Lived Religion and its Impact on Society

We have an outstanding international reputation in the study of a wide range of religions and their interaction with society in the contemporary world including inter-cultural theology; the exploration of values and cultural practices; the intersection of belief and trust in science; practical theology; Islamic studies; contemporary and alternative spiritualties; Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity; Jewish Studies; Quaker Studies; and Sikh studies. 

Our research is publicly engaged, with our staff working with faith communities and policy makers to develop informed agendas for social transformation. The department is recognised across the world for research and teaching on religion and politics at the interface of religious studies and social sciences. It entails leading research publications and leadership of international academic organizations such as European Academy of Religion and the International Studies Association.



  • Daniela Augustine works on spirituality of social transformation, urban sustainability and communal flourishing at the intersections of economic, political and ecological concerns
  • Jocelyne Cesari looks at the politicization of religion in national and interntional contexts, secularisation, religion and governance, Islam in the West.
  • B.P. Dandelion specialises in the sociology of contemporary and historical Quakerism, also secularism and internal secularisation.
  • Amy Daughton directs the Doctoral programme in practical theology, where researchers consider professional and vocational practices as themselves sites of theological meaning and insight.
  • Andrew Davies works on religion and political and social engagement and the role of faith leaders in delivering social change.
  • Elizabeth Harris carries out research in Religious Studies, with specialisms in Theravada Buddhism, Religion and Conflict, Religion in Sri Lanka and Interreligious Studies
  • Jagbir Jhutti-Johal focuses on the Sikh community in the UK, with a particular focus on contested issues suchas gender equality, identity, pluralism, representation and political engagement in the UK.
  • Jeremy Kidwell is working on qualitative research which seeks to probe salience and significance of religion with a variety of interdisciplinary partners (philosophy, env. science, geography, etc.) into activist studies, social movements, environmentalism, and community/grass-roots mobilisation
  • Candida Moss researchers the use of Christianity history and scripture in modern politics, Religion and Cultural Heritage, Religious Education in the modern world
  • Carissa Sharp is interested in investigating perceptions of the relationship between science and religion from a social and experimental psychology perspective
  • Karen Wenell works on intersections between religion, consuming and development
  • Isabel Wollaston researches Holocaust studies and contemporary Jewish-Christian relations (post 1945)

Major publications

  • Cesari, J. (forthcoming) We God’s people: Political Christianity, Islam and Hinduism in the world of Nations. New York: Cambridge University Press
  • Cesari, J. (2018) What is Political Islam? Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers. Book Award Honor 2019 by the Religion and International Relations Section of the International Studies Association.
  • Cesari, J. and J. Casanova eds (2017) Islam, Gender and Democracy in a Comparative Perspective. London: Oxford University Press
  • Elizabeth J. Harris, 2018. Religion, Space and Conflict: colonial and postcolonial contexts. London and New York: Routledge.   
  • Elizabeth J Harris, 2019. 'Contested Histories, Multi-Religious Space and Conflict: A Case Study of Kantarodai in Northern Sri Lanka'. Religions  10 (9). DOI: 10.3390/rel10090537
  • Kidwell, J.H. (2020), Mapping the Field of Religious Environmental Politics, International Affairs, Volume 96, Issue 2, March 2020, Pages 343–363
  • Ives, C. and J.H. Kidwell (2019), Religion and social values for sustainability, Sustainability Science volume 14, pp. 1355–1362
  • Kidwell, J.H., et al (2018), Christian climate care: Slow change, modesty and eco-theo-citizenship, Geo: Geography and Environment, vol. 5 issue 2, doi: 10.1002/geo2.59
  • Moss, C. and Baden, J. (2017) Bible Nation: The United States of Hobby Lobby.  Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2017. Named a Top Ten book in Religion by Publisher's Weekly.


Research centres

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