Religion, Theology, and the Human Sciences

By Richard H. Roberts | Go to book overview

Acknowledgements

At the outset, I wish to express my thanks to many friends and colleagues. First of all, the social psychologist James Good, the late and inimitable Irving Velody and others who were much-valued friends and coconspirators in the Group (later the Centre) for the History of the Human Sciences, which provided a forum for critical interdisciplinary discussion in the University of Durham in the 1980s. I am indebted to the sociologist James Beckford, who was my intellectual mentor in Durham as I worked my way deeper into the socio-scientific study of religion. I acknowledge with grateful thanks his long-standing encouragement and positive criticism, as I do the stimulation and support of my friend and former colleague at Lancaster, the anthropologist Geoffrey Samuel.

Second, I should like to register my gratitude to the Christendom Trust, which funded the M. B. Reckitt Research Fellowship that I held in the Department of Religious Studies at Lancaster University from 1989 to 1991. Many discussions with colleagues at Lancaster in the course of the project Religion and the Resurgence of Capitalism made this a very fruitful experience. Particular thanks are due to John Clayton, Sarah Coakley, Adrian Cunningham, Angela Cunningham, Paul Heelas, John Milbank and Paul Morris, who all contributed in different ways to academic conviviality of a high order. In recent years Deborah Sawyer has been a stalwart and supportive Head of Department.

During the period 1989–99 my friends and colleagues Julia Davies and Jonathan Gosling of the Lancaster University Management School granted me entrée to the fascinating and sometimes rather surprising world of management training, where I have been able to engage in both teaching and action research on two key programmes, the M. Phil. in Critical Management and the International Masters in Practising Management (IMPM). My warm thanks are due to them both.

Since the conference Nature Religion Today held at Ambleside in 1996, I have enjoyed a growing involvement with environmental activists

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