Prof. Adam Dinham

Staff details

Prof. Adam Dinham


Professor of Faith & Public Policy


Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies


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Goldsmiths Research Centres/Groups

Professor of Faith and Public Policy, and co-head of department of Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies

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.

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

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

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. 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

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.

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.

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

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