Detailed Bio and CV

Christopher R. Cotter (that’s me) is a Ph.D. Candidate at Lancaster University, UK. His research focuses upon the discourses on ‘religion’ in the South Side of Edinburgh, the concepts of ‘non-religion’ and ‘the secular’, and the ensuing theoretical implications for Religious Studies. His previous degrees at the University of Edinburgh focused upon ‘New Atheism’ and alternative typologies of ‘non-religion’. Chris has published journal articles, book chapters, and book reviews in these areas. He is co-editor of Social Identities between the Sacred and the Secular with Abby Day and Giselle Vincett (Ashgate, 2013), and the forthcoming collections New Atheism: Critical Perspectives and Contemporary Debates (with Philip Quadrio, Springer, 2014) and After ‘World Religions’: Reconstructing Religious Studies (with David G. Robertson, Acumen, 2015).

Chris is a founding editor, interviewer, and podcast host at The Religious Studies Project. He is also Editor and Bibliography Manager at the Nonreligion and Secularity Research Network. See below for a detailed CV.


EDUCATION

PhD in Religious Studies

Lancaster University (October 2012 – Present). Supervisor: Professor Kim Knott

Working Title: Seeing the Wood despite the Trees: Religion-Related Discourses and the Construction of Religion in Edinburgh’s Southside

MSc by Research with Distinction in Divinity (Religious Studies)

University of Edinburgh (Submitted August 2011, Graduated November 2011)

Thesis Title: Toward a Typology of ‘Nonreligion’: A Qualitative Analysis of Everyday Narratives of Scottish University Students [Supervisor: Dr Steven Sutcliffe].

A full pdf of this thesis can be accessed through my Academia.edu page.

MA (Hons) Religious Studies with First Class Honours

University of Edinburgh (2006-2010)

Dissertation Title: Consciousness Raising: The Critique, Agenda and Inherent Precariousness of Contemporary Anglophone Atheism [Supervisor: Dr Steven Sutcliffe]

ACADEMIC SERVICE

The Religious Studies Project

Founding Editor, Interviewer and Podcast Co-Host: (January 2012 – present)

An innovative podcast and website project presented in association with the British Association for the Study of Religions and working with an international team in six countries. Featuring weekly interviews with leading international scholars in the academic study of religion, in addition to features essays, book reviews, roundtable discussions, opportunities digests and more.

Nonreligion and Secularity Research Network (NSRN) Online

Managing Editor and Bibliography Manager (August 2012 – Present)

Deputy Editor and Bibliography Manager (August 2011 – August 2012)

British Association for the Study of Religions

Social Media Co-Manager (September 2012 – Present)

Secularism and Nonreligion

Peer Reviewer (2013 – Present, 2 articles)

International Journal for the Study of New Religions

Peer Reviewer (2013 – Present, 1 article)

Journal of Religion, Media, and Digital Culture

Assistant Copy Editor (September 2012 – December 2013)

PUBLICATIONS ( * = peer-reviewed )

Edited Volumes

  • Cotter, Christopher R., and David G. Robertson (eds.). 2015 (under contract). After ‘World Religions’: Reconstructing Religious Studies. Durham: Acumen.
  • Quadrio, Philip, and Christopher R. Cotter (eds.). 2014 (in preparation). New Atheism: Critical Perspectives and Contemporary Debates. Dordrecht: Springer.
  • Day, Abby, Giselle Vincett and Christopher R. Cotter (eds.). 2013. Social Identities between the Sacred and the Secular. Farnham: Ashgate.

Chapters and Articles

  • Cotter, Christopher R. 2014 (in preparation). New Atheism, Open-Mindedness, and Critical Thinking. In New Atheism: Critical Perspectives and Contemporary Debates, edited by Philip Quadrio and Christopher R. CotterDordrecht: Springer.
  • Cotter, Christopher R. 2014 (in press). Without God yet not Without Nuance: A Qualitative Study of Atheism and Non-religion among Scottish University Students. In Atheist Identities: Spaces and Social Contexts, edited by Lori G. Beaman and Steven Tomlins. Dordrecht: Springer.
  • Lee, Lois, with Stephen Bullivant and Christopher R. Cotter. 2013. Irreligion: A Contemporary Bibliography. In Toward a Sociology of Irreligion, by Colin Campbell. Alcuin Academics.
  • Day, Abby, Giselle Vincett and Christopher R. Cotter. 2013.”What Lies Between: Exploring the Depths of Social Identities between the Sacred and the Secular” in Abby Day, Giselle Vincett and Christopher R. Cotter (eds.) Social Identities Between the Sacred and the Secular. Farnham: Ashgate, 1-6.
  • Cotter, Christopher R. 2011*. “Consciousness Raising: The critique, agenda, and inherent precariousness of contemporary Anglophone atheism.” International Journal for the Study of New Religions 2 (1): 77-103.

