Fellowship: Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies “Belief and Unbelief”

New Topic for 2012-14: Belief and Unbelief
During the academic years 2012/13 and 2013/14, the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies will focus on belief and unbelief and how they have interacted in history. How has the line been drawn between religion and other forms of deeply held conviction: secularism, secular religions, political theologies, and the like? At issue are not just questions of demarcation and definition but processes: secularization, proselytizing, conversion. How does belief manifest itself in lived experience, in ritual, observance, and daily-life practices? How have people and cultures moved across the borderline between belief and unbelief? How has belief itself become a subject of study, whether from a secular or theological point of view? As always, we hope to address these questions from a wide variety of periods and places, from prehistory to the present and from all parts of the world.

Follow up:
apply for a fellowship.
see information regarding fellowships.
request general program information.
written requests should be addressed to: The Manager, Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies,
Department of History,
129 Dickinson Hall,
Princeton University,
Princeton, NJ 08544-1017, U.S.A.


RESEARCHING THE CONTEMPORARY MORAL LANDSCAPE – Apply now for this AHRC and RSA funded training week.

Researching the Contemporary Moral Landscape: Concepts, Methods and Approaches to Public Engagement

An intensive residential training programme for doctoral students and early career researchers run by the Centre for Religion and Contemporary Society, University of Kent in conjunction with the RSA

Monday 10 – Friday 14 September, 2012

The AHRC’s Care for the Future research theme emphasises the importance of studying the ‘ethical, moral, cultural and social landscapes’ of contemporary life. How do we engage with this challenge conceptually, though, or practice research in ways that engage effectively with these complex phenomena? What public audiences do these questions matter to and how can we communicate our work in creative and useful ways?

This week-long intensive training workshop, delivered in conjunction with the RSA, will provide doctoral students and early career researchers with a unique opportunity to address these questions through workshop sessions with a range of experienced researchers. The programme content will include a range of disciplinary perspectives and will aim not so much to provide a comprehensive framework, but diverse theoretical and methodological perspectives which can act as a stimulus for participants’ future research.

Speakers at the event will include Louisa Bolch, Abby Day, Adam Dinham, Lois Lee, Gordon Lynch, David Morgan, and Linda Woodhead. Specific areas to be covered in the programme will include:

  • forms of ‘belief’ in everyday life
  • visual and material culture as media of moral life
  • understanding the contemporary moral landscape through literature and the arts
  • the good life and the ‘social brain’
  • the contemporary significance of the sacred and the profane
  • new forms of ritualization in contemporary society
  • the policy context for understanding the contemporary moral landscape

Other training sessions will also explore different approaches to public engagement through print, digital and broadcast media.

The event will run from the morning Monday 10 September until the end of the afternoon on Friday 14 September at the RSA’s offices just off the Strand in central London. There is no registration fee. Lunch and dinner will be provided free of charge, and free overnight accommodation will also be provided in central London for those participants who require it. Delegates’ travel costs within the UK will also be met.

We anticipate a high degree of interest in this programme, and the deadline for applications is Monday 4 June.

Further information on the programme, and how to apply for it, is available athttp://www.kent.ac.uk/secl/researchcentres/crcs/moral_landscape.html

Religion and Belief in Higher Education, Derby 15 June 2012

Please see details below for a symposium on religion and belief in higher education, please note the inclusion of Dr Rebecca Catto and Dr Janet Eccles project findings, ‘Forming and Expressing Non-Religious Beliefs in Higher Education’.


How are students and staff negotiating religion and belief in universities today? This symposium will bring together researchers examining the role of religion and belief in higher education and showcase a range of recent research projects. We will examine evidence from large-scale surveys and local case studies, and from projects spanning a range of faith and belief groups. Topics include multi-faith spaces on campus, non-religious students, Muslim chaplaincy and student Christianity. The symposium will bring together scholars from a range of disciplines, including sociology, religious studies, social policy, architecture, Islamic studies and theology.


Professor Paul Weller & Nicki Moore (Derby) ‘Religion and Belief in Higher Education: Findings, Questions and Reflections from a Research Project for the Equality Challenge Unit’

Jacqueline Stevenson (Leeds Metropolitan) ‘Struggling, Striving, Strategising, Surviving: Religious students in UK higher education’

Dr Ataullah Siddiqui (Markfield Institute) ‘Bridging the Gap between the “Islamic Studies” and “Islamic Sciences”: Some Challenges’

Dr Mike Higton (Cambridge) ‘A Theology of Higher Education’

Dr Adam Dinham (Goldsmith’s) ‘An Ambiguous Role for Religion in the Universities: A Case Study in Practice’

Dr Andrew Crompton (Liverpool) ‘The Architecture of the Multifaith Space: Designing for Inclusion’

Dr Rebecca Catto & Dr Janet Eccles (Lancaster) ‘Forming and Expressing Non-Religious Beliefs in Higher Education’

Maulana Dr M. Mansur Ali (Cambridge Muslim College) ‘Muslim Chaplaincy in UK and US Higher Education: A Comparative Study’

