Faith and Peaceful Relations

We explore the role religion can play in achieving more peaceful and just societies.

Faith can be a driver of peace, reconciliation and social justice, yet it can also be a source of violence, exclusion and misunderstanding. Our research explores the positive difference faith and belief can make in today’s world and how conflicts relating to religion can be addressed.

We promote religion and belief literacy in the academic fields from which our work draws, especially politics, international relations, sociology, religious studies and theology. We consider religion and belief deserve more academic attention.

Our work includes large-scale international research, tailored evaluations for local organisations, consultancy and delivery of training. We emphasise collaborative and participatory approaches. We contribute to the Centre’s MAs in Peace and Conflict Studies and Global Diversity Governance. We also invite applications to our PhD programme.

We work with a range of stakeholders and funders, including UK and European research councils, civil society organisations, faithbased charities and grassroots groups. We have delivered projects with and for the Anglican Communion, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the British Council, Department for International Development, the Economic and Social Research Council, European Commission, Department for Communities and Local Government, the British Academy, the Church Urban Fund and a range of international universities.

We have particular expertise in faith-based responses to conflict; interfaith dialogue; religion in conflict; religion and belief freedom, discrimination and equality; urban theology and poverty; gender; contextual theology and religious leadership.


Kristin Aune, Senior Research Fellow, Research Group Leader

Religion in higher education, sociology of religion, gender, feminism, secularism, chaplaincy

Sariya Cheruvallil-Contractor, Research Fellow

Islam, Muslim women, feminism, digital methodologies, religion in higher, religion and non-religion in Britain

Stephanie Denning, Research Associate

Human geography, poverty, Christianity (Life on the Breadline project)

Dilwar Hussain, Research Fellow

Islam, contextual theology, extremism, radicalisation, British Muslims, urban theology

Serena Hussain, Senior Research Fellow

Social and spatial trends of Muslims; South Asian diasporas; minority group identity & mobilisation

Laura Payne, Research Associate

Faith-based peacebuilding, religious violence, conflict transformation, civil society, youth, peace processes

Dan Range, Research Associate

Intergroup contact; contact theory; social relations 

Chris Shannahan , Research Fellow

Religion and politics, religion and multiculturalism, theology and poverty, secularisation, hip-hop

Paul Weller, Professor

Religion, state and society