New Directions in the Social History of Religion, 1700-1900

Event Details

  • Event date: 14/01/2021 – 15/01/2021
  • Venue: Online Event
  • CFP Deadline: 02/11/2020

Submissions are invited for a virtual workshop on new directions in the social history of religion in Britain, Europe and North America between 1700 and 1900. The workshop is inspired by the AHRC-funded project ‘Faith in the Town: Lay Religion, Urbanisation and Industrialisation in England, 1740-1830’, which analyses the transformation of urban society through the lens of lay belief. The workshop will be run over two afternoons, from 2-5pm on Thursday 14 and Friday 15 January 2021. The workshops will be hosted by the John Rylands Research Institute at the University of Manchester and will be held online, with pre-recorded papers and discussions over Zoom.

Particularly welcome are papers that seek to break down disciplinary and thematic barriers, and to integrate the history of religion into social, cultural or economic history more broadly. The event aims to provoke discussions about, for example:

  • the methodologies and sources used in the history of religion.
  • narratives of long-term change – such as secularisation – which have generally been seen from the perspective of church and chapel attendance, rather than other measures of lay belief.
  • how questions of faith interact with the mainstays of social history analysis: race, gender and class.
  • what consideration of religion can contribute to various subdisciplines of history, such as the history of emotions, the history of the body, business history or the history of the family.

Please send abstracts of 300 words to Kate Gibson, at, by Monday 2 November 2020. If you would like to attend but not present, please register your interest by visiting by Friday 8 January 2021. Attendance is free but numbers may be capped to facilitate discussion, so please register early if you can.

Organisers: Professor Hannah Barker and Dr Kate Gibson (University of Manchester), and Professor Jeremy Gregory (University of Nottingham). For more information visit the project website: or email Kate Gibson at

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