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    Research Interests

    Faith; Gender; Religion; Christianity; Social Justice; Higher Education; Youth; Equality and Diversity



    Kristin Aune is Professor of Sociology of Religion at the Centre for Trust, Peace & Social Relations. She joined Coventry University in 2014, having taught at the University of Westminster, Ridley Hall Cambridge and the University of Derby. At Derby she became Reader in Sociology and Director of the Centre for Society, Religion and Belief. She has been a visiting fellow at Grinnell College, Iowa, Uppsala University and Deakin University.

    She has undertaken pioneering work on gender, religion and feminism. Her book on single women’s marginalisation in the church led to a PhD on gender in evangelical Christianity, the findings of which were widely published. Fascinated by how women’s changing lives are affecting their faith commitments, she co-edited Women and Religion in the West: Challenging Secularization, which traces the disaffiliation of women from religious institutions, exploring differences between Christianity, Islam and alternative spirituality. Her book with Catherine Redfern, Reclaiming the F Word, was a ground-breaking study of the resurgence of feminism in Britain and attracted major public attention. Several articles about feminists’ approaches to religion and spirituality emerged. In 2015 she ran, with colleagues at Uppsala and Coimbra universities, the ‘Is secularism bad for women?’ workshops, from which a special issue of the journal Social Compass appeared in 2017. She was the Principal Investigator on the 2016-18 project 'Domestic Abuse in UK Churches: A Case Study of Cumbria' (with Dr Rebecca Barnes at the University of Leicester and Mandy Marshall, Director of the charity Restored). She completed a study of how women adapt their dress when working in religious contexts, 'Modest Fashion in UK Women's Working Life', with Prof. Reina Lewis from London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London, with whom she developed a programme of training workshops, 'Religion and Dress at Work: Opportunities and Pitfalls', supported by AHRC Follow-on Funding. 

    Religion and higher education is her other research area. Her latest book on this is 'Religion and Higher Education in Europe and North America' (ed., with Jacqueline Stevenson, Routledge 2017). From 2009-2012 she was Co-Investigator on 'Christianity and the University Experience in Contemporary England', a three-year AHRC and ESRC project with Durham and Chester universities exploring Christian students’ experiences of university and how faith shapes, and is shaped by, university life. The book Christianity and the University Experience was published as a result. From 2016-18 she co-directed, with Revd Dr Jeremy Law at Canterbury Christ Church and Prof Mathew Guest at Durham, the project Chaplains on Campus, exploring university chaplaincy in UK universities. She was Principal Investigator on the project 'Tackling religion-based hate crime on the muliti-faith campus' (funder: Office for Students, 2018-2020) and Co-Investigator on a study of religious student societies (led by the think tank Theos). From 2021 to 2023 she is co-directing the project 'Building positive relationships among university students across religion and worldview diversity', with Prof Mathew Guest at Durham University, Prof Alyssa Rockenbach (North Carolina State University) and Prof Matt Mayhew (The Ohio State University), funded by Porticus. Her latest project (2023-2025) is 'Interfaith Learning in Christian and Muslim Higher Education Colleges', supported by the Sir Halley Stewart Trust and Westhill Endowment. 

    Vision Statement


    I am motivated by how research can contribute to social justice and bring about positive social change. In the field of religion and gender, I want to do research which simultaneously promotes gender equality and religious freedom, bridging the gap between religion, which can be neglected by those concerned with women’s rights, and women’s rights, which can be neglected by religious groups and those who study them. In the field of higher education, I want to do research that advances equality and inclusion for students and staff holding different religious and worldview perspectives.

    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
    • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

    Education/Academic qualification

    Doctorate, Postfeminist Evangelicals: The construction of gender in the New Frontiers International churches, King's College London

    Award Date: 10 Dec 2004

    MA, Women's Studies, University of York

    Award Date: 1 Jul 1999


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