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RCUK Global Uncertainties programme

Professor John Wolffe of The Open University Religious Studies Department has received funding from the RCUK (Research Councils UK) Global Uncertainties programme for two research projects involving substantial work in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, carried out in collaboration with the Belfast-based Institute for Conflict Research.

Protestant Catholic Conflict: Historical Legacies and Contemporary Realities

Protestant Catholic Conflict: Historical Legacies and Contemporary Realities ran from 2009 to 2013, and culminated with a major conference in Belfast in September 2012. Papers presented during the project are being published in John Wolffe, ed., Protestant-Catholic Conflict from the Reformation to the Twenty-First Century (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013) and John Wolffe, ed., Irish Religious Conflict in Comparative Perspective: Catholics, Protestants and Muslims (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming, 2014). Professor Wolffe recently gave a presentation on the work to the Knowledge Exchange Seminar Series at the Northern Ireland Assembly at Stormont, and the briefing paper produced for this event gives a useful summary of project insights and conclusions.

The further development of Professor Wolffe’s research is currently funded under a Global Uncertainties Leadership Fellowship Religion, Martyrdom and Global Uncertainties 1914-2014, which runs from 2013 to 2015. The project involves both the endeavour to develop an accessible synthesis of current academic thinking relating to the interface between ‘religion’ and ‘security’ and further research on perceptions of martyrdom and sacrificial death since 1914, including attitudes to the upcoming centenaries of the outbreak of the First World War, the Easter Rising and the Battle of the Somme. A website for this project is currently under development, but in the meantime further information about the research is available. Public seminars linked to the project will be held in the autumn of 2014, in Belfast and other locations in the UK, and possibly in Dublin. Dates and further details will be available in due course, but in the meantime anyone particularly interested in participating in these events should contact the project Research Associate, Dr Gavin Moorhead.