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Linda Woodhead was appointed F.D. Maurice Professor at King’s College in 2022, where she is also Head of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies. Previously she was Distinguished Professor at Lancaster University. She studied Theology and Religious Studies at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and first taught at Ripon College Cuddesdon, Oxford. She grew up in rural Somerset and now lives in both London and Glasgow.

Research interests and PhD supervision

  • Religion, magic, spirituality
  • Values and ethics
  • Contemporary religious and cultural change
  • Gods and spirits, good and evil

Linda works across different disciplines, particularly theology, religious studies, and the social scientific study of religion. She has written extensively about the decline of institutional religion, especially the churches, and the rise of alternative spiritualities.

She would welcome applications from research students in any of the areas on which I am currently working:

  • ‘Values’ and how they have become a new religion
  • The enduring influence of practices like tarot, astrology and ‘fortune telling’
  • How survivors of sexual abuse in religious contexts survive. 

Selected publications

  • Unknowing God: Towards a Post-Abusive Theology. With Peter Harvey. Cascade 2022.
  • Gen Z, Explained: The Art of Living in a Digital Age. With Roberta Katz, Sarah Ogilvie, Jane Shaw. University of Chicago Press 2021.
  • The Routledge International Handbook of Religion in Global Society. Ed. with Jayeel Cornelio, Francois Gauthier, Tuomas Martikainen. Routledge 2021.
  • That Was the Church That Was: How the Church of England Lost the English People. With Andrew Brown. Bloomsbury 2016.
  • The Spiritual Revolution. Why Religion is Giving Way to Spirituality. With Paul Heelas. Blackwell 2005.


Linda teaches in the broad areas of Ethics and Values;  Sociology of Religion; Gods and Spiritual entities.

Expertise and public engagement

Linda works with journalists covering religion, culture and values, and regularly broadcast on these topics. She founded the Westminster Faith Debates with the Rt Hon Charles Clarke.

Linda continues to work collaboratively on improving how religion is handled in schools and public life.