People

Meet the Faith Centre Team


Staff

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Director

Chaplain and Senior Lecturer in Practice

Revd Canon Dr James Walters

Jim is the founding director of the LSE Faith Centre and its Religion and Global Society Research Unit. He leads the team in the centre’s mission to promote religious literacy and interfaith leadership through student programmes and global engagement, along with research into the role of religion in world affairs. He is a Senior Lecturer in Practice in the Department of International Relations and an affiliated faculty member at the Department for International Development. He has published a number of books including Baudrillard and Theology (2012), Religion and the Public Sphere: New Conversations (2018), A Christian Theology of Chaplaincy (2018), Religious Imaginations and Global Transitions (2018) and Loving Your Neighbour in an Age of Religious Conflict (2019). He was educated at Cambridge University and ordained priest in the Church of England in 2008 within which he is now a canon of Chichester Cathedral and represents universities on the General Synod, the Church’s governing body.

As chaplain to the whole School, Jim is available to speak confidentially to any student or member of staff regardless of religious affiliation.

Contact: j.walters2@lse.ac.uk 020 7955 7965

 

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Research Officer, Global Religious Pluralities 

Dr Hanane Benadi

Hanane Benadi is an anthropologist working at the intersection of ethics, politics, religion, and climate change in the MENA region. She is currently the Research Officer on the Global Religious Pluralities Project for the climate change and interfaith relations strand.

Previously, she was an IASH-Alwaleed Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Edinburgh where she explored the ways the intertwinement of humanitarianism and Islamic moral reasoning in Islamist activism on behalf of political prisoners in Egypt has transformed understandings of pain, suffering, and tribulation among young Islamists and the consequences of these transformations for future Islamist politics. Hanane received her PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Manchester in 2017.

Contact: h.benadi1@lse.ac.uk

 

Standing picture of Dr Manmit Bhambra smiling in dark grey dress.

Research Officer, Religion and Global Society

Dr Manmit Bhambra

Manmit is leading on the inaugural research project of the Religion and Global Society Research Unit, Strengthening Religious Cooperation in Global London. The project is exploring the impact of Covid-19 on interfaith relations and the potential of interfaith collaboration in these circumstances.

Educated at the LSE and the University of Oxford, Dr Manmit Bhambra holds an Oxford doctorate in Sociology. Her thesis explored how national identity is understood and experienced in multicultural contexts and the impact of this on minority groups in the United Kingdom. Manmit’s research interests are centred around identity politics and formation, ethnic, religious and national identities as well as the broader themes of race, inclusion and minority rights. She has recently worked on research projects with young people at the LSE’s European Institute and Middle East Centre.

Manmit works actively with youth organisations throughout the U.K. and is interested in issues facing young people today. She is also Lecturer in Global Politics at Imperial College London.

Contact: m.k.bhambra@lse.ac.uk

 

Chris-Chaplin

Assistant Professorial Research Fellow, Global Religious Pluralities

Dr Chris Chaplin

Chris is an Assistant Professorial Research Fellow working on the Global Religious Pluralities research project at the Religion and Global Society Unit. The project aims to produce new paradigms of thinking and engagement at the intersection of religion and critical global challenges.

Receiving his PhD from the University of Cambridge, Chris’ research straddles between the fields of anthropology and politics. He is particularly focused on exploring the convergence between global Islamic doctrines and local understandings of piety and faith, and how these come to inform civic values, concepts of religious and political belonging, and social activism within Southeast Asia. From a methodological and theoretical standpoint, he is interested in investigating how reflexive approaches to ethnography can provide a transformative space through which to create new dialogues between anthropological practice and religious doctrines.

He has authored a number of articles and op-eds on these topics, and most recently published the book Salafism and the State: Islamic Activism and National Identity in Indonesia (2021).

Prior to joining the LSE, Chris worked for the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s Research Analysts Cadre. He has also worked for academic and non-governmental bodies including the Royal Netherlands Institute for Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies and Amnesty International.

Contact: c.chaplin@lse.ac.uk 

 

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Research Officer, Global Religious Pluralities

Dr Emanuelle Degli Esposti

Emanuelle is a Research Officer for the Global Religious Pluralities Project, where she leads on the strand investigating the creation and sustainment of plural religious spaces, both materially and symbolically. In particular, her work takes an interdisciplinary approach to the entanglement of secular and religious paradigms of knowledge, as well as the potential to forge new pathways to interreligious encounters at the intersection of local and global challenges.

A specialist in the political and social significance of minority religious identities, Emanuelle received her doctorate in Politics and International Studies from SOAS, University of London, where she also completed an MSc in Middle East Politics. In her previous role as Research and Outreach Associate at the Centre of Islamic Studies, University of Cambridge, she examined the public forms of activism undertaken by Twelver Shi’a Muslims in Europe, especially those that might be said to be geared towards the cultivation of a “European Shi’ism”. As part of this research, she was also awarded a British Academy Rising Stars Engagement Award for her Beyond ‘Sectarianism’? Project.

