Professor Linda Woodhead



I am an academic (trained in theology and religious studies, then specializing in the empirical study of culture, religion and values) who explores the changing and various ways in which people make their lives and deaths meaningful – both individually and collectively, and by religious and non-religious means. I employ a wide range of methods, ranging from population surveys to immersive fieldwork. The bulk of my work has been on the decline of the churches in the West, and the rise of alternative forms of spirituality and ‘no religion’.

Current research

  1. The Rise of No Religion. Research in China, Estonia, Ireland, UK, USA
  2. What do we do with ‘redundant’ medieval rural churches? Experiments in new uses. UK, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Hungary,

Selected Publications Show all 63 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.
Journal article

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.
Journal article