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Newsletter - March 2024

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CRPL research

Newsletter: March 2024

Please note that announcements regarding CRPL events and news are now posted on the University’s CRPL site, which you can access here. This includes updates and announcements on CRPL seminar series.

Because it’s very soon… please note our next research day: on 19 March 2024. It’s on diaspora in antiquity and modernity. For details, see here – please write to Johanna if you wish to attend.

There will not be a seminar on Thursday March 21 March 2024.

On 2 May 2024, in place of a seminar, we will have a CRPL gathering and meeting on what to plan for next year. Give thought to prospective speakers and to any research days you might like to (co)organise/participate in. If you cannot attend and want to send me your ideas, please email Johanna.


Recent Updates on the Religion in Public blog

Read about our students speaking back to the display of Eric Gill’s stone relief sculpture in the University’s Michael Sadler Building. This is part of student research undertaken as part of a second-year module in Liberal Arts. See here and also here.

Read our regular series on Researcher of the Month. This year, we have featured Dr. Nduka Udeagha (January), Rabbi Robyn Ashworth-Steen (February) and Rachel Grandey (March).

Read our report on the Postgraduates’ research day on impact on 22 January 2024.


Honours and awards:

Congratulations to Rev Mark Rowland who has successfully defended his thesis ‘A queer and Methodist theology of holiness: strategies for queering Wesley’s teaching’ and passed with NO corrections. Following graduation, there will be another Rev Dr on the block!

The image shows Mark Rowland (centre), flanked by his examiners: Chris Greenough (Edge Hill University) on the left and Al McFadyen (University of Leeds) on the right.


Aled Thomas has been appointed to the Management Committee of Inform. Find out more about Inform, an independent educational charity providing reliable information on new religious movements and cults, here.

CRPL Visiting Fellow Gillian Ann Chu has received the award for best doctoral thesis from the Rev. Dr. Lien-Hwa Chow Memorial Foundation:

The translation of the Chinese is:

“I would like to thank the foundation and their panel for acknowledging my academic efforts. I am grateful to my doctoral supervisor, John Perry, PhD at School of Divinity, University of St Andrews, for his guidance, to my parents, Chu Kwan-lam, MH and Priscilla Pue Ho Chu, for their continuous support, and to God for His grace. I am thankful to be a faculty member at HKBU Department of Religion and Philosophy, and I look forward to more opportunities to participate in Chinese theological discussions in future.”



Chu, Ann Gillian. ‘#deltaδmovement: Hong Kong’s Lay Theologies in the Making (Digitally)'. Asian American Theological Forum 10 (1-2). pp. 45-57.

Gillian is CRPL Visiting Fellow.

Kidwell, Jeremy H. and Skrimshire, Stefan (eds) (2024). Extinction and Religion (Indiana University Press).

Stefan is on the academic staff of the University of Leeds and a member of CRPL.

Newall, Marcello (2024). ‘Faith working through love’: a new food law for a new world. Theology 127(1), 22-29.

Marcello is a final-year postgraduate and recently presented in the CRPL seminar series.

Smith, J. D., Adam, R., & Maarif, S. (2024). How Social Movements Use Religious Creativity to Address Environmental Crises in Indonesian Local Communities. Global Environmental Change, 84(102772).

Jonathan is CRPL Visiting Fellow.



Read here about Adriaan van Klinken’s ongoing research on Nigerian literature and religion. Adriaan is currently based at STIAS, the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study. (If you click the link, you can also check out one of Adriaan’s trademark shirts!)


We had a thoroughly fabulous collaborative research day between the Centres for Religion and Public Life and Philosophy of Religion and Theology. Drs Nduka Udeagha and Tim Judson both gave brilliant presentations offering much wisdom and food for thought.

The image shows Tim Judson (left) and Nduka Udeagha (right).

There is likely to be a film screening, with discussion, on 2 May 2024! Announcement to follow once details are firmed up.

[For archived copies of earlier newsletters, please see the 'Newsletters' tab.]