Dr Kristin Aune (Derby) ‘Student Christianity in English Universities’

DATE: Friday 15th June 10am-4.45pm

VENUE: The Enterprise Centre, University of Derby, Bridge Street, DE1 3LA

REGISTRATION: No charge but places are limited so please register soon. Vegetarian lunch and refreshments provided.
Register by email to Frauke Uhlenbruch (f.uhlenbruch@derby.ac.uk) by Friday 18th May

Dr. Kristin Aune
Senior Lecturer in Sociology
Head of the Society, Religion & Belief Research Group
Faculty of Education, Health & Sciences
University of Derby
Kedleston Road
Derby DE22 1GB
Tel: 01332 591428

CFP: Material Religion in Modern Britain and her Worlds 8-9 June 2012

Not strictly within the NSRN remit, but  there could be some scope for a secular/non-religious comparative paper within the conference.

Material Religion in Modern Britain and her Worlds

8-9 June 2012

University of Glamorgan, Cardiff

This two-day symposium will explore material cultures of religious belief and faith in modern Britain. As Birgit Meyer, David Morgan, Crispin Paine and S. Brent Plate have recently pointed out, studying material objects provides us with an alternative evidence base in the study of modern religious belief (Birgit Meyer et al; 2011). Yet few attempts have yet been made to do so. While many scholars now concede that Britain’s religious landscape is more varied and rich than the narrative of secularisation allows, a tendency remains in the historiography of religion to privilege written sources over material manifestations of religion. This means that all sorts of belief practices have been overlooked. Analysing the material past, we propose, will provide scholars with new and exciting ways of understanding the apparently fraught relationship between modernity and religion. As Jane Bennett points out, objects are culture constructions and lead active lives in our social and cultural landscape. Religious historians have too often been guilty of adopting an implicitly Protestant binary (set up in opposition to Catholicism) in which words are privileged over objects. Yet everyday cultures of Protestant belief in Britain relied on all kinds of material cultures which sustained religion in an age of uncertainty.

Despite Britain’s ‘official’ Protestant past, we are nonetheless keen to encourage papers which explore religious denominations or groups beyond the official cannon and which made up Britain’s multi-faith landscape in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Papers are welcome which consider either formal or informal aspects of religious materiality. We would especially like to encourage papers that consider ‘Britain’s worlds’, including investigations of religious objects in the Empire or commonwealth or geographical locations inhabited by British people.

We hope to encourage an interdisciplinary dialogue by bringing together scholars in history, religion, art/design history, architecture and sociology.

Keynote speakers to be annouced

Possible themes or topics include:

  • Religious objects
  • Religious ephemera
  • The materiality of religious and sacred texts
  • Sacred Dress and Clothing
  • Religious Architecture and the built environment
  • Construction of sacred space
  • Social identity/identities including class, gender and life stage
  • Ideas surrounding materiality and religion
  • Advertising and Consumption
  • Making of religious objects
  • Religious Interiors and the domestic display of material objects
  • Religious aestheticism
  • Iconography

Please send abstracts of 400 words either Lucinda Matthews-Jones [l.matthew-jones@ljmu.ac.uk] or Tim Jones [twjones@glam.ac.uk] by 31st March.

The Conference will be hosted by the University of Glamorgan, Cardiff Campus.

We plan a number of publication outputs from this conference. If you are unable to attend, but would like to express your interest for future events or outputs, please email Lucinda Matthews-Jones [l.matthew-jones@ljmu.ac.uk] with a brief description of your work and a short CV.

Society, Religion & Belief Research Group seminar series

For those of you living in or near the East Midlands, please find details of the SOCREL Society, Religion & Belief Research Group seminar series below.

For more information please contact: Dr. Kristin Aune Senior Lecturer in Sociology Head of the Society, Religion & Belief Research Group Faculty of Education, Health & Sciences University of Derby Kedleston Road Derby DE22 1GB Tel: 01332 591428

Society, Religion & Belief Research Group

Spring Semester Seminars

Tuesday, 31st January, 2012, 13:00-14:30, N414

Dr Simon Speck, University of Derby

“Fundamentalism or Cosmopolitanism: Religiosity in theories of second modernity”

Wednesday, 29th February, 2012, 16:30-18:00, N109

Prof. Susan Hogan, University of Derby

“Look At Me! – Women and Ageing”

Thursday, 22nd March, 2012, 13:00-14:30, S109

Dr Rebecca Watson, Cambridge Theological Federation

“Contextualising The Psalms of Zion: A Social-Psychological Approach”

Tuesday, 17th April, 2012, 16:30-18:00, B102

Dr Giselle Vincett, University of Edinburgh

“Young People, Deprivation and Religion in the UK: Coping and Resistance”

Wednesday, 2nd May, 2012, 16:30-18:00, S109

Andrew Wilson, University of Derby

“Haunted by History: Representations of the Pendle Witches in Popular Culture”