Prof. Adam Dinham

Staff details

Position Professor of Faith & Public Policy
Email a.dinham (
Phone +44 (0)20 7919 7839
Prof. Adam Dinham

Adam Dinham combines Applied Social Studies and Social Policy (MA, Brunel), Politics (PhD, Goldsmiths), and Sociology (former chair, BSA Sociology of Religion) with Theology and Religious Studies (BA, MA, Cambridge), alongside professional qualifications in children’s Social Work (DipSW, Brunel), Community Development and Youth Work (Brunel), and Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP, UWE). He is co-head of the department of Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies and director of the Faiths & Civil Society Unit, Goldsmiths. He is also Professor of Religion and Belief Literacy at VID University, Oslo, Norway, Fellow of the Westminster Abbey Institute for Faith and Public Life, and former Chair of the BSA Sociology of Religion Study Group (2015-18).

Academic qualifications

  • BA Theology & Religious Studies, Cambridge University 1996
  • MA Theology & Religious Studies, Cambridge University 2000
  • MA Applied Social Studies and Social Policy, Brunel University 2001
  • Diploma in Social Work 2001
  • PGDiploma in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education 2003
  • PhD Politics, Goldsmiths, University of London 2005
  • Advanced Diploma in Counselling P& Psychotherapy 2020

Teaching and Supervision

Research interests

Adam's interests coalesce in a social justice framing of religion and belief as a protected characteristic in equality policy and practice, across the public sphere but particularly in health and social care, and in schools. Coming from a secular perspective, he has pioneered and popularized the concept of ‘religion and belief literacy’ as a social justice tool in these settings and, with ESRC and AHRC support, researched public policy gaps and needs, initiating a Religion and Belief Policy Network to help public policy makers and regulators develop effective policy for workplaces in this area.

Publications and research outputs


Dinham, Adam. 2020. Religion and Belief Literacy: Reconnecting a Chain of Learning. Bristol: Policy Press. ISBN 9781447344650

Baker, Christopher; Crisp, Beth and Dinham, Adam. 2018. Re-imagining Religion and Belief: 21st Century Policy and Practice. Bristol: Policy Press. ISBN 9781447347095

Dinham, Adam. 2012. Faith & Social Capital After the Debt Crisis. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0230276987

Dinham, Adam. 2009. Faiths, Public Policy and Civil Society: problems, policies, controversies. Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9780230573307

Dinham, Adam; Farnell, Richard; Finneron, Doreen and Furbey, Robert. 2006. Faith as Social Capital: connecting or dividing? Bristol: Policy Press. ISBN 978-1861348371

Edited Book

Dinham, Adam and Francis, Matthew, eds. 2015. Religious Literacy in Policy and Practice. Bristol: Policy Press. ISBN 978-1447316664

Dinham, Adam; Furney, Rob and Lowndes, Vivien, eds. 2009. Faith in the Public Realm: controversies, policies and practices. Bristol: Policy Press. ISBN 978-1847420299

Book Section

Davie, Grace and Dinham, Adam. 2018. Religious Literacy in Modern Europe, in Religious Literacy, Law and History: perspectives on European Pluralist Societies. In: Alberto Melloni and Francesca Caddedu, eds. Religious Literacy, Law and History: Perspectives on European Pluralist Societies. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 17-28. ISBN 9781138303645

Dinham, Adam. 2017. Religious Literacy and Public and Professional Settings. In: Beth Crisp, ed. Routledge International Handbook of Religion, Spirituality and Social Work. Melbourne: Routledge.

Dinham, Adam and Davie, Grace. 2017. Religious Illiteracy in Modern Europe. In: Francesca Caddedu and A;berto Melloni, eds. European Religious Illiteracy in a Pluralistic Context. Bologne: Fondazione per le Scienze Religiose Giovanni XXIII.

Dinham, Adam. 2016. Developing Religious Literacy in Higher Education. In: Kristin Aune and J Stevenson, eds. Religion and Higher Education in Europe and North America. Coventry: Routledge. ISBN 9781138652958

Dinham, Adam. 2015. Public Religion in an Age of Ambivalence: Recovering Religious Literacy after a Century of Secularism. In: Lori Beaman and Leo van Arragon, eds. Issues in Religion and Education: Whose Religion? Leiden: Brill. ISBN 9789004289802

Dinham, Adam. 2015. Grace Davie and Religious Literacy: undoing a lamentable quality of conversation. In: Abby Day and Mia Lovheim, eds. Modernities, Memory and Mutations: Grace Davie and the Study of Religion. Oxon: Routledge. ISBN 9781472436177

