Welcome to the CTRC
The Centre for Theology, Religion & Culture (CTRC) was founded in 1993 to meet a growing interest in exploring the interaction of theology, religion and culture. It aims to develop research and teaching based on theological and sociological perspectives on religious education, public policy relating to religious institutions and faith-based organisations, and ministerial practice within churches. This unique interdisciplinary research centre serves as a major resource for professionals working at these intersections, including teachers, church leaders and ministers, government policy makers, youth workers, charities and faith-based NGOs.
Our research is organised in three core programmes:
(i) Religious education
(ii) Religious, social and political engagement.
This research focuses on the place of learning from and about religion in schools, FE colleges and universities, as well as in the media and the public sphere, with a particular focus on public spiritual, religious and theological literacy. This research theme is concerned with the place of learning from and about religion in schools, colleges of further education and universities, as well as in the media and the public sphere in general. Particular attention is given to spiritual and faith development, critical thinking and spiritual/theological discernment, pedagogy and the curriculum, and the formation and education of teachers. Research is inter-disciplinary, with a particular focus on theological resources and the philosophy of critical realism. It is attentive to the contribution of religious communities to faith-based schooling
(iii) Christian mission and ministry in a contemporary context.
This research theme focuses on religious NGOs such as charities, voluntary agencies, social welfare services (whether local, national or global in reach), political initiatives and social movements as well as the place of religious institutions and actors in community organising, development work and secular organisations. Particular attention is given to the inter-relationship between faith-based engagement with contemporary social, economic and political issues and the theological ways of framing such work. The Centre’s research addresses both professional practice and current social, economic and political contexts. Research foci include public policy in relation to faith schools, the role of faith communities in generating social cohesion and respecting diversity, and the interrelationship between popular culture and religious identity.
This research combines theological and empirical methodologies to examine the relationship between Christianity and contemporary culture, developing critical and constructive approaches to the contemporary Church mission and ministry. This research theme focusses on the relation of ministry and contemporary culture, particularly the use of ethnographic research to develop ministerial practice and policy.
The CTRC actively contributes to a growing London-wide research culture that addresses issues of common concern in religious education, theological education, theology and religious studies. Other key participants include the KCL Department of Theology & Religious Studies, Heythrop College, the University of Aberdeen, and Regent’s Park College, Oxford University. The Centre is in the process of developing additional national and international links, especially in the field of ethnography and ecclesiology.