Uppsala Institute for Diaconal & Social Studies
Professor Grace Davie
BA (Exon); Ph D (London); Honorary Doctorate (Uppsala)
Professor of Sociology
My research interests lie in the sociology of religion, with a particular emphasis on patterns of religion in Europe. I am also interested in the new theoretical paradigms that are emerging in the field – not least the notion of ‘multiple modernities’. How are we to make sense of the growing significance of religion in the modern world with tools and concepts that have emerged (largely) from the 'exceptional' European case?
More recently I have become interested in the interactions between religion and welfare, religion and healthcare and religion and law, recognizing once again the implications of these new fields for sociological thinking about religion.
I continue to pursue these interests in retirement. My most recent publications are:
Religion in Britain: A Persistent Paradox. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2015
(& Lina Molokotos-Liederman and Anders Bäckström) (eds), Religion and Welfare in Europe: Gendered and Minority Perspectives. Bristol: Policy Press, 2017
Religion in Public Life: Levelling the Ground. London: Theos, 2017. Available at https://www.theosthinktank.co.uk/research/2017/10/28/religion-in-public-life-levelling-the-ground.
My concerns with the connections between religion and modernity date from the mid 1980s. The canvas on which I have worked has, however, steadily widened: from an initial engagement with faith in the inner cities of modern Britain (Ahern and Davie 1987), through a more general consideration of the religious life of Britain (Davie1994), to a concern with the patterns of religion in modern Europe (Davie 2000). The next step was to place Europe itself within a global context, but at this point the narrative takes a rather different turn. It is simply not the case that the patterns of religious activity discovered in Western Europe are those of the modern world more generally. Europe: the Exceptional Case (2002) deals with these issues by looking at Europe from the outside.
Given that I am now retired, I can no longer accept new post-graduate students in Exeter.
2008 Honorary Doctorate in Theology, University of Uppsala, Sweden
SISR (International Society for the Sociology of Religion)
1990-98 Council member
1994-98 Convenor and in this capacity, program chair of two major international conferences (Québec 1995, Toulouse 1997) each of which gathered 300 plus scholars from over 30 countries.
ISA (International Sociological Association)
1990-98 Member of Research Committee 22 (Sociology of Religion) of the ISA
2002-06 President, Research Committee 22
2006-10 Invited member of Programme Committee for 2010 ISA Conference
ASR (Association for the Sociology of Religion)
1997 Member International Committee
1998 Chair International Committee
1999 Elected member of the Council
2002 President Elect and Program Chair for Chicago meeting
Appointments in other universities
1992 Visiting scholar, Faculty of Theology, University of Uppsala; return visits in September 1994, December 1995
1994 Visiting lecturer, Centre for Religious Studies, Vilnius University
1996 Directeur d'études invité, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris
1998 Visiting lecturer, Institute of Sociology, Jagiellonian University, Krakow
1998 Directeur d'études invité, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris
2000-01 Appointment as the Kerstin Hesselgren Professor in the University of Uppsala (as visiting professor for 2000-01 session)
2002 Visiting scholar, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Western Australia
2003 Directeur d'études invité, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris
2005 Adjunct professor, Hartford Seminary, Connecticut (fall semester)
2006-07 Visiting professor, University of Uppsala (including four weeks spent at the Collegium for Advanced Studies of the University of Helsinki)
2010 on Further visits to the University of Uppsala to support the work of a new research programme on The Impact of Religion - Challenges for Society, Law and Religion - see http://www.crs.uu.se/Impact_of_religion/ for more details.
St Luke's College Foundation
Member and current Chair
See http://www.theredirectory.org.uk/trust.php?n14 for more information
The Reid Trust for the Higher Education of Women
Member and former Chair
I began my sociological career with an undergraduate degree in Sociology at Exeter; this was followed by a doctorate at the London School of Economics. It was at this stage that I developed the two aspects of my work which were to endure throughout: an interest in the sociology of religion and an acquaintance with both France and French sociology. My doctoral thesis on the political aspects of the French Protestant community in the interwar period brought these together.
After a break from academic life when my children were small, I returned to the Department of Sociology in Exeter where I have taught a wide variety of both undergraduate and postgraduate modules. I was also involved with the Socrates-Erasmus Exchange Programme at both Department and School level. From 2002-06 I was the Director of Exeter's Centre for European Studies. Post-graduate supervision has formed an important part of my work both in Exeter and elsewhere.
During my time at Exeter, I have enjoyed close collaboration with and visits to a number of European Universities and Grandes Ecoles, notably the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris. In 2000-01, I held the Kerstin Hesselgren Professorship at Uppsala University, where I returned in 2006-07 and again in 2010 and 2012. The 2006-07 visit also included a month at the Collegium for Advanced Studies at the University of Helsinki. In 2005, I spent the fall semester at Hartford Seminary in Connecticut.
I continue to collaborate with the Uppsala Religion and Society Research Centre, more specifically with the Linnaeus Centre of Excellence: The Impact of Religion - Challenges for Society, Law and Democracy. See http://www.crs.uu.se/Impact_of_religion for more details.