Jonathan D Smith

Jonathan D Smith

PhD Student

+44 (0)790 325 9913

Summary: I am researching faith-based development organisations in the Middle East, their interactions with local communities, and their effect on Muslim-Christian relations.



Jonathan works and conducts research at the intersection of theology, religious diversity and social movements. He has worked in the UK charitable sector for ten years on interfaith and social action projects with the Lokahi Foundation and the Faith & Belief Forum. He taught for four years at universities in Lebanon and the Palestinian Territories, where he supported student groups engaged in interfaith dialogue and action for peace and justice.

Jonathan received an MA in International Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, an MA in Applied Linguistics from Georgia State University, and a BA in Biblical Studies from Beulah Heights University in Atlanta.

Research Interests 

  • interfaith solidarity, dialogue and social action
  • faith-based organisations working in relief and development
  • religion and global development
  • religious environmental social movements
  • Christian-Muslim relations
  • diversity management in multicultural societies
  • interfaith relations at UK universities
  • faith and social capital

Selected Publications

(with Kraft, K.) 'Between international donors and local faith communities: Intermediaries in humanitarian assistance to Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon', 2018, Disasters [online version].

Connecting Global and Local Indonesian Environmental Movements’, 2017, Kawistara 17(3), pp. 207-225.

Positioning Missionaries in Development Studies, Policy and Practice, 2017, World Development 90, pp. 63-76

Multi-Faith Muddle: Trends in Managing Prayer Spaces at UK Universities, 2016.  

(with Barnes, M.) 'Religious Literacy as Lokahi: Social Harmony through Diversity', 2015. In Adam Dinham and Matthew Francis (eds.) Religious Literacy in Policy and Practice (Bristol: Policy Press).

Welcome to Wapping: The Value of Community in a Tower Hamlets Village, 2015 (London: Hurtado Jesuit Centre). 

South African Interfaith Solidarity: A Model for Social Transformation, Conference paper presented at Multiculturalism, Conflict and Belonging, Oxford, UK, 2007.   

Good Campus Relations: Lokahi University Research Briefing Paper 1, 2012 (London: The Lokahi Foundation). 

Religious Groups and the State: Partners for Social Transformation?, 2006. Briefing Paper 155 (Cape Town: Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference Parliamentary Liaison Office). 

South Africa’s Developing Model of Religion-State Relations, 2005. Occasional Paper 18 (Cape Town: Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference Parliamentary Liaison Office). 

(with Chenoweth, J., Wehrmeyer, W., Lipchin, C., & Gazit, T.) A comparison of environmental visions of university students in Israel and Palestine, 2007, Futures 39(6), pp. 695-703.