Oxford conference explores a fresh vision for human flourishing in a troubled world

In a world that is changing rapidly, we are these days surrounded by so many confusing and contradictory voices, especially when it comes to the nature of human identity, gender theory and the place of spirituality in society.

Each and every one of us is made in the Divine Image, but what does this mean exactly and how can knowledge of our true identity empower us to flourish?

These profoundly important issues are the focus of the 2022 Scripture & Spirituality Conference, being held at the Carmelite Priory at Boars Hill, just outside the city of Oxford, and also online.

Made in God’s Image: A Fresh Vision for Human Flourishing takes place over three days from 8th-10th July, and this popular three-day annual conference will this year see eight renowned speakers, authors and experts explaining how we can more greatly reflect the Divine Image in a world in so much need of healing.

Central to this year’s explorations is the figure of Edith Stein, also known as Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. One of the six patron saints of Europe, Edith was a German Jewish philosopher who converted to Christianity and became a Discalced Carmelite nun.

She was arrested (with her sister Rosa) by the Gestapo on 2nd August 1942 and the two were sent to Auschwitz, where they were murdered in the gas chambers on 9th August.

Today, Edith Stein is one of the most widely read of Catholic philosophers, and her many insights into the nature of human identity, the relationship between the Divine and our inner selves, and the radical spiritual nature of womanhood have profound relevance for the world in which we live.

You can participate in this important and inspiring three-day conference either by residential, day attendance or online registration.

The Carmelite Priory at Boars Hill, also known as Chilswell House, overlooks the famous ‘dreaming spires’ of Oxford, and is the former home of the English poet Robert Bridges. Set in 17 acres of woodland in the rolling Oxfordshire Hills the priory is well-known as an oasis of peace, stillness and prayer offering the richness and depth of Carmelite spirituality.

The friars observe a simple life of prayer and solitude, balanced with daily liturgy, work and love of neighbour. Each friar at Boars Hill brings their own unique skill and spirituality to all their retreats and courses they offer.

The accommodation at Boars Hill is of the highest standard, with a range of room options and services, and the priory also boasts a ‘5-star’ kitchen! Boars Hill lies just four miles south east of Oxford and can be reached very easily by road, or taxi from the city centre.

Places on this important conference are limited, so to register for residential, day or online attendance, please use this link:



2022 Scripture & Spirituality Conference highlights:


Day One:  Friday 8th July

Joanne Mosley (Oxford, UK)

A Glimpse Beyond the Veil: Reading the Scriptures with Edith Stein

Caroline Farey (Worcester, UK)

Re-creation of Reality: New Adam and New Eve (A Meditative Exploration of the New Creation with Sacred Art) 

Margaret Barker

Adam as the Image of God

Day TwoSaturday 9th July
Audrey Hamilton

I am carefully and wonderfully made” (Ps. 139:14)’: Lessons at the Potter’s House

Carolyn Farey
God-given Reality: Adam and Eve – Exploring the Creation Narrative in Genesis

Fr Paul Hamans (Roermond, Netherlands)

What happened to Edith Stein and her companions?

Fr Pier Giorgio Pacelli (Washington D.C., US)

St. Edith Stein in the 21st Century: Contributions to a Post-Secular Age

Heather Ward (Derbyshire, UK)

Who Do You Think You Are? Exploring Identity in the Light of Scripture and the Mystical Tradition

Day Three:  Sunday 10th July
Peter Tyler (St Mary’s Twickenham, UK)

The Story of a Soul: Edith Stein’s spiritual anthropology and its implications for pastoral care today

Prof David Albert Jones (St Mary’s Twickenham, UK)

 ‘Male and female he created them: The image of God, gender theory, and human flourishing’


There will also be two workshops running concurrently on each day:
Saturday 9th July
Audrey Hamilton
I am carefully and wonderfully made” (Ps. 139:14)’: Lessons at the Potter’s House
St Teresa reminds us that God can be found among the pots and pans, the stuff of everyday life. Even more wonderful is the spiritual truth that the biblical prophets and preachers used their everyday experience of pottery and pottery making to illustrate about the relationship between the potter and the clay. These insights which this presentation will explore can be life-transforming.

Carolyn Farey
God-given Reality: Adam and Eve – Exploring the Creation Narrative in Genesis
An exploration together of the text of Genesis on the beginning of humankind. A faith-based approach to God’s creation of the world and his delight in Adam and Eve. Exploring what happens to Eve to believe the serpent’s words rather than those of her loving Creator. Looking at the question God calls out to them and to us with intense love and longing ‘Where are you?


Sunday 10th July

Heather Ward
Living in the Cellars of Knowledge

Living in the cell of self-knowledge, a phrase attributable to St Catherine of Siena, might be said to be a fundamental reality for Christian spiritual life, as it was, indeed, for many in the Graeco-Roman world who aspired to live “the good life”. In this workshop we will be looking at the different dimensions of this imperative to “know yourself” as they appear in the works of mystics & theologians & consider how this might enable a response to the apparent contradiction between self- awareness & self-forgetfulness that so concerned Samuel Taylor Coleridge in his poem Self-Knowledge

Fr Matt Blake OCD
Discerning God’s Plan with Edith Stein

This presentation will reflect on Edith’s Stein’s insights into God’s plan for us even in challenging times: “Things were in God’s plan which I had not planned at all. I am coming to the living faith and conviction that – from God’s point of view – there is no chance and that the whole of my life, down to every detail, has been mapped out in God’s divine providence and makes complete and perfect sense in God’s all-seeing eyes.” – Matt Blake