Prof. Adam Dinham

Staff details

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

Adam Dinham is Professor of Faith & Public Policy and Director of the Faiths and Civil Society Unit, Goldsmiths, University of London. 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 faith-based social action, faith-related social policy, and professional practice with religiously diverse publics. A central theme in his work is religious literacy. Adam 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 University, Oslo, Chair of the British Sociological Association Sociology of Religion Study Group (BSA Socrel), and Fellow of the Westminster Abbey Institute for Faith and Public Life.

Academic qualifications

  • BA Theology and Religious Studies, Cambridge University, 1996
  • MA Theology and Religious Studies, Cambridge University, 2000
  • MA Applied Social Studies and Social Work, Brunel University, 2001
  • PGCert Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, Brunel University, 2003
  • PhD Politics and Community Development, Goldsmiths, University of London, 2006


Narrative of previously held positions, at Goldsmiths or elsewhere. A list of currently or previously taught courses can be included here:

Formerly Head of Social Work, Head of Community Studies and convenor on various social work, social policy and community studies modules and programmes

Currently offering modules and CPD in Religious Literacy for Public Professionals

Areas of supervision


  • Religious Literacy in end of life care
  • The role of religion in community solidarity in contexts of plurality
  • Education in schools as a basis for religious literacy in plural societies
  • How therapists handle the religious identities of their clients
  • The engagement of Community Workers with young female Muslims
  • What motivates faith-based social action?

Recent Research Projects

Re-imagining Religion and Belief in Policy and Values

Re-imagining Religion and Belief for Public Policy and Political Regeneration is an AHRC funded interdisciplinary discussion and networking hub for analysing the ways in which ‘old’ ideas of religion and belief pervade in public imagination(s), and what are the new spaces for reimagining them.  The network operates out of three contexts: the post-secular, the post-political and policy agendas of community and localism.

Religion Media Centre Initiative: systematic review of religion and belief in the media

RE for Real: what do pupils need to learn about religion and belief in UK schools?

In a context of deep religious illiteracy in the UK, RE for REal explores the role of schools in equipping young people with the knowledge and skills to engage effectively with religion and belief diversity, in schools, in their communities, in future workplaces and in wider social contexts.

Featured Publications

  • Dinham A (2009) Faiths, Public Policy and Civil Society: policies, problems and concepts Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan ISBN 13 978 0 230 57330 7 (hardcover USA) & ISBN 10 0 230 57330 4 (hardcover UK)
  • Dinham A (2012) Faith & Social Capital After the Debt Crisis Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Dinham A, Furbey R & Lowndes V (2009) (eds) Faith in the Public Realm Bristol: Policy Press ISBN 978 1 84742 029 9 (paperback) & ISBN 978 1 84742 030 5 (hardcover)
  • Dinham A (2015) Grace Davie and Religious Literacy in Day A & Lovheim M (2014) Grace Davie and Modern Religious Thought Ashgate
  • Dinham A & Francis M (eds) (2015) Religious Literacy in Policy and Practice Bristol: Policy Press

Research Interests

Prof Dinham is director of the Faiths and Civil Society Unit; a centre for excellence in the development of policy, practice and research in the area of faiths and civil society. The Unit draws together policy makers, practitioners and researchers from a range of faiths, sectors and disciplines to conduct programmes of work to address practical and conceptual questions arising in the context of a strong policy agenda for faiths in the public realm in the UK and elsewhere. Areas of research include social action & communities, participatory governance, and community cohesion and prevention of extremism




Dinham, Adam. 2020. Religion and Belief Literacy: reconnecting a chain of learning across spaces of teaching and 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 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 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 and Dinham, Adam. 2019. Do the Regulatory Standards Require Religious Literacy of 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), p. 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), p. 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), p. 16. ISSN 2077-1444

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

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

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

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

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