Professor Linda WoodheadProfessor
I am a specialist on contemporary religion, values and society.
I use a wide range of methods, ranging from population surveys to ethnographic engagement.
I'm best known for my work on:
- Religions, beliefs and values in the UK
- Contemporary Christianity worldwide
- The rise of alternative spiritualities and ‘no religion’
- Religious extremism and the regulation of religion
- Religion, gender and power
- The future of religion and values
I was educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and my first job was as lecturer at Ripon College Cuddesdon, Oxford. After that I came to Lancaster, liked it, and have been here ever since.
I am a sociologist of religion. My main interest is in documenting and analysing religious change in modern societies, relating it to wider social changes, and thinking through practical and political implications.
I have carried out empirical research in Britain, the USA, India and parts of Europe, and have written about Christianity, spirituality, neo-Hinduism and Islam in Europe.
I am committed both to academic research and teaching, and to engaging research with wider public debate. I often work collaboratively.
My ongoing work focuses on:
Religion in Public Life: Tracing the new public forms taken by religion worldwide as it has re-configured around expanded markets, media and migratory flows, consumer capitalism, and new kinds of political activism.
Religious Diversity and Boundaries:Researching the conditions under which inter-religious, intra-religious, and religious-secular contact leads to hardening or softening of boundaries and divisions - in a variety of settings, including the workplace, schools and public spaces.
The Re-enchantment of Daily Life:I argue that we have entered a 'post-Reformation' era in the West, and that religion in the 21st century is less doctrinal, centralised and priestly. I research new forms of religiosity, many of which have to do with anchoring a sense of identity, reaching out to higher power(s), and securing meaning and significance in daily life.
Religion, sex and gender:My writing has always focused on religion and power relations, especially religion's relation to gender and inequality. I'm currently interested in religion-related controversies over sex, gender and family.
Religion and Change in Modern Britain (co-edited with Rebecca Catto). London: Routledge (2012)
A Sociology of Religious Emotion (with Ole Riis). Oxford: Oxford University Press (2010).
Religions in the Modern World (co-edited with Koko Kawanami and Chris Partridge). 2nd edition. Fully revised. London: Routledge (2009).
God and Human Dignity (co-edited with Kendall Soulen). Grand Rapids, Michigan, Cambridge, UK: William B. Eerdmans, 2006.
The Spiritual Revolution. Why Religion is Giving Way to Spirituality (with Paul Heelas). Oxford, UK and Malden, USA: Blackwell, 2005.
An Introduction to Christianity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.
Christianity: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.
Congregational Studies in the UK (co-edited with Mathew Guest and Karin Tusting). Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004.
Predicting Religion: Christian, Secular and Alternative Futures (co-edited with Grace Davie and Paul Heelas). Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003.
Peter Berger and the Study of Religion (ed.) London: Routledge, 2002.
Religions in the Modern World. Traditions and Transformations (ed.) London: Routledge, 2002.
Reinventing Christianity: Nineteenth Century Contexts (ed.) Aldershot: Ashgate, 2001.
Religion in Modern Times (co-edited with Paul Heelas). Oxford, UK and Malden, USA: Blackwell, 200o.
Diana. The Making of a Media Icon (co-edited with Jeffrey Richards and Scott Wilson) London: I.B.Tauris, 1999.
Religion and Society Programme
I am Director of the Religion and Society Research Programme, which runs until 2013.This is funded by the AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council) and the ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council). It has commissioned 75 separate research projectson various themes related to religion and society.
Chair of the Theology and Religious Studies panel for REF 2014 (the national research assessment exercise).
Visiting Professor, University of Aarhus, 2008-
PhD Supervision Interests
I am happy to consider proposals in the areas of: religion and society in modern societies, contemporary Christianity, religion and gender, everyday religion, religious change.
Selected Publications Show all 62 publications
Religion and change in modern Britain
Woodhead, L., Catto, R. 2012 London : Routledge. 408 p. ISBN: 9780415575812. Electronic ISBN: 9780203130643 .
A Sociology of Religious Emotion
Riis, O., Woodhead, L. 2010 Oxford : Oxford University Press. 270 p. ISBN: 9780199567607.
Religions in the Modern World (revised 2nd edition): Traditions and Transformations
Woodhead, L., Kawanami, H., Partridge, C. 2009 London and New York : Routledge. 549 p. ISBN: 9780415458917.
The Spiritual Revolution: Why Religion is Giving Way to Spirituality.
Heelas, P., Woodhead, L., Seel, B., Tusting, K., Szerszynski, B. 2005 Oxford : Blackwell. 204 p. ISBN: 1405119586.
An Introduction to Christianity.
Woodhead, L. 2004 In: An Introduction to Christianity. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press 439 p. ISBN: 052145445X.
A very short introduction to christianity.
Woodhead, L. 2004 Oxford : Oxford University Press. 174 p. ISBN: 0192803220.
Five concepts of religion
Woodhead, L. 2011 In: International Review of Sociology . 21, 1, p. 121-143.
Gender Differences in Religious Practice and Significance.
Woodhead, L. 2007 In: The Sage Handbook of the Sociology of Religion. Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore : Sage p. 550-570. 21 p.
Gendering secularization theory.
Woodhead, L. 06/2008 In: Social Compass. 55, 2, p. 187-193. 7 p.
Religion and Society Programme: Continuing Public Engagement 2012 - 2015
01/01/2013 → …
Youth phase impact activities: Religion & Society
01/10/2009 → 30/06/2013
Extension: Religion & Society Programme Youth Call
01/01/2008 → …
Religion and Society Programme
01/01/2007 → 31/12/2012
FP6: VEIL Project
01/03/2006 → 28/02/2009