Professor emeritus of Sociology, University of Exeter

My research interests lie in the sociology of religion, with a particular emphasis on patterns of religion in Europe. I am also interested in the new theoretical paradigms that are emerging in the field – not least the notion of ‘multiple modernities’. How are we to make sense of the growing significance of religion in the modern world with tools and concepts that have emerged (largely) from the 'exceptional' European case?

More recently I have become interested in the interactions between religion and welfare, religion and healthcare and religion and law, recognizing once again the implications of these new fields for sociological thinking about religion.

I continue to pursue these interests in retirement. My most recent publications are:

Religion in Britain: A Persistent Paradox. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2015

(& Lina Molokotos-Liederman and Anders Bäckström) (eds), Religion and Welfare in Europe: Gendered and Minority Perspectives. Bristol: Policy Press, 2017

Religion in Public Life: Levelling the Ground. London: Theos, 2017. Available at


  • –present
    Professor emeritus of Sociology, University of Exeter