Professor Christopher Partridge

PhD (Liverpool), PhD (Aberdeen), BD Hons (Aberdeen), DipRS (Cambridge), FRSA

Having been brought up a Methodist and since become a Quaker, as far back as I can remember ‘religion’ has been an important part of the way I have experienced and interpreted the world. Of course, I am not alone. The everyday lives of many people and certainly the societies in which they live are, positively and negatively, shaped by religious belief and practice. As such, the study of religion has always struck me as an enormously important pursuit.

More specifically, my own research has increasingly focussed on the role culture plays in the shaping of sacred commitments in the modern Western world. I am particularly fascinated by popular music’s role in this respect, as well as by the role alternative or non-mainstream beliefs have played: What do experiences of paranormal say about the world in which we live? What are we to make of the prevalence and diversity of alternative spiritual beliefs? How do people become acquainted with such ideas? I want to make sense of the world in which I live and, it seems to me, I cannot do that without attending to such questions. Most importantly, however, I am convinced that understanding and appreciating the way other people view the world makes for a better society.