Faiths, Young People and Civil Society Network

Lead Research Organisation: Goldsmiths College
Department Name: STaCS


We propose to consolidate and extend a network of researchers, policy makers and practitioners working in the area of public faith with a focus on the role of young people. The network will build on a series of seminars funded by ESRC in 2006-08 on 'faiths and civil society' and will continue and extend the group which that series bought together. The network will explore issues and problems identified in the earlier seminar series.

Faiths are of growing interest as a public category for three main reasons: they are providers of services; they are regarded as agents of community cohesion (and sometimes its opposite); and are participants in extended forms of governance especially at neighbourhood level. Yet their place at the public table gives rise to a range of contests, sometimes heated. These are associated with conceptual debates about secularism versus faith, the legitimacy of faith as a valid subject for social scientific enquiry, the distinction between public and private markers of identity and the part faiths play in multiculturalism, pluralism and democracy. These will be a focus of the network's activities.

Another will be the practice implications and challenges arising from the conceptual enquiry and from the interaction of researchers, policy makers and practitioners. We hope that by working together on these issues the group can operate as a 'learning network' supporting better policy, better practice and better research.

We also anticipate that the network will incorporate a wide range of young people as participants as well as other participants who have an interest in young people and public faith.

The network will meet twice yearly in 'information and learning events' which will comprise a mixture of academic enquiry, reflection on practice and engagement with policy makers at local, regional and national level. There will be an emphasis on sessions led by and for young people.


10 25 50
Description An international network of interdisciplinary early career researchers in religion and belief has been formed
Exploitation Route People can join the network and participate in its activities
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Education,Healthcare,Government, Democracy and Justice,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

Description A network of early career researchers in religion and belief was formed, called FaithXChange, and this has now been taken on by two of my PhD students, in partnership with a number of grad students in countries around the world.
First Year Of Impact 2010
Sector Education,Government, Democracy and Justice
Impact Types Policy & public services