Centre for Religion and Public Life

Centre for Religion and Public Life

A hub of research, impact and public engagement activities at the intersections of religion and public life in local, national and global contexts.

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Our research

The Centre for Religion and Public Life (CRPL)  studies the complex and critical role of religious belief and practice in contemporary society, locally, nationally and globally.

The Centre brings together academic staff and research students in the School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science, as well as from other Schools at the University of Leeds. Director of the Centre is Professor Johanna Stiebert.

Members of the Centre employ various methodological perspectives – such as sociology and anthropology of religion, theology, biblical, religious and cultural studies – as the Centre foregrounds interdisciplinarity as critical to the study of religion and public life.

Research in the Centre is concerned with contemporary religion in relation to a wide range of current issues, such as gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, diaspora and globalisation, media, and development. The geographical contexts range from the city of Leeds, the UK and Europe, Africa and Asia. We have expertise in diverse religious traditions, such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, and new religious movements.

Find out more about our events and activities, and work in and around the Centre, in our weblog, Religion in Public.


Impact activity is central to the work of the Centre. Our research strengths in the study of contemporary religion in local and global contexts require us to understand impact and public engagement in various forms as an integral part of our research – for example, in our work with local religious communities within the Community Religions Project, now spanning more than 40 years. This is the case for research in theology and biblical studies as well as religious studies.

Discover more about our impact.


A fortnightly seminar series where speakers from inside and outside the University of Leeds presents current research on any aspect of religion that, in one way or another, intersects with public life in local, national or international contexts. Our events are open to all with an academic interest in the study of religion and public life.