Jonathan D Smith
I work and conduct research at the intersection of religious diversity and social movements in multicultural societies. I have worked in the UK charitable sector for nine years on grassroots interfaith and social action projects with the Lokahi Foundation and the Faith & Belief Forum. Before moving to the UK, I taught academic English for four years at universities in Lebanon and the Palestinian Territories, where I supported student groups engaged in interfaith dialogue and non-violent action for peace and justice. My thesis looks at Western Christians working on relief and development projects in Jordan, how they adapt their development approaches to the Jordanian context, and how inter-religious and inter-cultural encounters with local people influence their work.
My research focuses on how religious groups participate in social movements and respond to shared social challenges in complex and surprising ways. Some examples of my research include:
- inter-religious solidarity movements in South Africa
- intermediaries supporting local faith communities in Jordan to provide humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees
- religious environmental movements in Indonesia
- faith communities in London addressing barriers to social exclusion and fostering a sense of belonging
- management of multi-faith spaces at UK universities
- proselytisation as a shared challenge for missionaries and development workers
Journal Articles / Book Chapters
- Kraft, K., & Smith, J. D. (2018). Between international donors and local faith communities: Intermediaries in humanitarian assistance to Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon, Disasters [online].
- Smith, J. D. (2017). Connecting global and local Indonesian religious environmental movements. Jurnal Kawistara, 7(3), 207–225.
- Smith, J. D. (2017). Positioning Missionaries in Development Studies, Policy and Practice. World Development, 90, 63–76.
- Barnes, M., & Smith, J. D. (2015). Religious literacy as lokahi: Social harmony through diversity. In A. Dinham & M. Francis (Eds.), Religious Literacy in Policy and Practice (p. 256). Bristol: Policy Press.
- Chenoweth, J., Wehrmeyer, W., Lipchin, C., Smith, J. D., & Gazit, T. (2007). A comparison of environmental visions of university students in Israel and Palestine. Futures, 39(6), 685–703.
Reports and Policy Papers
- Smith, J. D. (2017). Faith, Belief and Belonging in London: Extending the Coverage (London: The Faith & Belief Forum).
- Smith, J. D. (2016). Multi-faith muddle: trends in managing prayer spaces at UK universities.
- Smith, J. D. (2014). Welcome to Wapping: the value of community in a Tower Hamlets village. (London: Hurtado Jesuit Centre).
- Smith, J. D. (2012). Good campus relations: Briefing paper on Lokahi university research. (London: The Lokahi Foundation)
- Smith, J. D. (2006). Religious Groups and the State: Partners for Social Transformation? Briefing Paper 155 (Cape Town: Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference Parliamentary Liaison Office).
- Smith, J. D. (2005). South Africa’s Developing Model of Religion-State Relations, Occasional Paper 18 (Cape Town: Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference Parliamentary Liaison Office).
- MA International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN, USA
- MA Applied Linguistics, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, USA
- BA Biblical Studies, Beulah Heights University, Atlanta, GA, USA
Research groups and institutes
- Theology and Religious Studies