The University of Manchester
School of Arts, Languages and Cultures
Samuel Alexander Building, WG16
Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK
Phone: +44 (0)161 275 3064



The University of Manchester
School of Arts, Languages and Cultures
Samuel Alexander Building, WG8
Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK
Phone: +44 (0)161 306 1663


What does it mean to exist in complex relationships with machines? What insights can be offered to our understandings of these relationships by the theologically significant theme of ‘love’? What critical assessments can be made of our multiple uses of technologies in shaping our futures, by reflecting on our pasts?

Events and Outputs
> NEW! Robots vs Loneliness?
> NEW! Focus Groups
> Conference: Care and Machines
Useful links 

Disquiet over the prevalence of social and economic individualism has a long history. In a world of mobile Capital and increasingly mobile people, communities of common tradition and locality appear to be under threat from the advent of a fragmented market society. Are these complaints against individualism justified? And crucially, how should Christians respond to them? Digging down into the substance of these questions, this project will consider the theological, liturgical and scriptural resources Christians have for understanding the notion of individualism in relation to issues of education, public life and the formation of democratic citizenship.


European Consortium for Political Research

Michael Hoelzl and Graham Ward will be talking at the European Consortium for Political Research, Pisa, Italy, 6-8th September, 2007


LTI Newsletter Summer 2007

There was a touch of the prophetic in the timing of this conference, Re-moralising Britain? 10 years of New Labour: Faith, Morals and Governance, held 17-18 May this year. Exactly one week before, Tony Blair announced his imminent departure, closing a chapter on one era of government and opening the doors of frantic speculation on the next. Was Blair and the New Labour project in general guided by a moral agenda? Was Brown? Even the BBC arrived early to glean some sound bites on the ‘Brown question’. The conference was, nevertheless, set up to cast a retrospective glance at the past ten years of New Labour. In spite of the intended emphasis on the question mark in the title, many speakers (including Anthony Giddens and Will Hutton) opted for a positive take on Blair’s legacy. Much was made of the personality politics that characterised Blair’s style... click here to read more.

LTI Newsletter Download (PDF)


Secularism and Beyond

Michael Hoelzl ("Silete theologi: Two concepts of normative secularization in the work of Hans Kelsen and Carl Schmitt") and Graham Ward ("Postsecularity or the Changing Structures of Believing?") will be speaking at  Secularism and Beyond, Copenhagen University, May 29th to June 1st 2007. Here's a brief abstract from the conference website:

The relationship between religion and politics has attracted increased interest in public as well as academic discourse, especially within the humanities, legal studies and social sciences. The dominant way of conceiving this relationship in the Western world is through the lens of secularism. In that sense, the conception of secularism is the focal point for studying and analysing the relationship between religion, politics, law and public life and the separation of the public as a distinct sphere different from and independent of religion and a religious sphere.

LTI Newsletter Winter 2007

LTI hosts international conference on women ordination. Nearly seventy researchers and clergy from around the world gathered at the University of Manchester’s Hulme Hall conference centre in July 2006 to discuss the position of ordained women across the Christian churches, sharing insights and experiences. Speakers from four continents discussed Roman Catholic, Anglican, Presbyterian, Lutheran and the Salvation Army perspectives (amongst others) and covered topics including: the professionalisation... click here to read more.


LTI Newsletter Download (PDF)


Religion and Political Thought Reader

This book provides an essential resource for studies in religion and politics. It is divided into three parts, beginning with an introduction outlining the contemporary relevance of reviewing the relationship between the two subject areas; a brief history of the interactions between religion and politics that have pertained both in East and the West, and the key concepts that relate these two fields. The second section comprises a selection of classic readings. Beginning with Aristotle, the readings explore the metaphor of the body and its political deployment in the mediaeval period, the concern with sovereignty in early modernity, religion and democracy in Enlightenment Europe, religion and democracy in America, nineteenth-century socialism, and twentieth-century concerns with totalitarianism and democracy. The third section comprises an introductory essay followed by eight full-length essays by contemporary thinkers, exploring key ideas that are currently at the forefront of debates concerning religion and political life.

Four of these essays move beyond the 'Christian' framing behind the classical texts, to examine how key concepts from this historical legacy have impacted on Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism. One other essay explores issues with respect to the politics of gender and liberation theology. The remaining three treat important contemporary issues as represented by three important social/cultural theorists - the state of emergency and the homo sacer, the radical nature of agape and the relationship between democracy and secularism.


Manchester Religion and Civil Society Network

The Religion and Civil Society Network (formerly Manchester Research Institute for Religion and Civil Society) brings together the established expertise of two existing research groupings exploring different aspects of the relation between religion and the public sphere. They are the Lincoln Theological Institute and the Centre for Religion and Political Culture. The RCSN began in 2006 and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams gave an inaugural public lecture Faith, Freedom, Secularity to mark the occasion. A streaming video of the entire speech can be downloaded by clicking here. As well, Professor Graham Ward was interviewed by BBC Manchester radio to discuss religion and civil society. Click here to listen to an mp3 or you can also subscribe to our podcast on iTunes. (Kind permission of the Terry Christian Show, BBC Radio Manchester).

Religion and Civil Society Interview (mp3)