Reading Groups

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Contemporary cultures of religion and belief

The Contemporary Cultures of Religion and Belief reading group is faithXchange's most effective way of achieving its core aim: to simultaneously be a robust and local community of researchers, with international, interdisicplinary reach.

The year 2013-14 saw the first reading group established at Goldsmiths, bringing together researchers of religion across a number of disciplines, providing them with a space to discuss ideas with like-minded colleaugues. 

The year 2014-15 will see the reading group spread further in the UK, as well as to Europe, North America and East Asia.

Each group meets twice per semester. Each group is given total freedom to choose five out of its six texts. Offering this freedom ensures that researchers around the world can be introduced to new and exciting literature. The sixth and final text for each year is uniform across the groups, ensuring that researchers around the world can be introduced to fresh perspectives on familiar literature.

If you wish to become a host organisation, please contact either Panagiotis Pentaris at or Timothy Stacey at

Watch this space for a list of our current organisations, and their readings.

Suggested readings

1 Walter, T & Davie, G (1998), 'The Religiosity of Women in the Modern West', The British Journal of Sociology, 49 (4), pp. 640-660

2 Stark, Hamberg & Miller (2005), 'Exploring Spirituality and Unchurched Religions in America, Sweden, and Japan', Journal of Contemporary Religion, 20 (1), pp.3-23

3 Smilde & May (2010),'The Emerging Strong Program in the Sociology of Religion'  SSRC Working Papers

4 Day, A (2010), 'Propositions and Performativity: Relocating Belief to the Social' Culture and Religion, 11(1), 9-30

5 Gaver, W et al. (2010), 'The prayer companion' by William , 2010, in: 28th international conference on Human factors in computing systems (CHI'10)

6 Guenther, K.M. (2014), 'Bounded by Disbelief: How Atheists in the United States differentiate themselves from Religious Believers', Journal of Contemporary Religion, 29(1), 1-16.

7 Koestlé-Cate (2012), ‘Secular Pegs and God-Shaped Holes: the Uneasy Alliance of the Religious, the Spiritual and the Secular in Recent Art for the Church’, Journal for the Study of Spirituality. 1 (2): 29-48.

8 Asad, T (2009), 'Free Speech, Blasphemy,and Secular Criticism' in Asad, T et al. (2009), Is Critique Secular, Berkeley: UCP

9 Singh, G. (2006), 'Gurdwaras and community-building', Contemporary South Asia, 15(2), 147-164