Research Areas

The Department has a strong, distinctive and exciting research culture. Our interdisciplinary research brings together scholars who work within and across the subject areas of Religious Studies, Philosophy, and Politics and International Relations.

It is focused in four areas:

Religion and Global Society

PPR staff are leading research into:

  • the dynamics of religious change and secularisation, new religions and alternative spiritualities, and the secular and the sacred; this includes study of contemporary forms of meaning, value, and belief
  • religion and society in South-East Asia
  • social and ideological developments in modern and modernising contexts, including Russia, India, and China


Research projects include:

  • Iconic Religion: How imaginaries of religious encounter structure urban space
  • The Faith Debates:
  • In Dialogue with the Mahabharata
  • Communal Rules and Civil Jurisdiction of Non-Ordained Female Renunciants in the Southern Buddhist Tradition
  • UK/Bric: Religious Diversity in Modern and Modernising Contexts
  • Re-Presenting Islam on Campus
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Politics, Ideology and Security

Staff in PPR are carrying out world-leading research into:

  • Religion, radicalisation, and global conflicts, violence and security threats, including in and around the Middle East; and the relations between political and religious violence;
  • Geopolitics and security;
  • Other dimensions of the religion-politics relation, such as religion and party politics, global evangelicalism, and countercultures and protest politics.


Research projects and centres include:

  • CREST (Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats)
  • Security Lancaster
  • Maritime Security and Piracy Discourses in Europe
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Global Philosophy and Religion

PPR staff research in both comparative and Western philosophy and are actively engaged in debates about diversifying and decolonising philosophy. Examples include the following:


  • Dialogue in Early South Asian Religions
  • Confronting Secularism in Europe and India
  • Human Being, Bodily Being
  • Being Born
  • The Routledge Companion to Feminist Philosophy
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Contemporary Ethical Debates

PPR staff are leading research in:

  • Bioethics and medical law and applied philosophy;
  • Health, well-being and public policy
  • Dimensions of equality and inequality




Research projects include:

  • Reproductive Donation: Donation and Transfer of Human Reproductive Materials
  • I.Family - Determinants of eating behaviour in European children, adolescents and their parents.
  • Military Lives and Transformative Experiences: Exploring Narratives and Aged Veterans’ Well-Being.
  • A Cross-Cultural Working Group on ‘Good Culture’ and Precariousness
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