Our latest books

RGS Report 2021

Interfaith Beyond the Pandemic: from London Communities to Global Identities

Manmit Bhambra, Austin Tiffany, and Jim Walters

LSE (2021)

COVID-19 has touched every facet of society, including the institutions and networks of the London interfaith world. From Whitehall to Whitechapel, the pandemic has reshaped the interfaith sector while revealing its importance. The urgency of reducing infection rates at mass gatherings resulted in the creation of unprecedented interfaith initiatives by the State, and the sudden ubiquity of online platforms has enabled a growth of new civil society interfaith initiatives. All the while, well-established interfaith structures have been drawn upon but not always found able to respond to the unique challenges of the times.

In this KEI-funded research project and report, we explore how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted interfaith and set out recommendations for the sector moving forward. Our data indicates that the pandemic has exacerbated an already existing and troubling intergenerational divide in the sector. Yet, at the same time, it has revealed the immense value and dynamism the interfaith sector brings to public life.

Access the report here and read about our related research into sacred space and social action on the Religion and Global Society Blog.

A recording of the launch event can be found here.


Loving your Neighbour edited

Loving your Neighbour in an Age of Religious Conflict: A New Agenda for Interfaith Relations

James Walters

Jessica Kingsley (2019)

How to meaningfully engage with interfaith questions? Grounded in the author's experience of developing interfaith programmes at one of the world's leading universities, this book carves a fresh perspective on the challenges of religious difference by placing them within the broader currents of belief and scepticism in today's society. It sets out the local challenges presented by religious difference within the global picture, and explores the implications of global religious resurgence for Western secularist assumptions, both in our communities and in how we relate the rest of the world. Combining theory with examples of practical engagement, Walters offers an imaginative Christian theological approach to responding to religious difference without resorting to relativism. It is essential reading for anyone interested in the future of religion in the modern world.

Find out more and read an overview on the Religion and Global Society blog here.

Watch the launch interview with James Walters and Rabbi Natan Levy on the purpose of interfaith dialogue and the challenges posed by religious difference in today's world.


Religious Imaginations

Religious Imaginations: How Narratives of Faith are Shaping Today's World

Edited by James Walters

Gingko (2018) 

Market globalization, technology, climate change, and postcolonial political forces are together forging a new, more modern world. However, caught up in the mix are some powerful religious narratives that are galvanizing peoples and reimagining – and sometimes stifling – the political and social order. Some are repressive, fundamentalist imaginations, such as the so-called Islamic Caliphate. Others could be described as post-religious, such as the evolution of universal human rights out of the European Christian tradition. But the question of the compatibility of these religious worldviews, particularly those that have emerged out of the Abrahamic faith traditions, is perhaps the most pressing issue in global stability today. What scope for dialogue is there between the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian ways of imagining the future? How can we engage with these multiple imaginations to create a shared and peaceful global society? Religious Imaginations is an interdisciplinary volume of both new and well-known scholars exploring how religious narratives interact with the contemporary geopolitical climate.

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Religion and the Public Sphere

Religion and the Public Sphere: New Conversations

Edited by James Walters and Esther Kersley

Routledge (2018)

Religion and the Public Sphere: New Conversations explores the changing contribution of religion to public life today. Bringing together a diverse group of preeminent scholars on religion, each chapter explores an aspect of religion in the public realm, from law, liberalism, the environment and security to the public participation of religious minorities and immigration. This book engages with religion in new ways, going beyond religious literacy or debates around radicalisation, to look at how religion can contribute to public discourse. Religion, this book will show, can help inform the most important debates of our time.

Find out more