The Abusing God Network is an AHRC funded collaborative enterprise started in April 2022.

Building on the Bible, Gender, and Church Research Centre (BGC), which was founded by Dr Holly Morse (The University of Manchester) and Dr Kirsi Cobb (Cliff College) in 2019, the Abusing God Network connects academic researchers with church and charity practitioners to support collaborative trans-institutional research around the theme of Abusing God: Reading the Bible in the #MeToo age.

The Network provides a platform to connect academics, church, and charity practitioners, in order to develop new research into the intersection between Scripture and the lived experience of Christian survivors. Such work is vital in light of the #metoo, a global social movement that seeks to bring about an end to sexual harassment and sexual abuse.

Indeed, the proposed project is all the more important as gender-based violence has surged following global lockdowns and resultant cuts to key support services during the Covid-19 pandemic. The proposed research generated by the Network, which is supported by Press Red, is timelier than ever and will help improve the support that the Church and charities can offer to Christian survivors.

Meet our team 

Picture of Kirsi CobbKirsi Cobb is a lecturer in biblical studies at Cliff College and a co-director of the Bible, Gender and Church Research Centre. She wrote her PhD dissertation on the biblical figure of Miriam and the multiple ways her story can be read when using different methods of hermeneutics. Her current research focuses on women in the Hebrew Bible with a special interest in biblical interpretation including feminist, deconstructive and trauma studies. Her recent projects include a reading of Lot’s daughters in Genesis 19 in light of trauma theory and revenge, as well as a study on gender and violence in Hosea 2. For more details see: https://cliffcollege.academia.edu/KirsiCobb, https://www.cliffcollege.ac.uk/about/gender-centre/.

Picture of Holly MorseHolly Morse is Lecturer in Bible, Gender and Culture at the University of Manchester, a co-director of the Bible, Gender and Church Research Centre, and author of Encountering Eve’s Afterlives: A New Reception Critical Approach to Genesis 2-4 (OUP 2020). In this book, she seeks to destabilize the persistently pessimistic framing of Eve as a highly negative symbol of femininity by engaging with marginal, and even heretical, interpretations that focus on more positive aspects of her character. The book began its life as Holly’s DPhil thesis at the University of Oxford, supervised by Prof Susan Gillingham. Holly has also written on biblical literature, gender, feminist activism, trauma, abuse, and the Bible in visual arts and popular culture (see https://www.research.manchester.ac.uk/portal/holly.morse.html). Currently, in addition to the AHRC Network project ‘Abusing God: Reading the Bible in the #MeToo Age’, Holly is also researching cultural feminisations of transgressive knowledge and magic in the West from antiquity to today.

Picture of Lily PearsonLily Pearson is the Research Administrator for the ‘Abusing God: Reading the Bible in the #MeToo Age’ project. Lily is a second-year History PhD student at the University of Manchester. Her research is focused on the history of racism in football, particularly in relation to the influence of far-right groups and the media. 

Contact us

For more information on the network, or for any questions and queries please email us at: abusinggodahrc@gmail.com.

You can also find us on Twitter! Our handle is @abusinggodahrc.