News and events


Faiths & Civil Society Unit Public Seminar Series 2019 - Religion, Belief and Brexit: challenges and opportunities

We have invited contributors in a variety of fields to reflect on how they see the role of religion and belief in the context of Brexit. Does Brexit shape the trajectories and impacts of religion and belief in the public sphere in ways that might be different from expected, and if so, how?  As and when the UK begins to move away from a sense of crisis, to a new sense of identity and place in the world, where and how do religion and belief fit? What role do religion and belief play in the problems and the solutions expressed by Brexit? We will be offering these questions to academics, journalists, faith leaders and activists over the series.

The series of events are as follows, 5.30-7pm, Richard Hoggart Building, Goldsmiths, University of London. The events are free and can be booked through Eventbrite.  Refreshments will be available after the seminars. 

Religion, Brexit and Populism – A UK perspective
Tuesday 19 March | Venue: RHB 137a  
Panel featuring: Dr Daniel Nilsson DeHanas (Kings College, London), Dr Katie Gaddini (University of Cambridge), Dr Shanon Shah (Kings College, London) & Greg Smith (William Temple Foundation)

Update: Austrian TV story from TV Company,ORF: ‘Brexit and the Anglican Church’ featuring Greg Smith, William Temple Foundation, at the Faiths Unit seminar on ‘Religion, Brexit and Populism’ 

Equalities and Human Rights in a Post European Framework
Tuesday 21 May | Venue: RHB 137
i. Protecting the Equality and Human Rights Framework, Lauren Payne, EHRC Brexit Working Group
ii. Everyday hatred towards Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities: fighting for equality within and without the EU, Naomi Thompson & David Woodger, Goldsmiths & Sherrie Smith, Gypsy and Traveller Empowerment (GATE, Herts)
Please book your place here

Populism and Religion in Italy and Europe 
Tuesday 25 June | Venue: RHB 137
Dr Francesca Cadeddu, Fondazione per le Scienze Religiose Giovanni XXIII, Bologna 

Please book your place here

Grassroots faith movements and partnerships of hope
Wednesday 16 October | Venue: TBC 
The panel featuring: Matthew Barber (Spaces of Hope), Martin Hasani (London Queer Muslims), Julie Siddiqui (Sadaqa Day) and Laura Marks (Mitzvah Day)

Please book your place here

No religion and unbelief in a post-Brexit public square
Tuesday 12 November | Venue: TBC
Dr Lois Lee, University of Kent

Please book you place here


If you are attending an event and need Goldsmiths to help with any mobility requirements you may have, please contact the event organiser in advance to ensure we can accommodate your needs.

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The FCSU Fellows' Public Seminar Series 2018

Welcome to the 2018 lecture series curated by new Fellows of the Faiths and Civil Society Unit at Goldsmiths on: ‘Faith and the Future of Civil Society’. Bringing their experience as professionals and practitioners, they critically explore how structures and practices of religion, beliefs and spirituality shape modern life and politics, both in the present and in the future.

Tuesdays 5.30-7pm

20 March | Naomi Thompson - Young People and Church – past, present and future. Venue: RHB 256. 

A FCSU and Community Studies(STaCS) launch event for Naomi Thompson’s new book ‘Young People & Church since 1900–Engagement & Exclusion’ (2018). Prof John Wolffe (Open University) will introduce the book’s research context. Naomi will outline her historical and contemporary research, identifying the changing patterns in young people’s engagement with organised Christianity. Andy Turner (Community Studies) will respond, exploring the future relationship between churches, civil society & young people. Naomi is lecturer in Youth & Community Work at Goldsmiths.

8 May | Mohammed Aziz – British Muslim Communities. Venue: RHB 137a

This lecture explores some of the contradictory and complex trends and emerging issues facing British Muslim communities. Through use of case studies, it explores some potential contributions of Muslim communities to the possible futures of British civil society. Mohammed Aziz is Director of the Aziz Foundation and a former Senior Advisor to the UK govt.

22 May | Roger Bolton - Religion- Is Broadcasting fit for purpose? Venue: RHB 137a

How well equipped are our broadcasters to help ensure that our society is religiously literate? How important is this task to the future well-being and flourishing of UK society? Broadcaster Roger Bolton, who has extensive experience of making programmes on religion and ethics, examines whether newsrooms, programme-makers, and commissioners, are properly equipped to deal with this vital part of human experience.

12 June | Beth Crisp - Spirituality and religion: Sustaining individuals and communities or replicating colonisation? Venue: RHB 137a

Centuries of disrespect for indigenous peoples and their spiritualities by the European settlers has ongoing consequences in postcolonial societies. There is a growing acceptance that redressing past colonial injustices cannot occur while continually ignoring the religions and spiritualities of indigenous peoples. This lecture explores the role of religion and spirituality in sustaining individuals and communities, rather than replicating colonisation. Beth Crisp is Professor in Health and Social Development at Deakin University, Australia.

9 October | Lucy Vickers - Future directions and challenges for law, religion and belief in the public space. Venue: RHB 137a

This lecture explores how law tackles some of the challenges involving religion and belief in public space. How does law attend to the intersections between varying groups in civil society, including those of different religions, sexual orientations and genders? Does the law have a role in addressing the current ‘culture wars’? And what does the future hold for the relationship between law, religion and the public space? Lucy Vickers is Professor of Law at Oxford Brookes University. Lucy’s latest book is ‘Religious Freedom, Religious Discrimination and the Workplace (2016). Please book your place here.

