The need to reimagine religion and belief is precipitated by their greater visibility in public life. Meanwhile, social policy responses often see them from a problem-based, rather than an asset-based, approach. However, with growing diversity of religion and belief in every sector comes the potential for new dialogues across previously impermeable policy and disciplinary silos.
This volume brings together leading international authors to critically consider these challenges within legal and policy frameworks, including security and cohesion, welfare, law, health and social care, inequality, cohesion, extremism, migration and abuse. It challenges policy makers to re-imagine religion and belief as an integral part of public life that contains resources, practices, forms of knowledge and experience that are essential to a coherent policy approach to diversity, enhanced democracy and participation.
“Readers ought to take Re-Imagining Religion and Belief as an invitation for interdisciplinary conversation… this book offers an example of the type of work the editors hope to encourage, with multiple disciplines coming together considering how religion and belief bear on real world issues.” Reading Religion
"A timely and innovative analysis highlighting the need to re-imagine religion and belief as integral parts in the construction of a new modernity." Anders Bäckström, Uppsala University
Professor Chris Baker is William Temple Professor of Religion and Public Life in the Faiths & Civil Society Unit, Goldsmiths, University of London and Director of Research, William Temple Foundation. He critically analyses the impact religion and public life have on politics and public policy in the UK and beyond. He teaches and researches around the relationship between religion and secularism in an increasingly diverse and fluid public sphere. His work is interdisciplinary, including political philosophy, sociology and human geography and public policy.
Professor Adam Dinham is Professor of Faith & Public Policy and Director, Faiths & Civil Society Unit, Goldsmiths, University of London. His work focuses on religion through faith-based social action, faith-related social policy, and professional practice with religiously diverse publics. 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.
Professor Beth R. Crisp is the Discipline Leader for Social Work in the School of Health and Social Development at Deakin University, Australia. She has extensive experience in the international social work arena where she works on the place of religion and spirituality within the context of secular demands on welfare provision and the place of religion and spirituality in challenging and sustaining social exclusion. Her work is also informed from her studies in Political Science and Theology, longstanding collaborations with colleagues in Public Health and living a life in which ecumenical dialogue is a daily reality.
Introduction ~ Chris Baker, Beth R Crisp and Adam Dinham;
Part 1: Re-imagining religion and belief spaces;
The need to re-imagine religion and belief ~ Adam Dinham, Christopher Baker and Beth R. Crisp;
Re-negotiating religion and belief in the public square: Definitions, debates, controversies ~ Christopher Baker and Adam Dinham;
Geographical landscapes of religion ~ Paul Cloke and Andrew Williams;
Spatial methodology’ in religion and belief research: the example of a study of Twelver Shii Muslim networks in Britain ~ Oliver Scharbrodt;
Part 2: Re-imagining Public Policy and Practice;
Law and Religion: a survey of cases in the UK and what they reveal ~ Lucy Vickers;
Reading religion through the lessons of legal decisions and reactions to them ~ Lori G. Beaman;
Religion and belief in postcolonial policy in Australia ~ Mark G. Brett;
Re-imagining the place of religion in the workplace: the example of Australian social work ~ Beth R. Crisp;
Religious literacy in welfare and civil society: a Nordic perspective ~ Annette Leis-Peters;
Part 3: Re-imagining the future;
Policy futures for religion and belief ~ Chris Baker, Beth R Crisp and Adam Dinham.