FaithXChange is a community of students and researchers committed to the study of religion and belief, and its interaction with theory, politics, policy and practice.
Primary page content
Faithxchange is an early career scholar network arising out of three contexts. The last fifteen years has seen a global reawakening to the importance of religion and belief in the public sphere. Major research programmes have been established all over the world, but especially in the UK, Sweden and Canada. There has been a significant and related shift in the way that religion is studied, with young researchers emerging in diverse and non-traditional settings: not only in theology and religious studies, but also in sociology, anthropology, cultural studies, politics, policy – and further, to media, literary studies, art, design and technology. These scholars often experience isolation and an uphill struggle to have religion recognised as a worthy field of study. These shifts are matched by an increased interest amongst politicians, policymakers, and the wider public. This increased interest needs to be matched by increased religious literacy.
Faithxchange seeks to address these contexts together, aiming to turn a loosely connected web of interdisciplinary people and research, into a robust network. Its core aim is to simultaneously be a robust and local community of researchers, with international, interdisciplinary reach.
It will aim to build connections between the major international programmes, connecting them and their research with each other, and with the wider academic and non-academic public. It will also provide a space for early career researchers, with a special focus on those in non-traditional disciplines, helping them to connect with each other, and with the wider public. As well as helping academics to face outwards, it will also aim to bring people outside of academia in, creating a space for mutual support and innovation.
FaithXChange has four areas of concern:
Theory: Since we last showed an interest, religion and belief have changed significantly. How should we understand and discuss religion and belief today? Does our current language suffice, or should we instead speak of 'the sacred' or 'the spiritual'?
Politics: The conventional political landscape is rapidly giving way to new forms of social movement. What role do religion and belief play in this process?
Policy: How does policy formation itself demonstrate a kind of religion or belief? How can policy shift to understand the complex ways in which service users are complexly religious and nonreligious?
Practice: Practice may encompass politicians and policy-makers themselves, as well as practitioners in the private, public and charity sectors: from medical professionals and social workers to sports professionals and dramatists.
FaithXChange Annual Conference 2016: Alternative Visions in the Public Sphere: Feb 2016
As part of a Sir Halley Stewart Trust funded project exploring Alternative Visions in the Public Sphere, this conference explored the ways in which various religious and nonreligious beliefs and values can offer visions of an inclusive, socially just public sphere.
Keynote speakers included Dr Dan Nilsson De Hanas, King's College London; Dr Jasjit Singh, University of Leeds; and Dr Katie Aston, Goldsmiths.
The organisers are in the process of developing a network of researchers and practitioners around this theme.
For more information, contact t.greenwood (@gold.ac.uk).
FaithXChange 2nd Annual Symposium: Faith and Formation
This free one-day symposium asked ‘How do religion and belief inform how we do politics, policy and practice?’
View the Faith and formation poster.
Reading groups established September 2014
The Contemporary Cultures of Religion and Belief Reading Group runs a sister group at the University of Ottawa, Canada. The group is co-run by PhD candidates Christine Cusack and Manvitha Singamsetty.