Prof. Christopher Baker

Staff details

Position Professor
Email c.baker (
Phone +44 (0)20 9197205
Twitter @DrChrisRBaker
Prof. Christopher 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.

Research Interests

As well as a playing a key role in attracting funding and up and coming researchers in the field of religion, belief and public life at the Faiths and Civil Society Unit, Prof Baker is also Director of Research at the William Temple Foundation, an independent research hub established in 1947 in memory of Archbishop William Temple, who first coined the phrase the welfare state, and whose visionary leadership in the days of WW2 paved the way for the creation of the post-war universal and comprehensive welfare state. In these combined roles, Prof Baker is developing new research, theory and publication around one of the defining trajectories of the 21st century – namely the newly visible role and impact of religion and belief on public life, and its political, social, economic, urban, policy and theological implications at both global and local levels. He is the originator of spiritual capital theory in its current policy and academic discourse, a leading exponent of postsecular theory and a pioneer of the spatial turn in theology, as well as interdisciplinarity in the study of religion and belief for policy.



Cloke, Paul; Baker, Christopher; Sutherland, Callum and Williams, Andrew. 2019. Geographies of Postsecularity - Re-envisioning Politics, Subjectivity and Ethics. Abingdon: Routledge. ISBN 9781138946736

Baker, Christopher and Graham, Elaine. 2018. Theology for Changing Times : Essays in Honour of John Atherton. London: SCM Press. ISBN 9780334056959

Baker, Christopher; Crisp, Beth and Dinham, Adam. 2018. Re-imagining Religion and Belief : 21st Century Policy and Practice. Bristol: Policy Press. ISBN 978-1447347095

Book Section

Baker, Christopher. 2018. Resisting the transcendent. In: Justin Beaumont, ed. The Routledge Handbook of Postsecularity. London: Routledge. ISBN 9781138234147

Baker, Christopher. 2018. Postsecularity and a New Urban Politics—Spaces, Places and Imaginaries. In: Helmuth Berking; Silke Steets and Jochen Schwenk, eds. Religious Pluralism and the City Inquiries into Postsecular Urbanism. London: Bloomsbury, pp. 81-101. ISBN 9781350037687


Baker, Christopher. 2018. Resisting the Transcendent? The Routledge Handbook of Postsecularity, pp. 303-314.

Baker, Christopher and Power, Maria. 2018. Ghosts in the Machine: Beliefs, Values and Worldviews in the Workplace and Business Environment. Journal of Beliefs and Values, 39(4), pp. 474-489. ISSN 1361-7672

Dinham, Adam and Baker, Christopher. 2017. New Interdisciplinary Spaces of Religions and Beliefs in Contemporary Thought and Practice: An Analysis. Religions, 8(2), p. 16. ISSN 2077-1444

Baker, Christopher. 2016. Faith in the public sphere – in search of a fair and compassionate society for the twenty-first century. Journal of Beliefs & Values, 37(3), pp. 259-272. ISSN 1361-7672

Baker, Christopher. 2016. Sustainable Governance in a Postsecular Public Sphere: Re-assessing the Role of Religion as a Cosmopolitan Policy Actor in a Diverse and Globalized Age. Sustainable Development, 24(3), pp. 190-198. ISSN 0968-0802

Stokes, Peter; Baker, Christopher and Lichy, Jessica. 2016. The Role of Embedded Individual Values, Belief and Attitudes and Spiritual Capital in Shaping Everyday Postsecular Organizational Culture. European Management Review, 13(1), pp. 37-51. ISSN 1740-4754

Baker, Christopher; Reader, John and James, Thomas A.. 2015. Entangled Fidelities: Towards a Relational Christian Realism for the Public Sphere. Political Theology, 16(3), pp. 247-263. ISSN 1462-317X

Baker, Christopher; Reader, John and Whistler, Daniel. 2015. Introduction to the Special Issue: Speculative Philosophies and Religious Practices. Political Theology, 13(2), pp. 141-155. ISSN 1462-317X

Baker, Christopher. 2013. Roots and shoots and the curious case of Schleiermacher’s tree (aka ‘Is rhizomatic truth seceding arborescent reality?). International Journal of Practical Theology, 17(2), ISSN 1430-6921

Baker, Christopher. 2013. Moral Freighting and Civic Engagement: A UK Perspective on Putnam and Campbell's Theory of Religious-Based Social Action. Sociology of Religion, 74(3), pp. 343-369. ISSN 1069-4404

Baker, Christopher and Jawad, Rana. 2012. Introduction: Social Policy and Religion in Contemporary Britain – Taking Stock and Moving Forward. Social Policy and Society, 11(04), pp. 547-551. ISSN 1474-7464

Baker, Christopher. 2012. Spiritual Capital and Economies of Grace: Redefining the Relationship between Religion and the Welfare State. Social Policy and Society, 11(04), pp. 565-576. ISSN 1474-7464

Baker, Christopher and Miles-Watson, Jonathan. 2010. Faith and Traditional Capitals: Defining the Public Scope of Spiritual and Religious Capital—A Literature Review. Implicit Religion, 13(1), ISSN 1463-9955

Baker, Christopher and Miles-Watson, Jonathan. 2008. Exploring Secular Spiritual Capital: An Engagement in Religious and Secular Dialogue for a Common Future? International Journal of Public Theology, 2(4), pp. 442-464. ISSN 1872-5171

Baker, Christopher. 2006. Hybridity and Practical Theology: In Praise of Blurred Encounters. Contact, 149(1), pp. 5-11. ISSN 1352-0806

Baker, Christopher. 2005. Religious faith in the exurban community. City, 9(1), pp. 109-123. ISSN 1360-4813

Baker, Christopher. 2005. Going with the Flow: Can Christian Faith Communities in the UK Flourish in Non-Institutional Civil Society? Political Theology, 6(1), pp. 107-125. ISSN 1462-317X