Follow Us

Send us your news and events!

Mail them to
(No attachments!)

Subscribe to our News & Events Blog

Follow us on Twitter


Dear Friends,

The Forum on Religion at LSE is pleased to announce the Michaelmas Term 2012 events. Full details are below, and can also be found on the website of the Programme for the Study of Religion and Non-Religion at

The seminar by Linda Woodhead on 7 November is an opportunity to interact with one of the leading sociologists of religion in the world, and someone who has a unique vantage point on religion and society, via her stewardship of the AHRC/ESRC programme. The seminar room holds about 40 people, so come early to avoid disappointment.

The next day, November 8, we will welcome Charles Hirschkind, an anthropologist from UC Berkeley; this is a rare visit for Charles to the UK, and his perspective on Salafi Islam is one you’ll not want to miss.  

On December 6, the Forum will further last Summer Term’s focus on ethics, by co-hosting a debate among Julian Baggini, Angus Ritchie, and Mark Vernon.  

In addition to these events, we’d like to take this opportunity to highlight the launch of a new MSc on Religion in the Contemporary World. This is a welcome development to the portfolio of LSE MSc programmes, and the first intake will start in October 2013. The MSc is based in the Anthropology Department, but is open to all who have an interest in studying religion, secularism, humanism, and related topics from a social-scientific perspective. Students will be able to take courses from across a range of LSE Departments, from Anthropology to International Relations, Government, and more. Further details can be found here:



Britain’s New Religious Landscape

Speaker: Professor Linda Woodhead (Lancaster University)

Chair: Dr Matthew Engelke (LSE)

Date and Time: 7 November 2012, 16.30-18.00

Venue: Seligman Library, Old Building, LSE

Professor Woodhead argues that a profound shift has taken place in the religious landscape of Great Britain since the late 1980s, a shift whose significance has been highlighted by research on the AHRC/ESRC Religion and Society Programme. The dominant mode of religion in this country is now one which differs profoundly from the Reformation mode of religion, which was modernised and ‘purified’ in the course of the 20th century. Professor Woodhead identifies key features of the new post-Reformation form of religion – its organisational, magical, and moral aspects – and shows how its co-existence with older Reformation forms of religion explains a great deal about the landscape we now inhabit. Don’t miss this chance to hear one of Britain’s foremost sociologists within the context of a seminar setting.  


Salafi Islam, Online Ethics and the Future of the Egyptian Revolution

Speaker: Professor Charles Hirschkind (University of California, Berkeley)

Chair: Dr Mathijs Pelkmans (LSE)

Date and Time: 8 November 2012, 18.30-20.00

Venue: Old Theatre, Old Building, LSE

This event is co-sponsored with the Department of Anthropology

In this public lecture, Professor Hirschkind, one of the most influential anthropologists of his generation,  looks at the politics of the Salafi movement in Egypt in relation to changing practices of religious media use. The movement is the political face of a much broader and diverse current within Egyptian society, one grounded less in a specific tradition within Islam than in a grassroots movement centred on ethical reform.

With Good Reason? A Debate on the Foundations of Ethics

Speakers: Dr Julian Baggini, Canon Dr Angus Ritchie, and Dr Mark Vernon

Date and Time: 6 December 2012, 18.30-20.00

Venue: Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House, LSE

This event is co-sponsored with Theos.

Religious and secular philosophers have long debated whether ethics have an objective basis (moral realism) or a relative basis (moral relativism). But in terms of the first, does theism or atheism offer a better basis for ‘moral realism’In this debate, a theist, an atheist and an agnostic debate this question in what promises to be a lively and (perhaps) spirited exchange.