In what sense can a country be “Christian”? Today on the Religious Studies Project, we welcome back Professor Linda Woodhead to discuss and interrogate the question "Is Britain Still a Christian Country?", the topic of her recent Croall Lectures at the University of Edinburgh.

Listen Now

This episode has not been transcribed yet. 

Consider a donation to pay for the cost of editing a transcript?

About this episode

When scholars involved in the social scientific study of ‘religion’ encounter claims concerning ‘religious identity’ – of states, groups or individuals – a number of questions immediately spring to mind. UK Prime Minster David Cameron’s controversy-inducing statement around Easter 2014 that Britain is ‘a Christian country’ is a perfect example of how an apparently simple statement is actually highly ambiguous and can potentially mask a host of powerful ideological concerns.

What does Cameron’s statement actually mean? In what sense can a country be “Christian”? Today on the Religious Studies Project, we welcome back Professor Linda Woodhead to discuss and interrogate the question “Is Britain Still a Christian Country?”, the topic of her recent Croall Lectures at the University of Edinburgh.

The Secularization Thesis. You can also download this interview, and subscribe to receive our weekly podcast, on iTunes. If you enjoyed it, please take a moment to rate us. And remember, you can use our Amazon.co.ukAmazon.com, or Amazon.ca links to support us at no additional cost buying academic texts, British cookbooks, cakes, model railways and more.

 Fund the RSP while you shop! Use an Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.ca, or Amazon.com affiliate link whenever you make a purchase. There’s no additional cost to you, but every bit helps us stay on the air! 

We need your support!

Want to support us directly? Become a monthly Patron or consider giving us a one-time donation through PayPal

Related Resources

Challenges in the Study of Gender and Contemporary Occultism

Response

Were publications written decades ago for "women-only" already part of history or not? What to do when a certain publication was designated as "available to women scholars only" in one feminist archive but was unrestricted in another?
Some Questions about Spiritual Tourism

Response

"On a more fundamental level, this raises the question whether ‘spiritual’ refers to a quality that may come in addition to an identification as religious, or whether the two refer to different groups and types of persons." In this podcast Alex Norman defines a spiritual tourist as a person who is travelling for spiritual betterment. As he himself admits, this is a pretty loose term.
Material Religion and Visual Culture: Objects as Visible, Invisible and Virtual

Response

David Morgan, Professor of Religion at Duke University, has written extensively on the subject of material and visual culture. In a recent interview with Christopher Cotter, he provides an overview of the field of material religion and introduces his new book The Embodied Eye: Religious Visual Culture and the Social Life of Feeling (2012). In this review, I briefly tease out some of the themes from the interview, present a few snippets from some of Morgan’s publications and finally,

Responses to this episode

Identity Crisis: the Nones and Habitual Christianity

Many of my participants felt that familiarity with Christianity permitted them to be critical in a way that they could not with other religious traditions. This podcast coincides with Linda Woodhead’s recent Croall Lectures, aimed at interrogating the question: Is Britain still a Christian country? Drawing on her own qualitative research and recent surveys in the UK,

Other EPISODES YOU MIGHT ENJOY

Mandy Robbins on Personality Types

Podcast

As one of the earliest forms of Personality Assessment, the Myers Briggs Type Indicator or MBTI was first formally published in 1942 by Katharine Briggs and Isabel Myers. Inspired by the theoretical richness of Carl Jung, the MBTI explored and celebrated the differences of people regarding their behavior. Psychology certainly has benefited from the application of Personality Type in a variety of ways.
Unbelief as a Nuanced Phenomenon: The Sociality of Nonreligion across Europe

Podcast

Unbelief has often been defined as either ignorance or rejection of religious systems, but this week's guests David Herbert and Josh Bullock see far more diversity in the ways one can be nonreligious based on their research on Gen Y in Europe.
The U.S. Military Chaplaincy and Twentieth-Century Society

Podcast

Dr. Ronit Y. Stahl and Dan Gorman discuss the United States military chaplaincy as a site of pluralism and cultural tension in the twentieth century.
Religion and Feminism

Podcast

'Religion' and 'Feminism' are two concepts that have a complex relationship in the popular imaginary. But what do academics mean by these two concepts? And how can we study their interrelationship? What can we say about 'religion and feminism', about the academic study of 'religion and feminism', ...
Beyond Ecological Essentialism: Critical and Constructive Muslim Environmentalisms

Podcast

The diversity of Muslim environmentalisms shows the urgency of decolonizing Religious Studies and Environmental Humanities amid escalating global climate crises, says Prof. Anna Gade in this week's episode. Based on her decades of fieldwork in Indonesia, Dr. Gade sketches new intersections of religion and the environment that decenter conversations long dominated by Western ecological models.
Youth, Sexuality and Religion

Podcast

The Religion, Youth and Sexuality: A Multi-faith Exploration project, based at the University of Nottingham, looked at 18 to 25 year-olds from a variety of faith backgrounds in order to understand attitudes and practices around sexuality and how this was negotiated in relation to religious traditions. Dr Sarah-Jane Page, one of the research fellows, ...

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- NonCommercial- NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

The views expressed in podcasts, features and responses are the views of the individual contributors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Religious Studies Project or our sponsors. The Religious Studies Project is produced by the Religious Studies Project Association (SCIO), a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (charity number SC047750).