Photo by Eran Menashri on Unsplash

Despite the fact I grew up in Spain, a country with deep cultural, political and historical ties to Catholicism, religion was never a particular concern. My father was brought up in a Spanish communist family, so he thinks religion is, as Marx (1843) eloquently put it, “the opium of the people”. My mother does not hold a higher opinion of religion either. She never willingly participates in religious events and despises Catholic priests, who she reckons harsh to children. As a result, I was never baptised in the Spanish Catholic Church, unlike most of my friends or cousins. …

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In 2019 I presented a short paper to the annual SocRel conference on a large-scale, knitted poppy project hosted at a church in Warwick to commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of the end of World War 1 in 2018. The paper explored what this event could show about narratives around death and remembrance. In particular:

· changes to how people approach death, dying and bereavement

· a generalised seeking after transcendence

· an ambivalence between belonging and believing in 21st century culture

· a yearning for nostalgic stories about the past

· changes in communicating religion through social and traditional…

Photo by Agence Olloweb on Unsplash

As charitable organisations are faced with growing competition for funds, they are under pressure to communicate the impact of their work in ways that clearly define and measure ‘success’. However, when programme goals are difficult to classify or describe, organisations are confronted with the twofold challenge of a) identifying the data that needs to be captured to accurately demonstrate the impact of their work, and b) articulating the impact in such a way that different stakeholders’ needs are met.

This was the issue faced by The Faith and Belief Forum (F&BF, formally Three Faiths Forum), an interfaith charity and the…

Despite religion’s prominence in public debates (Davie 2014) and importance in daily life for many people across the world (WIN/Gallup International 2014; Hackett and McClendon 2017) — though for a diminishing proportion of British citizens (WIN/Gallup International 2015b) — scholars and the news media, in their efforts to understand faith, are still preoccupied with two issues: religious fundamentalism and violence. Consequently, spiritual aspects and everyday practices of religion as an important part of daily life for religious citizens remain under-examined and particularly under-reported in the mainstream news media in a secular world. …

Diary-based research is one of the lesser-used qualitative research methods and is particularly underused in sociological studies of religion. Visual methods are also sparse in this field. For my PhD on Ramadan in the UK, I collected photo diaries charting Muslim experiences of the month. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the diaries I collected documented an unusual ‘lockdown Ramadan’ for British Muslims. Here, I provide an overview of the methods used and some reflections on these which may be useful for academics exploring such methods in their work. …

Islamophobia, when acknowledged as a form of racism, is habitually thought to be limited to the west with questions of identities, personal prejudice, securitisation and governance often dominating the conversation. Further, throughout academic literature, much work remains ahistorical where the entanglements of anti-Muslim racism with what Quijano had termed the global ‘colonial matrix of power’ of the ‘modern’ world often go unexplored. Nevertheless, more recently, some work has begun to identify Islamophobia’s global nature, and, to a lesser extent, its presence within Islamic communities (Hafez and Bayrakli 2019).

Photo by ‏🌸🙌 فی عین الله on Unsplash

Seeking to engage this emerging conversation, my work over the past years…

By late March 2020, a previously unimaginable situation had occurred across the British church as places of worship around the country were forced to lock their doors and in-person collective worship was banned. Believers were forced to change habits that had lasted for lifetimes within a matter of days and around the country churches scrambled to move online — whether on YouTube, Facebook Live, Zoom or other platforms.

Photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash

Thinking on this new state started immediately and within weeks Heidi Campbell (2020) published an e-book drawing on reflections of both practitioners and digital religion researchers. Yet this work, along with the…

Socrel (British Sociological Association)

The socoiology of religion study group at the British Sociological Association.

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