Reviews

  • Forthcoming (submitted). Michael Stausberg and Steven Engler (eds.). The Routledge Handbook of Research Methods in the Study of Religion. Journal of Religious History
  • 2013. Abby Day, Believing in BelongingFieldwork in Religion, 8 (1), pp. 113-115.
  • 2013. Johannes Quack. Disenchanting India: Organized Rationalism and Criticism of Religion in India. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review, 4 (1), pp. 184-187.
  • 2012. Gordon Lynch. The Sacred in the Modern World: A Cultural Sociological Approach. Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review, 3 (1), pp. 146-148.
  • 2012. Willi Braun and Russell T. McCutcheon (eds), Introducing Religion: Essays in Honor of Jonathan Z. SmithFieldwork in Religion, 7 (1), pp. 102-103.
  • 2012. David Goodhew (ed.), Church Growth in Britain: 1980 to the Present. The Religious Studies Project. 1 December. Available at http://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/book-review-church-growth-in-britain-david-goodhew-ed/
  • 2012. Amarnath Amarasingam (ed.), Religion and the New Atheism. Journal of Religious History, 36 (1) (March 2012), pp. 118-119.
  • 2011. Rob Warner. Secularisation and Its DiscontentsAlternative Spirituality and Religion Review, 2 (2), pp. 431-433.
  • 2011. Daphne Halikiopoulou, Patterns of Secularization: Church, State and Nation in Greece and the Republic of Ireland. Literature & Aesthetics, 21 (2), pp. 206-208.
  • 2011. Phil Zuckerman (ed.), Atheism and SecularityAlternative Spirituality and Religion Review, 2 (1), pp. 175-179.

Other Publications

  • Coggins, Owen, Christopher R. Cotter, Jaspreet Kaur, and Urmilla Mohan. 2013. “Conference Report, BASR/EASR Conference, Liverpool 2013.” BASR Bulletin (123), November. 
  • Robertson, David G. and Christopher R. Cotter. 2012. “Unlocking the Ivory Tower: The Religious Studies Project One Year On.” BASR Bulletin (121), November. 
  • Cotter, Christopher R. 2012. Secular Sacreds and the Sacred SecularThe Religious Studies Project. 7 November. Available at http://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/2012/11/07/christopher-r-cotter-secular-sacreds/
  • Cotter, Christopher R., Rebecca Aechtner and Johannes Quack. 2012. EASR: Non-religiosity, Identity and Ritual. NSRN Events Report series [online]. 19 April. Available athttp://nsrn.net/events/events-reports/.
  • Cotter, Christopher R. 2011. Conference Report on the Nonreligion and Secularity Research Network’s “Qualitative Methods Workshop”, Tuesday 14 December 2010. NSRN Events Report series [online]. June. Available at http://nsrn.net/events/events-reports/

CONFERENCE PAPERS ( ** = invited )

  • 2013. Davie & Demerath: Opening and Closing the space in co-organised panel on Social Identities Between the Sacred and the Secular. European Association for the Study of Religion Annual Conference, Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool, UK, 3-6 September 2013.
  • 2013. Religion-Related Discourses and the Mutation of Religion. European Association for the Study of Religion Annual Conference, Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool, UK, 3-6 September 2013.
  • 2012**. Without God yet not Without Nuance. Atheist Identities, Spaces and Social Contexts Workshop, University of Ottawa, Canada, 22-24 November 2012.
  • 2012. Scottish Students, their Secular Sacreds, and the Sacred Secular: Borders, Boundaries and Transgressions in the Study of “Nonreligion”. British Association for the Study of Religions Annual Conference, University of Winchester, UK, 5-7 September 2012.
  • 2012. Functionally Secular / Substantively Nonreligious: Scottish Students, their Secular Sacreds, and the Sacred Secular. Nonreligion and Secularity Research Network Biennial Conference, Goldsmiths University, London, UK, 4-6 July 2012.
  • 2012. New Atheism, Open-Mindedness, and Critical Thinking. Workshop for the Interdisciplinary Study of Religion and Culture, University of Edinburgh, UK, 25 April 2012.
  • 2012. New Atheism, Open-Mindedness, and Critical Thinking. (New)Atheism, Scientism and Open-Mindedness Conference, Lancaster University, UK, 2-3 April 2012.
  • 2012. The Inherent Inequalities of the Religion-Nonreligion Dichotomy: A Narrative Approach to Individual (Non-)Religiosity. British Sociological Association Sociology of Religion Study Group (SOCREL) Annual Conference, University of Chester, UK, 28-30 March 2012.
  • 2012**. Discussant Summary. British Council International Symposium: What does it mean to believe?, University of Kent, UK, 8-10 March 2012.
  • 2011. Discussant Summary: Teachers’ and Students’ Experiences and Methodological Challenges.SOCREL ‘Teaching and Studying Religion’ Symposium, London, UK, 15 December 2011.
  • 2011. Toward a Typology of ‘Nonreligion’: A Qualitative Analysis of Everyday Narratives of Scottish University Students. Society for the Scientific Study of Religion Annual Meeting, Milwaukee, USA, 28-30 October 2011.
  • 2011. Toward a Typology of ‘Nonreligion’: A Qualitative Analysis of Everyday Narratives of Scottish University Students. European Association for the Study of Religions Annual Conference, Budapest, Hungary, 18-22 September 2011.
  • 2011. Toward a Typology of ‘Nonreligion’: A Qualitative Analysis of Everyday Narratives of Scottish University Students. British Association for the Study of Religions Annual Conference, Durham, UK, 5-7 September 2011.

