Bloomsbury PhD studentship
Evangelical subjectivities: an ethnographic study of religious life-worlds in a conservative Evangelical congregation in London
Following funding support from the Bloomsbury Colleges Group, we are pleased to be able to advertise a three-year, full-time PhD studentship covering full fees (at the usual Home/EU rate) and a maintenance grant, starting from October 2009.
This project will contribute to our understanding of contemporary Evangelical subjectivities, focusing particularly on conservative Evangelicals in London with links to GAFCON. The project will examine in what ways Evangelical subjectivities are constructed through a complex inter-play with other forms of secular and religious culture. It will seek to move beyond simplistic characterizations of Evangelical belief to examine how Evangelicals negotiate tensions arising out of their participation in a pluralist society, as well as the significance of their religious subjectivities in different social settings. By adopting an ethnographic approach, the project will also make it possible to track over time how wider pressures (e.g. over sexuality in the Anglican Communion, or in relation to new equality legislation in the UK) contribute to the ways in which Evangelicals experience their place in relation to wider religious and political structures. By the end of the project, it is expected that the award-holder will be able to make a valuable contribution both to our understanding of contemporary Evangelicalism and to theoretical debates about religious subjectivities.
The project will be supervised by staff from the Department of Psycho-Social Studies at Birkbeck (Gordon Lynch, Lisa Baraitser) and the Department for the Study of Religions at SOAS (Cosimo Zene). The award-holder will also benefit from a wide range of research activities in the study of religion, and social research more generally, available through Birkbeck and SOAS.
The successful applicant will have a good undergraduate degree (2:1 or above) in a relevant discipline (e.g.anthropology, sociology, theology, religious studies) and would also normally be expected to have relevant Masters' level qualification (preferably with distinction). An understanding of contemporary Evangelicalism is essential, as is the ability to plan and conduct an in-depth ethnographic project in this context. The award-holder's primary academic base will be in Birkbeck's new Department of Psycho-Social Studies, and an interest in contemporary debates concerning subjectivity and the relationship between the psychological and the social would therefore be useful. Previous formal training in ethnographic or social research methods more generally would be advantageous, but not essential as further training can be provided whilst in post.
The closing date for applications is 25th February 2009. Applicants should submit a completed application form for Postgraduate Research available from the Registry at Birkbeck (and which can be downloaded from http://www.bbk.ac.uk/study/pgform.pdf). It is not necessary to complete section 6 of the form, which asks for a research outline proposal, however with your application form you should also submit a covering letter explaining your interests in the subject area of this studentship and why you are particularly well-suited to undertake it. Please do not submit references requests to your referees: we will only ask for references for candidates who are short-listed. But please do attach photocopies of relevant academic transcripts to your application
Completed application forms, with covering letter and transcripts should be sent to:
Prof Gordon Lynch
Centre for Religion and Contemporary Society
26 Russell Square
London, WC1B 5DQ
(Please do not send completed application forms directly to the Registry at Birkbeck).
Any informal queries about the studentship can be directed to Gordon Lynch ([email protected]). Short-listing will take place shortly after the submission deadline, and short-listed candidates will be asked to submit an example of their best academic writing prior to interview. We may not be able to contact applicants who are not short-listed, and so if you have not received an invitation for interview by the end of March then we regret that your application has not been successful.