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Meet the team

Team members

Professor John Wolffe is Professor of Religious History at The Open University and the Principal Investigator for this project. He is also the President of the Ecclesiastical History Society and a member of the REF sub-panel for Theology and Religious Studies.

Dr Gavin Moorhead is the Research Associate for this project in the Department of Religious Studies at The Open University. He was also the Research Associate for the Open University knowledge exchange project, Building on History: Religion in London. Previously, he was a research consultant for the At Home in Europe project of the Open Society Foundations and a research coordinator for the Our Shared Europe programme of the British Council.

Advisory group

This is our advisory group. (Back row: left to right: John Bell, Neil Jarman, Duncan Morrow, Norman Hamilton, Sean Connolly, John Wolffe and Gavin Moorhead. Front row: left to right: Kim Knott and Marion Bowman). We have since welcomed Anjum Anwar MBE to our team.

Advisory Group

Anjum Anwar MBE is the Dialogue Development Officer at Blackburn Cathedral. Anjum has a unique job as a Muslim on the staff of an Anglican cathedral anywhere in the world. She was appointed as a dialogue development officer in April 2007. She works on interfaith dialogue and outreach in a town that was labelled as the most segregated. 

John Bell has worked on a range of projects on topics such as the dynamics of ‘mixed’ communities and good practice in promoting equality and challenging discrimination in Northern Ireland, Italy and Cyprus.

Dr Marion Bowman is a Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies at The Open University, where she has taught since 2000; she has also been a visiting lecturer in a variety of European universities. Her research interests are rooted in vernacular religion, religion as it is lived in specific locations, and she recently co-edited  Vernacular Religion in Everyday Life: Expressions of Belief. (Sheffield, Oakville CT: Equinox, 2012) with Professor Ulo Valk.  She has conducted a long term ethnological study of religion in Glastonbury, and researches material culture, sacred space, contemporary Celtic spirituality, pilgrimage, airport chapels, spiritual economy, religion in Newfoundland and the creation of myth and tradition.

Professor Sean Connolly is Professor of Irish History at Queen’s University, Belfast, where he has taught since 1996.  His research has covered different aspects of Irish social, cultural and political history since the late seventeenth century.  Much of this work is summarised in Contested Island:  Ireland 1460-1630 (Oxford University Press, 2007) and Divided Kingdom: Ireland 1630-1800 (Oxford University Press, 2008).  More recently he has been working on the social history of Victorian Belfast, and he has edited Belfast 400:  People, Place and History (Liverpool University Press, 2012).

The Very Rev Dr Norman Hamilton OBE is co-convener of The Church and Society Committee of the General Board of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland in relation to Northern Ireland matters. He has been minister of Ballysillan Presbyterian Church in North Belfast for over 20 years. He is very well known for his involvement in the community life of North Belfast and he was awarded an OBE in 2007 for his extensive involvement in community relations work.

Professor Kim Knott is Professor of Religious and Secular Studies at Lancaster University, and author of The Location of Religion: A Spatial Analysis (2005). Kim is currently a Global Uncertainties Leadership Fellow researching 'The role of ideology, belief and commitment in motivations, justifications and catalysts for action in the face of uncertainty’.

Dr Neil Jarman is the director of the Institute for Conflict Research, an independent, not-for profit, research centre in Belfast, Northern Ireland and a research fellow at the Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation and Social Justice at Queens University Belfast. His doctoral research, at University College London, documented and analysed the visual displays associated with the political conflict in Northern Ireland. More recently he has worked on issues associated with the political transition in Northern Ireland, including the management of violence; policing and police reform; hate crimes; immigration and migration. Much of his work is focused on the role that community-based groups play in conflict transformation.

Dr Duncan Morrow is a lecturer in Politics and Director of Community Engagement at the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland.  He is currently leading the University’s efforts to build partnerships with the community around the new Belfast Campus and has a particular interest in widening access and participation in Higher Education.


Contact us

Professor John Wolffe and Dr Gavin Moorhead

Department of Religious Studies
Faculty of Arts
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes

Tel: +44(0)20 3076 0246

Partnership for Conflict, Crime & Security Research