This book offers a fully up-to-date and comprehensive guide to religion in Britain since 1945. A team of leading scholars provide a fresh analysis and overview, with a particular focus on diversity and change. They examine:

  • relations between religious and secular beliefs and institutions
  • the evolving role and status of the churches
  • the growth and ‘settlement’ of non-Christian religious communities
  • the spread and diversification of alternative spiritualities
  • religion in welfare, education, media, politics and law
  • theoretical perspectives on religious change.

The volume presents the latest research, including results from the largest-ever research initiative on religion in Britain, the AHRC/ESRC Religion and Society Programme. Survey chapters are combined with detailed case studies to give both breadth and depth of coverage. The text is accompanied by relevant photographs and a companion website.

chapter |33 pages


ByLinda Woodhead

chapter |21 pages

Controversies as a lens on change

ByMalory Nye, Paul Weller

part |186 pages

Changing religious forms

chapter |22 pages


Loss of monopoly
ByMathew Guest, Elizabeth Olson, John Wolffe

chapter |6 pages

The formation of the United Reformed Church

ByStephen Orchard

chapter |65 pages

Judaism, Sikhism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism

Post-war settlements
ByRobert Bluck, Sophie Gilliat-Ray, David J. Graham, Gurharpal Singh, John Zavos, Linda Woodhead

chapter |17 pages

Alternative spiritualities

Marginal and mainstream
ByGraham Harvey, Giselle Vincett

chapter |23 pages


ByMark Chapman, Shuruq Naguib, Linda Woodhead

chapter |7 pages

The religiosity of young people growing up in poverty

ByGiselle Vincett, Elizabeth Olson

chapter |16 pages

Changing British ritualization

ByDouglas J. Davies

chapter |16 pages

Images of religion and change in modern Britain

ByLinda Woodhead, Rebecca Catto

part |86 pages

Wider influences

chapter |22 pages

The changing faces of media and religion

ByKim Knott, Jolyon Mitchell

chapter |7 pages

Religion, youth cultures and popular music

ByBrendan Stuart, Christopher Partridge

chapter |23 pages

Religion, welfare and education

ByAdam Dinham, Robert Jackson

chapter |23 pages

Religion, politics and law

ByGladys Ganiel, Peter Jones

chapter |5 pages

Religion, human rights law and ‘opting out' of religious education

ByAlison Mawhinney, Ulrike Niens, Norman Richardson, Yuko Chiba

part |64 pages

Theoretical perspectives

chapter |23 pages

Cultural perspectives

ByCallum Brown, Gordon Lynch

chapter |21 pages

Social perspectives

ByElisabeth Arweck, James A. Beckford

chapter |18 pages

The religious and the secular

ByDavid Martin, Rebecca Catto