Dinham, Adam and Jackson, Robert. 2012. Religion, welfare and education. In: Linda Woodhead and Rebecca Catto, eds. Religion and Change in Modern Britain. London: Routledge, pp. 272-294. ISBN 9780415575805

Dinham, Adam and Jackson, Robert. 2012. Welfare, Education and Religion. In: Linda Woodhead and Rebecca Catto, eds. Religion and Change in Modern Britain. Abingdon and NY: Routledge, pp. 272-294. ISBN 978-0415575812

Dinham, Adam; Addy, T and Kahkonen, E. 2011. Faith-Based Social Action in Combating Marginalisation. In: E Kahkonen and T Pauha, eds. Faith-Based Social Action in Combating Marginalisation. Helsinki: DIAK. ISBN 978-952-493-159-5

Dinham, Adam and Lowndes, Vivien. 2009. Faith and the public realm. In: Adam Dinham; R Furbey and V Lowndes, eds. Faith in the public realm: controversies, policies and practices. Bristol: Policy Press, pp. 1-20. ISBN 9781847420305

Dinham, Adam and Lowndes, Vivien. 2009. Faith in the Public Realm. In: Adam Dinham; Robert Furbey and Vivien Lowndes, eds. Faith in the Public Realm. Bristol: Policy Press, pp. 1-21. ISBN 978-1847420299


Dinham, Adam. 2020. Reimagining Religion and Belief in the Public Sphere. Modern Believing, 61(2), pp. 141-151. ISSN 1353-1425

Crisp, Beth and Dinham, Adam. 2020. The role of occupational standards in workplace religious literacy. Journal of Beliefs and Values, 41(3), pp. 358-370. ISSN 1361-7672

Crisp, Beth R and Dinham, Adam. 2020. Are codes of ethics promoting religious literacy for social work practice? Australian Social Work, 73(2), pp. 204-216. ISSN 0312-407X

Crisp, Beth R and Dinham, Adam. 2019. Do the regulatory standards require religious literacy of U.K. health and social care professionals? Social Policy & Administration, 53(7), pp. 1081-1094. ISSN 0144-5596

Crisp, Beth R and Dinham, Adam. 2019. Are the Profession’s Education Standards Promoting the Religious Literacy Required for Twenty-First Century Social Work Practice? British Journal of Social Work, 49(6), pp. 1544-1562. ISSN 0045-3102

Dinham, Adam; Francis, Matthew and Shaw, Martha. 2017. Towards a Theory and Practice of Religious Literacy: A Case Study of Religion and Belief Engagement in a UK University. Religions, 8(12), 276. ISSN 2077-1444

Dinham, Adam. 2017. Reevaluating Value in Faith Based Social Action. Voluntary Sector Review, 8(2), pp. 205-218. ISSN 2040-8056

Dinham, Adam and Shaw, M. 2017. Religious Literacy Through Religious Education: The Future of Teaching and Learning about Religion and Belief. Religions, 8(7), 119. ISSN 2077-1444

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

Dinham, Adam. 2012. The Multi-faith Paradigm in Policy and Practice: Problems, Challenges, Directions. Social Policy and Society, 11(4), pp. 577-587. ISSN 1474-7464

Dinham, Adam and Jones, Stephen. 2012. Religion, Public Policy, and the Academy: Brokering Public Faith in a Context of Ambivalence? Journal of Contemporary Religion, 27(2), pp. 185-201. ISSN 1353-7903

Dinham, Adam and Shaw, Martha. 2012. Measurement as Reflection in Faith-Based Social Action. Community Development Journal, 47(1), pp. 126-141. ISSN 0010-3802

Dinham, Adam. 2011. What is a ‘faith community’? Community Development Journal, 46(4), pp. 526-541.

Dinham, Adam. 2008. From Faith in the City to Faithful Cities: The `Third Way', the Church of England and Urban Regeneration. Sage Urban Studies Abstracts, 45(10), pp. 2163-2174.

Dinham, Adam and Lowndes, Vivien. 2008. Religion, Resources and Representation: three narratives of engagement in British urban governance. Urban Affairs Review, 43(6), pp. 817-845. ISSN 1078-0874

Conference or Workshop Item

Dinham, Adam. 2010. 'Religion and Belief in Universities'. In: Higher Education Equal Opportunities Network. Warwick University, United Kingdom June 2010.

Dinham, Adam. 2010. 'Faith, Welfare and Social Justice'. In: British Sociological Association conference. Glasgow Caledonian University, United Kingdom.

Dinham, Adam. 2010. 'Why Faith Matters to Community Cohesion'. In: ESRC/Institute for Community Cohesion seminar. Goldsmiths, United Kingdom April 2010.

