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Religions and Theology

Centres, networks and clusters

Find out more about the specialist work of the centres, networks and clusters in Religions and Theology.



Networks and clusters

In addition to our research centres, the department has a number of informal research clusters promoting areas of shared interest.

Christian Studies

Interest in Christian Studies covers a wide range of historical and contemporary perspectives, and makes up a lively part of the department’s research culture.

Historical research includes projects working with the department of Classics and Ancient History on the social history of early Christian groups, and there is significant crossover in this area with interests in the Centre for Biblical Studies (eg in the study of Gnostic texts). Manchester’s rich religious history offers a wide range of possibilities for research, and the department works closely with special collections at the John Rylands Library.

This includes making use of world leading archives in the history of Methodism, Unitarianism and the Christian Brethren. The department is engaged in a number of research networks in these areas, including 'Radical Religion in the trans-Atlantic World, 1500-1800' which connects US, Irish and UK universities; and Methodist research networks through involvement with the Manchester Wesley Research Centre.

Recent publications in Christian history include Jeremy Gregory’s volume, co-edited with Tim Faulkner and Helen Berry, Northern Landscapes (Boydell and Brewer, 2010) and Andrew Crome’s The Restoration of the Jews (Springer, 2014).

The department also has several staff members who are interested in classic and contemporary theological issues. Recent work in this area has included a landmark publication on Kierkegaard’s Kenotic Christology (Oxford University Press, 2013) by David Law, who has published widely on Kierkegaard’s theology in recent years.

South Asian Studies

A number of staff members are actively working on the study of South Asian religions and religious diasporas. This includes involvement in a number of research networks on the subject, including 'Teaching Across Religions of South Asia' (TAROSA):

We also participate in the South Asian Studies in the North (SASIN) network, a seminar collaboration between five northern universities. The department also hosts the annual Sanskrit Tradition in the Modern World (STIMW) seminar, one of the most important events in the field.

Several important publications have emerged from this research area in recent years. These have included Jacqueline Suthren Hirst and John Zavos’s innovative Religious Traditions in Modern South Asia (Routledge, 2011) and Atreyee Sen’s Shiv Sena Women - Violence and Communalism in a Bombay Slum (Indiana University Press, 2007).