Grace Davie – Religion in Britain: A Persistent Paradox, Book Review

Grace Davie’s 1994 book, Religion in Britain since 1994: Believing without Belonging, has become a classic in the sociology of religion and its memorable subtitle has even filtered into the popular consciousness. I’ve heard clerics and Christian activists use the term ‘believing without belonging’ to describe the dynamic where church attendance has declined, but people […]

Fr Charlie Burrows Guest Post: Muslim Guests at a Christian Wedding

Fr Charlie Burrows, an Irish priest serving in Chilachap on Java’s southern coast in Indonesia, is well known for cultivating good relations between Christians and Muslims in his local area. In his latest contribution to this blog, he describes an encounter when Muslim children visited his church after a Christian wedding ceremony, providing an example of […]

Will Northern Ireland Institutional Abuse Inquiry Include Redress for Victims?

This week, Northern Ireland’s institutional abuse inquiry examines one of the most notorious abusers, Fr Brendan Smyth. Reports yesterday included evidence that he told a doctor in 1994: “Over the years of religious life, it could be that I’ve sexually abused between 50 and 100 children. That number could have been doubled, or perhaps even more.” […]

Review of Religion in Times of Crisis in Numen, by Chaminda Weerawardhana

A book I co-edited with Heidemarie Winkel and Christophe Monnot, Religion in Times of Crisis (Brill 2014), has been reviewed in Numen (Vol 62, pp. 484-486, 2015) by Chaminda Weerawardhana from Queen’s University Belfast. Weerawardhana also spoke at the launch of the book at the European Sociological Association’s Sociology of Religion Research Network’s bi-annual meeting in Belfast in […]

The Deconstructed Church Reviewed in Sociology of Religion, by Josh Packard

The Deconstructed Church: Understanding Emerging Christianity (Oxford 2014), which I co-authored with Gerardo Marti, has been reviewed by Josh Packard from the University of Northern Colorado in the academic journal Sociology of Religion (you can read the full review on Below are some excerpts from the review. Review of The Deconstructed Church by Josh Packard in Sociology of Religion Marti and […]

Book Launch: Belfast – Towards a City Without Walls by Vicky Cosstick, 11 June

A new book by journalist Vicky Cosstick, Belfast: Towards a City Without Walls, will be launched tomorrow, Thursday 11 June, at the Red Barn Gallery, 43b Rosemary Street, Belfast, from 6 pm onwards. The guest speaker is Rev Lesley Carroll. There will also be an exhibition of photos by Frankie Quinn. Cosstick spoke about her book at […]

Discovery Gospel Choir to Perform Juneteenth, 13 June in Belfast

Discovery Gospel Choir, a Dublin-based group featuring 35 members from nations across the world, in partnership with Christian Aid, will perform Juneteenth: 150 Years of Freedom – a concert to celebrate the ending of slavery in the United States, on Saturday 13 June at 8 pm in Fisherwick Presbyterian, Belfast. Tickets can be purchased at the door for […]

A Quick Journey Through the Psalms Begins Monday 8 June

The Monday nights in June at Sacred Heart Parish in North Belfast (Glenview Street) will be dedicated to deepening an appreciation of the 150 psalms with a special programme called ‘A Quick Journey Through the Psalms.’ Guest speakers include Rev Steve Stockman (Fitzroy Presbyterian), Breige O’Hare (, Rabbi David Singer, and Rev Arlene Moore (Church of […]

Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls for Apology from the Pope

Earlier this week, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada issued its final report on abuse in First Nations/Indian residential schools. It is a document running more than 360 pages, based on six years of testimony from almost 7,000 witnesses. At least 3,200 children died in residential schools. The CBC reports that it includes: “… […]

Fr Martin Magill’s Ecumenical Tithing: Launch of Steve Stockman’s Poetry Books

This week for his ecumenical tithing Fr Martin Magill returned to Fitzroy Presbyterian Church for the launch of two books of poetry by Rev Steve Stockman: Awkward Dancers & Audacious Dreamers and Reflections, Poems and Benedictions. Fr Magill responded with a poem of his own about the event. His poem is followed by further information […]