Skip to content The Open University

Religion, Martyrdom and Global Uncertainties

Project report

Religion, Security and Global Uncertainties

We are very pleased to announce the publication of our Religion, Security and Global Uncertainties report. This report examines the relationship between religion and security, including terrorism and so-called ‘religious violence’. It has two key objectives:

  • To provide guidance on identifying circumstances in which religion (either on its own or in combination with other factors) is likely to give rise to security challenges.
  • To provide a constructive interrogation of some underexplored assumptions relating to religion and security.

The report is informed by research conducted between October 2013 and January 2014, which included a series of interviews with academic researchers and roundtable discussions with MPs, public policy officers, journalists, Church Minsters, school head teachers and representatives of faith communities, local community organisations and NGOs.

Please follow these links for the Executive Summary and Recommendations and the Full Report (PDF).

A response to our report

"This research helps people in civic society to understand much better the complexities of the situations they find themselves in, and also, let it be said, highlights the inadequacies of some academic approaches." 

"A key finding is that religious literacy and a wider vocabulary are needed by all.  I agree.  But the opposite side of this coin is that clergy and faith leaders also need to be academically literate and open to critique and sensitive probing." 

" ... policy makers cannot on the one hand afford to marginalise the resource of faith leaders whilst at the same time pretending that church and state are separate, and that the twain should never meet."

The Very Revd Dr Norman Hamilton, Presbyterian Church in Ireland

Read or download the full commentary (PDF).

Another very insightful response to our report by Professor Kate Cooper (Professor of Ancient History (School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, The University of Manchester) can be found on her blog at:

Please also see our Events page for further reflections and materials from our series of events that aim to discuss and inform this research.


Partnership for Conflict, Crime & Security Research