Coventry University

At the beginning of September 2015 I took up a new and exciting permanent position as a Research Fellow within the interdisciplinary Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University.

My work at Coventry University is focused within the ‘Faith and Peaceful Relations’ team in the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations. The position is largely research focused and will build on my previous work on urban theology, urban faith and multiculturalism, religious identities and superdiverse cities, faith-based political activism and the use of hip-hop culture amongst socially exlcuded urban youth. As projects emerge and evolve I will post updates on this blog and via my Twitter handle @ChrisShannahan

The work of the ‘Faith and Peaceful Relations’ team encompassess urban and political theology, sociology of religion, feminism and religion, religion and peacebuilding and Islamic studies. You can find out more about our research by looking at our research group leaflet [just click here].

My work will also give me the opportunity to build up a strong cohort of PhD students exploring different aspects of the relationship between theology, identity, politics/actisim and culture in the superdiverse cities of the 21st century. If this is something that interests you please do get in touch.

If you’re interested in working towards a PhD in any aspect of religion and contemporary society with a focus on the relationship between faith and social justice then please have a look at our PhD flyer for more information [just click here]

I will also be developing new opportunities for workers and volunteers in urban faith, commuity, youth and statutory organisations to engage in a share theological reflection on the challenges of finding faith in an urban world and on the relationship between faith and peaceful relations.

My new projects include –

  • ‘God in the Gutter’ – A long term exploring faith-based engagement with poverty and inequality in the UK: Are faith groups called to ‘care’ or to ‘campaign’? What are the values that drive them? How much impact does their activism have?
  • ‘Spray Cans and Social Cohesion’ – A project based in two of the most diverse and socially excluded communities in Coventry. Working alongside socially excluded youth and using Hip-Hop culture to explore the impact that social exclusion has on ideas about identity, meaning, belonging and spirituality and as a vehicle for building bridges between youth from different communities, religions and ethnicities.
  • The Faith and Peaceful Relations Forum – Starting in May 2016 – A community education initiative intended to develop a liberative model of grassroots theological reflection and a space within which practitioners can critically reflect on their own work alongside socially excluded communities and explore together with people from other faith traditions and academics who are committed to developing research for progressive social change the key challenges facing people in the city as they seek to build just and inclusive communities. The Forum meets 3 times a year.
  • Becoming a City of Peace & Reconciliation – A new contextual theology project working alongside Coventry Cathedral exploring what it might mean for Coventry to claim itself to be a ‘city of peace & reconciliation’. What impact does this have on socially excluded communities, the life of faith and community groups and on the embodying of peace and reconciliation in the fabric and life of the city?

Watch this space too for other chances to study faith & peaceful relations at the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations….You can follow the Centre on Twitter at  @CTPSR_Coventry   and on Facebook 

A new journey has just begun!

Get in touch by emailing me at –



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