I was trained at the Universities of British Columbia and Toronto before coming to Aberdeen at the beginning of 2008. Most of my long-standing research interests involve two themes: the place of religion in social life, and our fundamental theories of the social world. I have also spent a lot of time thinking about metaphors in religious thought and practice, as well as in scholarly theories of religion. I am not committed to a particular methodological approach having done quantitative, qualitative, and historical research, and think it is most important for methods to be appropriate to the questions we're asking.
Over the past several years I have been doing research on conflicts over homosexuality in the worldwide Anglican Communion with Christopher Brittain, interviewing church leaders in Britain and from around the globe. We are currently writing up our research in a book which is under forthcoming from Penn State University Press in May 2018. You can read a review of the book here.
Current research interests include:
• Sociological theory, especially with reference to religion (sociological use of metaphors, classical theory, critical theory)
• Conflict in the Anglican Communion (research conducted with Dr. Christopher Brittain, Divinity, University of Aberdeen)
• Historical Sociology (especially in relation to religion and conflict, violence and social control, energy).
Teaching ResponsibilitiesI currently teach the postgraduate Advance Social Theory (SO5014) a level four honours course, Sociology of Religion and Culture (SO4539), and I contribute to the postgraduate Advanced Qualitative Methods (SO5011).
- Further Info
Editorial Board for Studies in Critical Research on Religion (book series) and Critical Research on Religion: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Associate Editor of The Canadian Journal of Sociology
I am Director of Postgraduate Studies for the School of Social Science.
Doctoral research supervision
I have supervised seven PhDs through to successful completion and I am particularly pleased to hear from prospective doctoral students with an interest in doing research related to the following topics:
• critical or classical social theory
• narrative or rhetoric;
• historical or contemporary Christianity
• sociological research on Anglican and Episcopal churches
• religion and conflict
This website, on the work of artist Les McKinnon is one of my favorites; I'll let you guess if there might be some relation.