OTHER PRESENTATIONS

  • 2013. Academic Podcasting. FASS Enterprise Centre, Lancaster University. 2 February 2013.
  • 2011. Consciousness Raising: The Critique, Agenda and Inherent Precariousness of Contemporary Anglophone Atheism. New College Postgraduate Conference, University of Edinburgh, UK, 14 April 2011.
  • 2011. Nonreligion in Transition: An Enquiry into Identity, Ideology and Sources of Significance amongst ‘Nonreligious’ Students. Religious Studies Seminar Series, University of Edinburgh, UK, 23 March 2011.
  • 2010. Faith in Islam. Lenten Lecture Series, Marchmont St Giles’ Church, Edinburgh, UK, 22 March 2010.

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

  • 2014. Teaching Assistant. 10 weeks. Atheism in Debate: Dawkins, his allies, and his opponents.Second Year Undergraduate Divinity. University of Edinburgh, UK, January – April 2014.
  • 2014. Teaching Assistant. 10 weeks. Global Religions: South Asian, Indigenous & New Traditions.First Year Undergraduate Religious Studies. University of Edinburgh, UK, January – April 2014.
  • 2013. Teaching Assistant. 10 weeks. Lived Religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. First Year Undergraduate Religious Studies. University of Edinburgh, UK, September – December 2013.
  • 2013. Lecture on ‘Atheism and Nonreligion’ at Leeds Trinity University College. for Second Year Undergraduate Religious Studies. Course Organizer – Dr Suzanne Owen. 16 May 2013.
  • 2012. Lecture on ‘Atheism and the Rejection of Religion’. Selected Themes in the Study of Religion.Taught MSc in Religious Studies, University of Edinburgh, UK, 21 March 2012.
  • 2011. Lecture on ‘Atheism and the Rejection of Religion’. Selected Themes in the Study of Religion.Taught MSc in Religious Studies, University of Edinburgh, UK, 2 March 2011.

COURSES PREPARED

  • 2013. Prepared Atheisms: A Socio-Historical Introduction with Ethan Gjerset Quillen. 10 week approved course for the Office of Lifelong Learning at the University of Edinburgh

MEMBERSHIPS

  • British Association for the Study of Religions (2010 – Present)
  • British Sociological Association (2012)
  • British Sociological Association: Sociology of Religion Study Group (2012 – Present)
  • European Association for the Study of Religions (2010 – Present)
  • Nonreligion and Secularity Research Network (2009 – Present)
  • Society for the Scientific Study of Religion (2011 – Present)

ADDITIONAL RESEARCH EXPERIENCE

  • July – December 2012. Content analysis on Contact, the Journal of the Scottish Pastoral Association (1960-75) for Dr Steven Sutcliffe, as part of the AHRC Religion & Society Programme funded Theology and Therapy Project.

AWARDS

  • June 2013. Conference Bursary, BASR/EASR.
  • September 2012. Religious Studies Project awarded £350 per year, for two years, from the British Association for the Study of Religions.
  • June 2012. Full AHRC Block Grant Studentship for three years Ph.D. Study at Lancaster University.
  • April 2012. International Scholarship, Faculty of Arts, University of Ottawa, Canada for Ph.D. in Religious Studies (declined).
  • January 2012. Conference bursary, BSA SOCREL.
  • October 2011. Travel Bursary, Society for the Scientific Study of Religion.
  • June 2010. Gunning Prize for overall third placed degree results in the School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh, UK.
  • May 2010. School of Divinity Scholarship for the Academic Session 2010/2011, University of Edinburgh, UK.
  • April 2010. Barnson Bequest Funds for attendance at NSRN Inaugural Conference.
  • June 2009. Gunning Prize for overall top Junior Honours Student in the School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh, UK.
  • June 2007. Prize for best placed student in Religion 1B, University of Edinburgh, UK.
  • September 2004 and 2005. Margaret Campbell Scott Entrance Scholarship for Physics, University of Edinburgh, UK.

ACADEMIC REFERENCES

Professor Kim Knott, Politics, Philosophy, and Religion, Lancaster University, k.knott@lancaster.ac.uk

Dr Steven Sutcliffe, Senior Lecturer, Religious Studies, University of Edinburgh, S.Sutcliffe@ed.ac.uk

Professor Carole Cusack, Studies in Religion, University of Sydney, carole.cusack@sydney.edu.au,

Emeritus Professor James Cox, Religious Studies, University of Edinburgh, J.Cox@ed.ac.uk

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