Faith, Science & Sexuality Conference

A one-day conference, hosted by the Dean of St Paul’s, the Very Revd Dr David Ison, was held on December 8th 2018 at St John’s Waterloo to help inform and educate Christians about issues relating to human sexuality and gender.

It involved a range of senior academics and well-known LGBTI Christians, including the Professor of Primary Care Psychiatry at the University College of London, the Professor of Psychology at the University of Surrey and the Professor of Theological Ethics at Durham University.  

The following presentations and notes have kindly been made available by the speakers.  Films of each session will be available shortly.

Picture of Dr Qazi Rahman

Dr Qazi Rahman, King’s College London is one of the world’s leading scientists on the biology of sexual orientation and mental health of LGBT people.  In a pre-recorded address he spoke on the evidence of a biological basis to human sexual orientation differences, and the philosophical and social implications of his work.

Prof Michael King

Prof Michael King, is Professor of Psychiatry in the Faculty of Brain Sciences at UCL.  He is a psychiatric epidemiologist and talked to the conference about the Mental Health of Sexual Minorities.  He is a member of the Living in Love and Faith thematic work group on Social & Biological Science.

Photo of Prof Peter Hegarty

Prof Peter Hegarty, is Professor of Psychology at
Surrey University and talked about his recent work which examines the public’s understanding of Intersex people, and the controversies about medical interventions on intersex traits.


Revd Dr Tina Beardsley is a retired healthcare chaplain and previously a parish priest.  She was Changing Attitude, England’s first transgender trustee (2007-2014) and is the author of various transgender resource books.  She is a member of the Co-ordinating Group for Living in Love and Faith.

Photo of Dr James Barrett

Dr James Barrett is the Lead Clinician at the Gender Identity Clinic at the Tavistock  and a Honrary Clinical Senior Lecturer at the Imperial College of Science and Medicine.  Although originally trained as a psychiatrist, he considers himself now to be best described as a consultant in Adult Gender Dysphoria Medicine.

Photo of Prof Robert Song

Prof Robert Song is Professor of Theological Ethics at Durham University and a former President of the Society of the Study of Christian Ethics.  He closed the conference by suggesting how we might want to look at approaching these ethical issues

Various articles have been written in advance and following the conference:

Brexit, Sex & Science: Can We Challenge “Fake News”? by the Very Revd Dr David Ison, Dean of St Paul’s

Human sexuality: What does the science say? by Prof Robert Song

Are Christians Guilty of Exerting Peer Pressure to Make People “Fit In”? by the Very Revd Dr David Ison, Dean of St Paul’s

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