Exploring the place and role of religion in British society today

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    The effect of neoliberal policies on the place of religion in England’s schools

The effect of neoliberal policies on the place of religion in England’s schools

The interim report of the Commission on Religious Education was published last month seeking to outline a vision for the subject in current education policy in England. Whilst debates around the place of religions in education seek to balance the place of an established religion with increasing religious diversity, they often ignore the rise in recent decades of a […]

October 12th, 2017|Featured, Latest|0 Comments|
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    Religion is not what it used to be. Consumerism, neoliberalism, and the global reshaping of religion

Religion is not what it used to be. Consumerism, neoliberalism, and the global reshaping of religion

The last half-century has seen a shift, not from religion to no religion but from one type of religion to another. François Gauthier argues that scholars of religion have often ignored the rise of economics as a dominant and structuring social force beginning in the 1980s and, as such, how consumerism and neoliberalism have shaped religion. He finds that […]

October 6th, 2017|Featured, Latest|1 Comment|

Intergenerational perspectives on caste in the UK

In a recent study, Rina Arya investigated how attitudes to caste varied between generations in the Hindu Punjabi community living in the Greater Manchester area. Here she offers a summary of the research and writes that it points to the continuing – albeit evolving – significance of caste in the diaspora.

Caste and class are significant issues within Hindu society, both in […]

September 28th, 2017|Featured, Latest|0 Comments|
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    Recognizing the other: Jewish–Muslim relations in the global food industry

Recognizing the other: Jewish–Muslim relations in the global food industry

John Lever’s upcoming book explores the global kosher and halal food industry and finds that Jewish-Muslim relations can be more harmonious than is often assumed.

In line with conflict in the Middle East, Jewish-Muslim relations are often represented in the media and public discourse in confrontational terms. In a recent blog piece, Yulia Egorova suggests similarly that Jewish-Muslim relations reflect and […]

September 19th, 2017|Featured, Latest|0 Comments|
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    Narratives of Islamophobia in the UK: Encounters and resistance amongst young Muslim women

Narratives of Islamophobia in the UK: Encounters and resistance amongst young Muslim women

Tania Saeed’s book looks at the experiences of young Muslim women across England, highlighting the anxieties of young Muslims who constantly feel targeted because of their religious beliefs. It finds that Muslim students are actively challenging Islamophobia on campuses through dialogue, taking charge of the narrative that informs their daily lives.

Bassem Youssef an Egyptian comedian now based in the […]

September 11th, 2017|Featured, Latest|0 Comments|
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    Cultural appropriation: Analysing the use of Hindu symbols within consumerism

Cultural appropriation: Analysing the use of Hindu symbols within consumerism

The use of Hindu symbols in the media and within consumer culture has led to tensions as symbols become dislocated from their religious or socio-political meaning and are perceived to be distorted. In this context Rina Arya discusses the need for greater scholarship to explore notions of appropriation and cultural boundaries.

Cultural appropriation is a topic that is often discussed in the […]

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    The FBV agenda puts schools in the business of defending not critiquing British values

The FBV agenda puts schools in the business of defending not critiquing British values

Since 2014 there has been a duty imposed on schools to actively promote ‘fundamental British values’ (FBV). There is concern that this is being used to wrong-foot certain communities and risks setting up a dichotomy between, for example, Muslim values and British values.  Julia Ipgrave argues that defining British values by fear signals a shift in thinking about the […]

August 31st, 2017|Featured, Latest|1 Comment|
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    How evangelical religion contributed to peace in Northern Ireland – and what we can learn from it

How evangelical religion contributed to peace in Northern Ireland – and what we can learn from it

Gladys Ganiel explores the role of ECONI – an evangelical Protestant organisation – during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. ECONI’s effectiveness rests in part on its credibility: its evangelical identity provided it with a legitimacy that some ecumenical peacebuilding organisations lacked.

Samuel Huntington’s Clash of Civilisations emphasised the destructive capacities of religion, contributing to a popular consciousness that religion is simply […]

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    Peacebuilding in Afghanistan: the role of religious civil society

Peacebuilding in Afghanistan: the role of religious civil society

Strengthening Afghan civil society has been seen as central to the post-2001 peacebuilding process by national and international actors engaged in Afghanistan. But limited attention has been given to who are considered civil society actors and what role religious actors could play. Kaja Borchgrevink revisits her work on Afghan civil society 10 years on arguing that more consideration needs […]

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    Disused churches: documenting the adaptive reuse of religious buildings

Disused churches: documenting the adaptive reuse of religious buildings

The Xhurches project documents how religious buildings are being repurposed all over the world. Here the projects co-director Van Pham discusses how these spaces are being reimagined and what this tells us about the notion of religion, spiritual practice and community today.
Repurposing spaces in the urban landscape can be a tactic that retains some connection, however diffuse, to our […]

July 28th, 2017|Featured, Latest|2 Comments|