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Emeritus Professor of Religion, Ethics & Education, University of Cumbria

Brian was born in Morecambe, went to school in Lancaster, studied at universities in both England (Theology at Oxford, Education at Cambridge) and the USA (Social Ethics at Yale). He taught and researched for 8 years at Goldsmiths College in London; doctoral thesis on religion and children’s development (supervised by Ninian Smart). Moving with his family back to Lancaster in 1975, he was at St Martins College / the University of Cumbria over the next 30 years, mainly as head of the department of Religion and Ethics, and subsequently professor (emeritus since 2008). Throughout, engaged with the nature and importance of religious and moral education in state funded schools, including role as elected chair of RE Council of England & Wales 1984-90, 2002-11, and of Editorial Board of Journal of Moral Education. Awarded MBE in 2013 for work nationally in RE and for Inter Faith Relations.
Main publications
Afro-Caribbean Religions (Ward Lock 1980).
Religious Education Directory for England & Wales (REC 1982).
Freedom and Authority in Religions and Religious Education (Cassell 1996).
Transforming Religious Education: Beliefs and values under scrutiny (Continuum 2007).
Autobiographical reflection
‘’Doing God’ in ethics and education: a play in five acts’ in Journal of Moral
Education 40:3, 2011, pp 309-18.


  • –present
    Emeritus Professor of Religious & Moral Education, University of Cumbria