Who we are

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‌‌‌Professor Adam Dinham, Director

Adam Dinham is Professor of Faith & Public Policy and Director of the Faiths and Civil Society Unit, Goldsmiths, University of London. He is a leader in interdisciplinary religion and society work, focusing on faith communities and civil society in policy and practice.  With degrees in Theology & Religious Studies (BA, MA Cambridge University), Applied Social Studies and Social Work (MA Brunel University), and Politics (PhD, Goldsmiths), his work focuses on religion through the lens of community engagement, social policy, professional practice and publics. Central themes include religious literacy in the public sphere, the role of faith-based organisations in the mixed economy of welfare, and theories and practices of faith based social action. Translating a professional background in faith-based grant-making, social work and community development, Adam is nationally and internationally recognised for influencing policy and shaping community practice through connecting excellent critical research with policy-making and practice, including through knowledge exchange. He convenes the leading policy-practice-research network on faith and civil society and is advisor to a number of national and international policy bodies. He is director of the Religious Literacy Leadership Programme, Professor of Religious Literacy at VID Specialised University, Oslo, Honorary Professor of Religion, Leadership and Society at the University of Sheffield UK, and Fellow of the Westminster Abbey Institute for Faith and Public Life.

Lord Tyler of Linkinhorne, Chair

Paul Tyler comes from a long line of Cornish Anglican clergy, including Bishop Jonathan Trelawny. He was elected Liberal MP (with a majority of 9) in February 1974 but in the October election his increased vote was not enough to resist the swing. He was elected Chairman of the Liberal Party 1983-6; awarded the CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in 1985. Paul was elected MP for North Cornwall in April 1992 and appointed Liberal Democrat Spokesman on Rural Affairs, Agriculture and Transport. He served on the Modernisation Select Committee, and led Liberal Democrat efforts to make the Commons more effective. After the 2001 Election he was appointed to "shadow" Robin Cook, Leader of the House of Commons, with particular responsibility for the reform of Parliament. Appointed to the House of Lords in June 2005 he specialises in constitutional reform - including the role of faith representatives in Parliament.

 

Professor Abby Day

Abby Day’s work is focused on building capacity and representing sociology of religion both inside and outside universities, nationally and internationally, through teaching, research, publishing and supervision. Abby leads the BA Religion, a unique interdisciplinary programme offered jointly with Sociology, Anthropology and Politics & International Relations  http://www.gold.ac.uk/ug/ba-religion/. The programme explores critically the relationships between religion and other aspects of society as diverse as culture, communication, politics, economy, nation, education, gender, law and ethnicities. Abby was recently Principal Investigator on an ESRC project exploring the role and sociological impact of women’s labour in churches and related communities, and before that completed an AHRC-funded project on ‘Belief in Cultural Relations’, investigating the dynamic of ‘belief’ in recent transitions in the Arab world. She is past-Chair of the Sociology of Religion study group within the British Sociological Association, a member of the ESRC Peer Review College, and a Trustee of  the Sociological Review. She also served as a Member, Office for National Statistics, on census questions regarding Ethnicity, Identity, Language and Religion. 

Dr Naomi Thompson

I am a sociologist of youth and religion with research specialisms covering young people, youth work, religion and crime. I am experienced in mixed methods research with a preference for qualitative narrative methods. I am currently working on a 3 year evaluation of a Women’s Project for the ACAA, a local charity in Deptford. I have recently led on two other grant-led projects; one for the UK Home Office, supporting the development of educational resources about serious and organised crime for practitioners who work with young people, and another funded by the Big Lottery, providing a training and events programme for youth workers and volunteers.

Professor Chris Baker

Christopher Baker is William Temple Professor of Religion and Public Life and Director of the William Temple Foundation. He has degrees in both English Language and Literature (BA Hons, Manchester University), Theology (B.Th, M.Th University of Southampton and University of London) and Religion and Urban Planning (PhD, Manchester University). His work focuses on the impact of religion and belief on public life, at both theoretical and empirical levels, and is interdisciplinary focusing on spatial and built environments, political economy, community development and local government policy, wellbeing and flourishing and the work-based and business environment. His work also explores the changing dynamic of faith-based organisations and communities, and is rooted in both theological as well as social scientific disciplines. Major themes in his work include spiritual capital and postsecularity. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Fellows

NamePosition
Prof. John Graham School of Social Work, University of British Columbia, Canada
Nick Spencer Theos Think Tank, UK
Dr. Jasjit Singh University of Leeds, UK
Dr Rebecca Catto Coventry University, UK
Angus McCabe Third Sector Research Centre, University of Birmingham, UK
Lucy Vickers School of Law, Oxford Brookes University, UK
Roger Bolton Fellow of the Royal Television Society. BAFTA award winner BBC, UK
Professor Beth Crisp School of Health and Social Development, Deakin University, Australia
Dr Francesca Cadeddu Fondazione per le Scienze Religiose Giovanni XXIII, Italy
Dr Martha Middlemiss Le Mon Director CRS, Dept of Theology, Uppsala, Sweden
Dr Lori Beaman Dept of Classics and Religious Studies, University of Ottawa, Canada
Julie Siddiqi Director Sadaqa Day. Co-Chair Nisa-Nashim, UK

Post-Doctoral Fellows and Research Students

Martha Shaw, Doctoral Fellow

Martha Shaw read French with African & Asian Studies at Sussex before completing a Masters in Social Anthropology at University College London where she researched the public reaction to the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. She then joined Church Urban Fund where she worked on faith based community development. She is a qualified teacher in Social Science and spent 4 years as Head of Sociology at a London secondary school and has also taught at undergraduate level. She is a trained facilitator and has presented on the use of participatory methods in formal education and community work. She has worked on a number of faith based research and practice projects both within the Faiths and Civil Society Unit and the Church Urban Fund and has published on the role of faith communities in areas of urban disadvantage. Martha is completing a PhD in beliefs and values in education at the VID Specialised University, Oslo. She is Senior Lecturer in Law & Social Sciences at London South Bank University.

Dr Timothy Stacey, Post-Doctoral Fellow

Tim's research explores the theoretical and practical grounds for social solidarity in an age of religious and ideological diversity. He has a special interest in what he calls "the ideological transformation of the public sphere", from religious to secular, and the impact that this change has had on politics and economics. With a background in Philosophy & Theology (BA and MA), his methods straddle philosophy, theology and social science, seeking ways to make deep theory empirically explorable. Tim is post-doctoral fellow at the Department of Classics and Religious Studies at the University of Ottawa, Canada. Tim's monograph 'Myth and Solidarity in the Modern World: Beyond Religious and Political Division (2018) is published by Routledge and available here.

Panagiotis Pentaris, Post-Doctoral Fellow

Panagiotis is a Senior Lecturer for the Department of Psychology, Social Work and Counselling at the University of Greenwich. He is also a Postdoc Research Fellow for the Faiths & Civil Society Unit at Goldsmiths, University of London. Panagiotis is a thanatologist, as well as a qualified social worker (nationally and internationally) with specialty in hospice social work, as well as clinical social work in end of life care. His research stretches from death policies to professional practice, while he has recently completed a large-scale UK-national project about religion, belief and spirituality in end of life care practice; he has devised a model of religious literacy in end of life care, which is currently being introduced to policy makers, while it already informs training and development of palliative professionals in hospice care. Panagiotis has written widely about the intersection of religion and death and is focusing on professional practice and policy in these areas. He is also a Trustee Member for the Independent Academic Research Studies (IARS) International Institute, and a Country Representative for the International Peace Centre Africa, while he acts as an international advocate for LGBTQ rights and dying and grief.​