Emanuelle has authored a number of journal articles. Her forthcoming monograph, tentatively entitled Not That Kind of Muslims: Sectarian Belongings and the Making of British Shi’ism is currently under review by the University of Chicago Press. The editor and founder of online magazine The Arab Review, Emanuelle is also a published journalist and writer, as well as having more than six years’ experience working in consultancy and intelligence analysis covering Europe and the Middle East. 

Cameron Howes in front of shrubs in blue top

Project Manager, Global Religious Pluralities

Cameron Howes

Cameron is the project manager of Global Religious Pluralities – a three year research initiative based in LSE Religion and Global Society that seeks to develop new insights and equip a generation of leaders with the tools to navigate critical global challenges in the sphere of religious pluralism, women’s leadership and climate change. He holds a BSc in Government and History and an MSc in Social Psychology from the LSE specialising in religious cognition and intergroup relations. Cameron takes a particular interest in educative programme design and is passionate about translating academic insights into non-academic settings.

Contact: c.howes@lse.ac.uk 020 7955 5179

 

Lindsay-Simmonds

Research Officer, Global Religious Pluralities 

Dr Lindsay Simmonds

Lindsay is a Research Officer as part of the Global Religious Pluralities project; her particular remit is research into Women of Faith and Peacebuilding. She is also a Fellow at the London School of Jewish Studies (LSJS) where she has lectured, written and convened courses for over 20 years, focussing on women in Biblical narrative, the Talmud and Jewish Law.  

Lindsay is involved in several national and international interfaith projects, including co-chair of her local Jewish-Moslem Women’s Network Nisa-Nashim, a trustee for the Abraham Initiatives UK and Jewish Scholar-in-Residence for the Council of Christians and Jews (CCJ). She is a member of the Senior Faith Leadership Programme which promotes respectful, deep and long-lasting friendship and collegiality between faith leaders in the Christian, Jewish and Moslem communities in the UK and  speaks regularly on peaceful shared society and conflict negotiation. 

Lindsay studied at Nishmat in Jerusalem, was a Bruria Scholar at Midreshet Lindenbaum, and is a graduate of the LSJS Susi Bradfield Women Educators’ Fellowships. She received her Master’s in Gender Studies and her PhD from the LSE’s Department of Gender. Her doctoral thesis is entitled, ‘Generating Piety: Agency in the Lives of British Orthodox Jewish Women’, which will be published next year. Her academic fields of interest are: gender theory, theories of agency, religious subjects, women of faith, cultural intelligibility and the location of knowledge. 

Contact: l.j.simmonds@lse.ac.uk

 


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Project Manager, Religion and Global Society

Dr Austin Tiffany

Austin is the project manager for the Religion and Global Society Research Unit’s research project Strengthening Religious Cooperation in Global London and edits the Religion and Global Society blog. He assists with programmes and leads on partner and alumni engagement.

Austin previously worked for and established the International Community of the Holy Sepulchre, a charity that advocates on behalf of Christians in the Holy Land and supports the inclusive ministries of the Churches. Austin holds a BA in Religion from Baylor University, and an MPhil and PhD in Sociology from the University of Cambridge. His thesis focused on how religious diversity impacts theological training and the roles of Christian and Jewish clergy in local communities. Austin’s research interests include: the intersection of politics and religion and religious diversity.

Contact: a.r.tiffany@lse.ac.uk

 

 

Associate Chaplains

Rabbi Gavin Broder

Jewish Chaplain

Rabbi Gavin Broder

Gavin (nicknamed Rav Gav by popular student demand!) can be found giving regular lunch and learn sessions at the centre and on campus. He is available for one-on-one chats, learning, welfare support, or to just grab a coffee, orange juice or pint! (Often providing snacks.) He represents Jewish causes within universities and is there for students of all backgrounds and affiliations. Rav Gav works with the Jewish Society and UJS helping to support and run student events. 

Contact: rabbibroder@mychaplaincy.co.uk 020 7388 1976 

Archpriest Alexander Fostiropoulos

Orthodox Chaplain

Fr. Alexander Fostiropoulos

Alexander is our Orthodox chaplain. He is a priest of the Deanery of Great Britain and Ireland, of the Archdiocese of Orthodox Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe, within the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. He came to England in 1971 and trained as an architect in London. He was ordained by the late Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh in 1985, and has been at King's ever since. He is also a Chaplain to the LSE.

Contact: fostiropoulos@clara.net 020 7722 1663

FRMILLER

Catholic Chaplain

Fr Philip Miller

Fr Philip grew up in Kent, and then in St Albans, Herts, where he attended Nicholas Breakspear Catholic Secondary School. He studied Natural Sciences (Physics) at Cambridge as an undergraduate, and then for a PhD in radio-astronomy at the Cavendish Laboratory. He attended the Venerable English College, Rome, for his seminary formation, and was ordained in St Albans in September 1999. Since then he has served in parishes and hospital ministry in Westminster diocese, most recently as Parish Priest of St Augustine’s, Hoddesdon.

