About the Centre

About the Centre for Religion and Public Life (CRPL)

The aims of the CRPL are:

  • To carry out research into the immensely important, and increasingly contentious, role of religion in public life in the world today, and to provide a forum in which contemporary research and scholarship can be debated and disseminated.
  • To work closely with non-academic partners to identify the ways in which religion is relevant to their work and to produce research that is capable of meeting their need to better understand the nature of religion and religious organisations locally, nationally and internationally.
  • Through our Community Religions Project, to support innovative research-led teaching at both undergraduate and MA level that also has a focus on students obtaining first-hand experience of putting research methods into practice as well as opportunities for work placements and other types of engagement with non-academic audiences.

These aims are met through on-going high quality scholarship, reflected in grant successes and the production of academic publications, as well as a long tradition – beginning nearly 40 years ago with the Community Religions Project - of engagement with local community members, policy makers, arts and culture bodies to carry out research that has a direct relevance to their activities.  

As the focus for an academic community at the forefront of current research into the nature and role of Christianity, Islam and African and Asian religions in society, politics and culture, the Centre for Religion and Public Life brings together a group of scholars seeking to overturn the neglect or marginalisation of religious factors in many academic and popular debates about public life.

The Centre's interdisciplinary character, signalled by the sociological, anthropological, theological and historical interests of its participants, make it a unique forum for the study of contemporary religion, while its promotion of research into issues such as globalisation, violence, ethics, technology, development studies, ecology, diaspora, race and ethnicity mean it is uniquely placed to make a substantive contribution to serious consideration of some of the most pressing intellectual and practical challenges facing the world today.

Our work in the Centre is clustered in the following areas

Contact Director: Dr Adriaan van Klinken ; +44 (0)113 343 3658