The Edward Cadbury Centre for the Public Understanding of Religion was established in 2014 to enhance the public understanding of religion regionally, nationally and internationally through distinctive, strategic and engaged interdisciplinary research.
We deliver innovative, interdisciplinary, impact-driven and internationally-excellent programmes exploring the significance of religious belief and practice for public and professional life, working with faith communities and policymakers to develop informed agendas for social transformation. We combine academic rigour with a commitment to positive advocacy of the vital contribution that religion can make to public life.
Our Centre’s goals include:
- Undertaking distinctive education and engagement activity to support our core agenda
- Cultivating far-reaching partnerships across a variety of sectors; working collaboratively both institutionally and more widely
- Enabling and empowering faith communities to reflect critically upon their beliefs and practices and expound and interpret them to a wider public
- Creating and distributing resources, and organising public lectures, educational programmes, and other strategic events and activities to enhance the understanding of religion and religious affairs, for education, policy and professional development and commercial contexts
The Centre, named in honour of the Quaker economist and humanitarian who supported the establishment of the University’s Department of Theology and Religion from its institution, is led by a small core team, supported by doctoral and postdoctoral researchers, drawing as required upon wider expertise from the Department of Theology and Religion, bringing in additional specialists for particular projects and collaborating with other University of Birmingham researchers and research centres to deliver its goals effectively.
The Centre is ideologically and methodologically committed to interdisciplinary and collaborative research and seeks to build a reputation as an international centre of excellence in this field. The Centre is hosted within the Department of Theology and Religion of the University of Birmingham, which came second on GPA in the 2014 REF for the discipline and was rated extremely highly for its outputs and very strongly for its impact. Our work combines research of the highest international quality with an engaged and community-focussed approach, which undergirds its academic rigour and objectivity but anchors its work in the real world.