 

Advisory Board

Professor Kevin Featherstone Head of the European Institute holding a book in the library

Chair of the Advisory Board

Professor Kevin Featherstone

Kevin Featherstone is Eleftherios Venizelos Professor of Contemporary Greek Studies and Professor of European Politics at LSE. He is Head of the European Institute and Co-Chair of LSEE - Research on South-East Europe within the European Institute.

David Beecken

David Beecken

David is the founder and Managing Director of Beecken Petty O’Keefe & Company Healthcare Private Equity. Prior to this he was an investment banker specializing in the healthcare industry. Dave serves or has served on the board of directors of many organisations including Dentsply Sirona Inc. (Nasdaq "XRAY") and numerous BPOC portfolio companies. He holds degrees from the University of the South, an M.B.A. degree in finance from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and an M.S. degree in economics from the London School of Economics.

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John Casson

John Casson recently returned to the UK after four years as British Ambassador in Egypt. He spent two decades as a British diplomat and senior leader in Whitehall. He was David Cameron’s foreign policy lead in No10 from 2010 to 2014. In Egypt he was a high profile public figure, launching innovative initiatives in education, social enterprise and interfaith issues, and building a 1.5 million social media following. John’s career has also seen diplomatic postings in Brussels, Washington and Jordan, research at Cambridge University on African religion and politics, experience as a parliamentary researcher and a volunteer teacher in Kenya. He studied undergraduate History and postgraduate Theology at Cambridge. He is married to Kathryn, and his joys include poems, baseball, mountains and Christian discipleship. John was awarded a CMG in The Queen’s 2014 Birthday Honours.

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The Rt Rev. and the Rt Hon. Lord Chartres KCVO

Lord Chartres was the 132nd Bishop of London from 1995 to 2017. He now sits in the House of Lords as a crossbench member and continues to serve as Dean of Her Majesty’s Chapels Royal. Lord Chartres is a respected voice on a range of issues including the environment, relations with the Orthodox Churches and interfaith relations, founding and serving as life president to St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace.

Adrian Cohen

Adrian Cohen

Adrian Cohen is a partner in the finance practice of international law firm Clifford Chance LLP. In 2006 he helped to establish the London Jewish Forum, which he chairs, to engage with the Mayoralty of London. Adrian has first & second Law degrees from the LSE & QMUL and taught Commercial Law at LSE for two years.

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Professor Grace Davie

Grace Davie is Professor Emeritus in the Sociology of Religion at the University of Exeter. In 2000-01 she was the Kerstin-Hesselgren Professor at Uppsala, where she returned for extended visits in 2006-7, 2010 and 2012.  She has also held visiting appointments at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (1996) and at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (1998 and 2003), in Paris, and is a member of the Academia Europaea.  

Katie Harrison

Katie Harrison

Katie Harrison is Director of the ComRes Faith Research Centre – the first commercial centre of expertise in this country set up to help improve the quality of knowledge about religion and belief by providing robust and impartial evidence of current religious identity, belief, practice and behaviour. Katie has a long track record of leading communications  and external relations  in  international  development  and local  government,  and of working on faith-specific projects, and is also an Honorary Fellow of the Cadbury Centre at the University of Birmingham.

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Sohail Younus Nakhooda

Sohail Younus Nakhooda is Executive Director of Kalam Research & Media, UAE and is Private Secretary of the Ambassador of Libya to the UAE, Dr Aref Ali Nayed. At KRM he is a Co-Leader of the Islamic Analytic Theology project in association with the Sir John Templeton Foundation, coordinating research with leading scholars and academic and research institutions from around the world. An LSE alum, he was LSE Islamic Society President and is founder of the award-winning Islamica Magazine which he started during his time at the School.

David Powell

David Powell

David Powell is the chief euro-area economist at Bloomberg Intelligence. He holds a master’s degree from LSE and is the author of “The Trader's Guide to the Euro Area: Economic Indicators, the ECB and the Euro Crisis”, which was published by Wiley. He is also the Vice-Chair of the LSE London Alumni Group.

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Mandip Sahota

Mandip is Director of Strategies & Stories, a strategic planning & communications agency for charities and social changemakers. Mandip works with organisations to share their impact, identify partnerships, and increase funding opportunities. With over 20 years experience in the private, public and third sector, Mandip has provided strategic advice to Foreign & Commonwealth Ministers on international approaches to religion, gender parity and human rights, and developed national employability programmes as the Chief Executive of the Baroness Warsi Foundation, a social inclusion non-profit. Mandip is an Honorary Fellow at the University of Birmingham’s Edward Cadbury Centre for Public Understanding of Religion.