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Researching the contemporary moral landscape: doctoral training programme

An intensive residential training programme for doctoral students and early career researchers run by the Centre for Religion and Contemporary Society, University of Kent in conjunction with the RSA

Monday 10th – Friday 14th September, 2012

The AHRC’s Care for the Future research theme emphasises the importance of studying the ‘ethical, moral, cultural and social landscapes’ of contemporary life. How do we engage with this challenge conceptually, though, or practice research in ways that engage effectively with these complex phenomena? What public audiences do these questions matter to and how can we communicate our work in creative and useful ways?

This week-long intensive training workshop, delivered in conjunction with the RSA, will provide doctoral students and early career researchers with a unique opportunity to address these questions through workshop sessions with a range of experienced researchers. The programme content will include a range of disciplinary perspectives and will aim not so much to provide a comprehensive framework, but diverse theoretical and methodological perspectives which can act as a stimulus for participants’ future research.

Speakers at the event will include Louisa Bolch, Abby Day, Adam Dinham, Lois Lee, Gordon Lynch, David Morgan, and Linda Woodhead. Specific areas to be covered in the programme will include:

  • forms of ‘belief’ in everyday life
  • visual and material culture as media of moral life
  • understanding the contemporary moral landscape through literature and the arts
  • the good life and the ‘social brain’
  • the contemporary significance of the sacred and the profane
  • new forms of ritualization in contemporary society
  • the policy context for understanding the contemporary moral landscape

Other training sessions will also explore different approaches to public engagement through print, digital and broadcast media.

The event will run from the morning Monday 10th September until the end of the afternoon on Friday 14th September at the RSA’s offices just off the Strand in central London. There is no registration fee. Lunch and dinner will be provided free of charge, and free overnight accommodation will also be provided in central London for those participants who require it. Delegates’ travel costs within the UK will also be met.

We anticipate a high degree of interest in this programme, and the deadline for applications is Monday 4th June.

Further information on the programme, and how to apply for it, is available at