is the most difficult matter. It is one thing to express outrage which is justified, but how to change the status quo is quite another matter, which is why almost all outside pressure is unsuccessful. A culture which is ingrained is most difficult to alter, so most help is wallpapering over the cracks. Your comments?

    • JubileeCentre says:

      Hi Stephen,

      The actual theses were limited to 100 words and intended to focus on an structured analysis of the issue, which moves individuals to act and begin to create change (rather than provide a full answer to the problem). I would really recommend Calum Samuelson’s article ‘Inspiring Dialogue’ (http://www.jubilee-centre.org/inspiring-dialogue-moving-beyond-agree-disagree/) which lays out how this framework of thinking about issues can equip individuals to act, rather than just express outrage, as you say.

      You’ll also find that if you scroll down on Katherine’s thesis, (http://reformation2017.org/2017/10/27/broken-chains/), you can see her background notes where she mentions her own project ‘Treated Right'(http://treatedright.org). It’s a great example of a thought-through, practical response to an issue which aims to both fundraise and influence, and thereby begin the work to change culture.

      We believe that we can influence ingrained culture and status quo. As you know, Jesus calls us to it (as salt and light in the world) and also because the histories of social reformers before us, such as Wilberforce or Clarkson, show us that such change is possible, although with much coordination and effort.

      If you’d like to read more about changing culture, I’d finally recommend our recent publication ‘Shining in the Sun, a biblical vision for city transformation’ (http://www.jubilee-centre.org/shining-sun-biblical-vision-city-transformation/)

      Thanks,
      Charlee

  2. Stephen de Garis says:

    Dear Charlee,
    Thanks for reply and comments! I’ll take your tips to read further on the web articles. The subject is of interested concern to me.

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