13 November | Jorella Andrews - The Courage to Persevere: Contemporary re-interrogations of faith and their public implications. Venue: RHB137a

Philosophical and theological scholarship arguably remain key sites for new perspectives on life which then filter into shaping everyday assumptions, attitudes and behaviours. This lecture builds on a series of talks on faith organised by the Goldsmiths Visual Cultures Department entitled 'A Fearless Look at the Unspeakable’, and evaluates the new ideas and cultural shifts that emerged from this series for their potential contribution to 'faith and the future of civil society'. Jorella is senior lecturer in Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths. Please book your place here.

2015 - 2017

World Congress of Faiths

Goldsmiths, University of London, London, SE14 6NW

 7 September 2017, 09:30 - 16:30

It is no longer unusual for different faiths to find common purpose, and to enjoy dialogue. But what are the difficult questions in such encounters in the light of the human tendency to create insider and outsider groups? What is the relevance for current life and integration policy? This cross-disciplinary day conference explored new perspectives for interfaith relations. The morning theme was ‘Facets of alienation’ and the afternoon theme was ‘Interfaith practice meeting the challenges’.

Costs and registration

  • Conference fee including buffet lunch: Full cost: £60.00
  • Concessionary cost for members of WCF and full time students: £40.00
  • A limited number of free student places available on request. Contact or telephone 01223 781781 to apply for these.

Further information and registration is available.

Beliefs, Values and Worldviews at Work

Prince Philip, RSA House, 8 John Adam Street, London, WC2N 6EZ

14 September 2017, 14.00-16.00

This event will explore how our beliefs, values and worldviews influence and shape the way we act at work and the wider impact this creates. It will involve the presentation of research and a panel discussion led by Professor Chris Baker (Goldsmiths, University of London) and Maria Power (University of Liverpool).

For further information and to register. 

The FCSU Seminar Series 2017

'Faith and Social Action'

 Dr Angus McCabe - Senior Research Fellow, Third Sector Research Centre, Uni Birmingham 

Tuesday 16th May 2017 5.30-7pm - Goldsmiths, Richard Hoggart Building 2107

'Faith and the Grassroots'

Dr Tim Stacey - Post-Doctoral Fellow Uni Ottowa

Tuesday 20th June 2017 5.30-7pm  - Goldsmiths, Richard Hoggart Building 143

 'Muslim Community Action'

Julie Siddiqi - Director Sadaqa Day, Co-Chair Nisa-Nashim

Tuesday 12th September 2017 5.30-7pm Richard Hoggart Building 137

Professor Adam Dinham Inaugural Lecture


Adam Dinham Inaugural Lecture from Goldsmiths, University of London on Vimeo.

Religious Literacy for Public Professionals: the FCSU Fellows' Seminar Series 2016

Grace Davie has suggested that we face a lamentable quality of conversation about religion and belief, just when a good quality of conversation is most needed. This isnight is particularly relevant to the public professions, which encounter religious diversity and complexity on a daily basis. Adam Dinham has suggested that Religious Literacy intends neither more nor less religion, but rather a better quality of conversation about religion. This seminar series explored key controversies and dilemmas concerning Religious Literacy in key public professions. Each seminar included a keynote speaker, discussants, and questions from delegates.

Below are provided the locations for each seminar, as well as podcasts from past events.

To book a place on any of the seminars, or for details concerning theme and location, contact t.greenwood (

Religious Literacy for Community and Youth Workers

Tuesday, 4 October 2016, 5.30-7pm. 

Dr Naomi Thompson, Goldsmiths University of London

Religious Literacy for Social Workers

Tuesday, 12 April 2016, 5.30-7pm


Prof Adam Dinham, Goldsmiths, University of London

Dr Russell Whiting, University of Sussex

The event explored the key questions and controversies regarding the role of religious literacy in the development of social work practitioners. In particular, it asked whether religious literacy is an appropriate model for developing practitioners that sympathise with the needs of their clients.Dr Russell Whiting offered an alternative model.  

Religious Literacy for Educators

Tuesday, 21 June, 5.30-7pm

Location: 256, Richard Hoggart Building, Goldsmiths, University of London


Sarah Lane Cawte, Free Churches Education Officer
Mary Earl, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge
Martha Shaw, Faiths & Civil Society Unit, Goldsmiths, University of London

This is the 2nd in a series of seminars focusing on religious literacy and public professions. It explored how ‘religious literacy’ can be understood in the context of schools and the curriculum. The FCSU project, RE for REal signaled the need for reform in the approach schools take to learning about and from religion or belief, focusing on, but not limited to the RE curriculum. The research suggests the need for learning to embrace the real religious landscape, as revealed by cutting edge theory and data in the study of contemporary religion and belief. It points to the potential benefit of a thorough re-examination of what, how, where and why we teach about religion or belief in schools. This seminar will explore this question from a range of educational perspectives.


AHRC 10: Faith and Education: Oct 2015

As part of a conference celebrating 10 years of the AHRC, Prof. Adam Dinham spoke alongside Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury and Andrew Copson, Chief Executive of the British Humanist Association

Arts & Humanities Research Council 'Faith and Education debate'