Adamstown Uniting Church BLog

Testing Tradition – Seminar with Val Webb


Sunday 29 October 2017
2 – 4pm in the Church Auditorium
Tickets $20/$15 (conc.)

“There has never been only one Christian truth, despite what people claim. Theological ideas have waxed and waned through history, taking conflicting turns with changing leaders, worldviews and political forces.”

In this afternoon seminar, Val Webb will explore themes from her exciting new book Testing Tradition and Liberating Theology: Finding your own voice. In this fast-paced, lay-friendly book, backed by serious, inquisitive scholarship, Val Webb follows this maze, shining a spotlight into dark corners and dusty shelves to observe some ideas silenced and others declared eternal. As many people walk away today from churches that will not face the big questions, this book offers permission for readers to think for themselves. The seminar will open up questions around theology and the manner in which we receive tradition. The afternoon will include input by Val Webb with opportunity for discussion, dialogue, questions and refreshments.

Purchase tickets at the door or online
Val’s book will also be available to purchase at the event.

About Val Webb

Dr. Val Webb’s professional career spans microbiology, business, public relations, art and religious studies. She has a graduate degree in science (Australia) and a Ph.D. in theology (USA). Born and educated in Brisbane, Val and husband Maurice lived almost thirty years in the United States where Maurice was a Gynecologic Oncologist at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester. During a period back in Brisbane in the 1980’s, Val held executive positions in the Queensland Synod of the Uniting Church in Australia and at The Wesley Hospital, Brisbane. She has taught religious studies and world religions at universities in the United States and Australia and has written eleven books, including Florence Nightingale: the making of a radical theologian; In Defence of Doubt: an invitation to adventure; and Stepping out with the Sacred: human attempts to engage the Divine. Her book, Like Catching Water in a Net: human attempts to describe the Divine won the “religion” category of the 2007 Best Books USA Awards. Val continues her writing and speaking engagements in Australia and overseas from her home in Mudgee, NSW, Australia. More at

What people are saying about the book

“Val Webb has done it again – bringing God-talk out of both the Academy and the Church; and into the everyday … This is a book of liberation in that it allows each one of us to ‘do our own theology’ – to express what we mean by ‘God’ and not leave it to the ecclesiastical or scholastic authorities to make up our minds for us … This is a brave and challenging book that puts God back in the midst of people – where God belongs!”
The late Revd Dr Nigel Leaves, Canon St John’s Cathedral, Brisbane, Australia.

“Val Webb invites us into a broad yet comprehensive sweep of much that has influenced the theological landscape for today’s 21st Century Christian. In doing so Webb both encourages and provokes our thinking about who we are and what we believe. Above all, the book is a call to the lay people of the church to accept responsibility for their own theological explorations and to no longer be shrinking violets in the important matters of informed faith.”
Rev Dr Jennifer Byrnes, Executive Director of the Centre for Theology and Ministry, Uniting Church in Australia Synod of Victoria-Tasmania.

“Testing Tradition and Liberating Theology is a little Aussie gem from our own pre-eminent lay theologian Dr Val Webb.  It makes theology accessible for the average reader, using clear language and everyday images that open up the mysteries of religious belief  … Reading this book is to be empowered by a credible lay theologian … The book submits that there are many ways to think theologically, and Webb leaves the reader to make their own decision.”
Bruce Mullan, Acting director, Uniting Communications, Uniting Church in Australia Queensland Synod.

“Testing Traditions and Liberating Theology may well be the best volume to come from Val Webb’s prolific key pad – and that is quite a rap! Her primary audience is the inquiring lay person … Much of the book is an historical survey of the development of (Christian) theological ideas. As such, it will be a great eye opener to many, and an enlightening refresher to others.”
Rev. Dr. Noel Preston, retired Uniting Church minister and an ethicist formerly Associate Professor at Queensland University of Technology and Griffith University.

Val Webb event flier


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