World Religions

All staff in Theology and Religious Studies contribute to the teaching and research of World Religions.

Dr Julie Clague conducts research on the activities and impact of faith communities and faith-related NGOs in the fields of global health and international development.

Dr Doug Gay is interested in secularisation debates and in the constitutional status of religion within states.
Professor David Jasper works on the reception of Chinese literature and religious texts in the nineteenth century, which amounts to the beginnings of sinology.

Dr Charlotte Methuen’s research focuses on three main areas of Christian history: the Protestant Reformation, a significant factor in shaping the global expansion of Christianity, and also a period in which relationships between Christianity and Islam became highly significant in the European context; and the question of women and authority in the church.

Dr Sarah Nicholson works on Hebrew Bible, and how it reflects on histories of biblical interpretation in both Christianity and Judaism, and engages with modern Jewish and Christian textual, theological, cultural and literary approaches to texts claimed by both traditions.

Dr Charles Orzech focuses on the transformation of Indian Mahāyāna Buddhism in China and on Western re-imaginings of Buddhism. His recent work is on the role of images and the way that religious practice shapes communities.

Professor George Pattison’s research in Christian theology and the philosophy religion in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries includes studying both critical and interpretative dialogues between Christianity and Judaism and between Western thought and Japanese Buddhism.

Dr Lloyd Ridgeon researches the history of Sufism, with a particular focus on Persian texts. He also investigates manifestations of religion within contemporary Iranian culture, such as Iranian cinema.

Dr Leah Robinson works on issues pertaining to interfaith conflict and reconciliation, specifically pertaining to areas related to interfaith worship services and religious observations.

Dr Mia Spiro researches the transnational range of Jewish culture in the modern and contemporary eras, and the broad scope of aesthetic, historical, and thematic approaches to Jewish cultures in transition.  She explores how Jewish minorities engage with their traditions, and how they grapple with anxieties regarding assimilation, Antisemitism, and persecution.

Dr Scott Spurlock researches the development of transnational religious communities and the role that differing cultural and political contexts play in shaping identity and ideology. His work focuses primarily on Christian traditions.

Dr Heather Walton researches into spirituality and contemporary culture and in particular focuses upon religion and materiality, literature and religion and religion and feminism.

Dr Saeko Yazaki pursues a comparative study of monotheistic and non-monotheistic faiths, especially Sufism and Zen. Her research also includes the mysticism and epistemology of Islam, the Judaeo-Islamic tradition in al-Andalus, and their continuing relevance to the present.