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FD Maurice lectures 2014: Religion & Sociology, a Marriage made in Heaven or Hell? 18-20 March 2014

The Department of Theology & Religious Studies at King’s College London warmly invites you to the FD Maurice lectures 2014:

Religion & Sociology: a marriage made in heaven or hell?


Professor James A Beckford FBA

University of Warwick

18-20 March 2014

All three lectures start at 18.30 on the Strand Campus

King’s College London WC2R 2LS

NIGHT ONE: ‘The Religious and the Social’ 18 March, S-2.08 (followed by a drinks reception)

The first lecture explores the evolving relationship between sociology and other approaches to the study of religion. After reviewing a variety of sociological perspectives on religion, Professor Beckford shall begin to make a case for adopting a moderate form of social constructionism as a distinctively sociological – but not sociologistic – way of raising and tackling good questions about religions.

NIGHT TWO: ‘Religions, Rights and Regulation’ 19 March, S-2.08 Strand building

The second lecture amplifies Professor Beckford’s social constructionist perspective by showing how far it can throw light on some of the intriguing and challenging issues that arise when prisons provide inmates with opportunities to practise their faith. Comparisons between the provisions made in England & Wales, France and Canada will help to sharpen the focus on what counts not only as religion but also as acceptable religion.

NIGHT THREE: ‘Religious Diversity, The State and Contention’ 20 March, K2.31 King’s building

The focus of the third lecture is on a variety of controversies in which religious actors, organisations and communities are currently embroiled in Britain. Theological and moral aspects of the controversies about, for example, equalities legislation, multiculturalism, secularism and faith schools are often in the headlines, but he shall argue that sociological analysis can also throw light on broader questions about the contested management of religious diversity and the role of the state in ‘interpellating’ faith communities as its ‘partners’.

Although the lectures form part of a series, each of the lectures stands alone and attendance for all three nights is not required.

Tickets are FREE – please book your place via Eventbrite:




Further information: trs