Dinham, Adam. 2010. 'Multifaith Fora in the UK as a basis for ‘community peace’'. In: Annual Peace Studies Lecture. University of Calgary, Canada February 2010.

Dinham, Adam. 2010. 'Public Faith and Religious Literacy'. In: Annual Town and Gown Lecture, York. York St John University, United Kingdom 14 June 2010.

Dinham, Adam. 2009. 'Challenges of Multifaith Partnership'. In: Interfaith Week. Derby University, United Kingdom November 2009.

Dinham, Adam. 2009. 'Is Faithism the new Racism?'. In: Race and the Modern World conference. Goldsmiths, United Kingdom April 2009.

Dinham, Adam. 2009. 'Faiths at the Intersection: three paradoxes of faith in the public realm'. In: Exeter University Seminar Series on Religion and Society. Exeter University, United Kingdom January 2009.

Dinham, Adam. 2008. 'Faiths as Heroes and Villains'. In: Kings College, London, Theology and Public Life series. Kings College London, United Kingdom December 2008.

Dinham, Adam. 2008. 'Two Rhetorics of Public Faith'. In: Association of Commonwealth Universities Annual Conference. Windsor, United Kingdom April 2008.

Dinham, Adam. 2008. 'What makes a good faith-citizen?'. In: Open University ESRC seminar. Open University, United Kingdom.

Professional Activity

Dinham, Adam. Association of Commonwealth Universities directorship.

Dinham, Adam. CoExistence Trust, House of Lords - Advisor.


Dinham, Adam. 2010-2011 Adapting community impact tools for faith based community action.

Dinham, Adam. 2009-2011 Religion and Society network on faith, young people and civil society.

Dinham, Adam. 2009-2011 Religious Literacy Leadership in Higher Education.


Dinham, Adam and Shaw, Martha. 2015. RE for REal: the future of teaching and learning about religion and belief. Project Report. FCSU, London.

Dinham, Adam and Jones, Stephen. 2011. Religious Literacy Leadership Programme Evaluation. Other. London

Dinham, Adam; Finneron, Doreen; Summer, S and Winter, J. 2011. More than Measurement: assessing quality through reflection in faith based social action. Other. FbRN, London.

Dinham, Adam and Jones, S. H.. 2010. Religious Literacy Leadership in Higher Education: an analysis of key issues and challenges for university leaders. Other. Religious Literacy Leadership in Higher Education Programme, York.

Dinham, Adam and Jones, S. H.. 2010. Religious literacy leadership in higher education: leadership challenges: case studies. Other. Religious Literacy Leadership in Higher Education Programme, York.

Dinham, Adam and Shaw, Martha. 2009. Faiths, Equalities & Sexual Orientation: an exploratory study East of England Faiths Council. Other.

Dinham, Adam. 2009. Faith and Sexuality in the Context of Equality. Project Report. EEFC, Cambridge.

Dinham, Adam. 2008. Faith and Social Action: a review of the evidence on faith based social action for government’s ‘Face to Face, Side by Side: a framework for partnership in our multifaith society’. Technical Report. FbRN/CLG, London.

Dinham, Adam. 2007. Priceless; Unmeasureable? Faiths and Community Development in 21st Century England. Other. FbRN, London.

Dinham, Adam. 2007. Faiths and Frontiers on the Starship Social Enterprise: boldly going as faith based entrepreneurs. Other. FbRN, London.

Further profile content

Professional projects

Adam Dinham also works as a counselling therapist in private practice.

Co-director, Religion and belief Literacy Partnership, providing training on religion and belief literacy in workplaces

Goldsmiths Research Centres/Groups

Conferences and talks

2019: NHS Employers Conference on Spirituality in the Workplace, Leeds, UK, July 2019

2019: Asian Firefighters National Conference, keynote, Sheffield, UK, November 2019

2019: The Challenge of Public Religion, Uppsala University, Sweden, April 2019

2016: Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia, New Interdisciplinary Spaces of Religions and Belief in Thinking and Practice: an analysis 3 November 2016

2016: Harvard Divinity School, Cambridge, USA, Religion in a Plural Age: religious literacy – contested and pressing 9 July 2016

2016: University of Essen, Germany, Religious Literacy and Diversity in German Universities, 30 June 2016

2015: Cambridge University, AHRC Cambridge Festival of Ideas (10 year celebratory event) Panellist keynote The Future of Teaching and Learning about Relig

Grants and awards

2019: Muslim participation in elite arts and culture
AHRC Collaborative doctoral studentship award

2019: Reimagining Religion and Belief for Policy and Practice
AHRC research project

2018: Innovative Teaching and Learning of Religion and Belief in UK schools
Culham St Gabriel's Trust

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