|Professor in the Sociology of Religion and Head of Department in the Department of Theology and Religion||Abbey House 105||+44 (0) 191 33 43944|
|Associate Member in the Centre for Humanities Engaging Science and Society (CHESS)|
I have been based in Durham since 2001, researching and teaching in the sociology of religion. I studied theology at the University of Nottingham and then Religious Studies followed by a PhD in Sociology at the University of Lancaster.
Following doctoral work on the British evangelical movement, my research has explored religion and generational change, and the institutional forces that frame how religious identities are perpetuated, sustained and subverted within 'western' capitalist societies.
Since 2009, this research has focused on the contemporary university as a site for the complex negotiation of religious identities. A 3-year project on ‘Christianity and the University Experience in Contemporary England’ was the first empirically driven, nation-wide study of student Christianity in the UK. It has led to the publication of Christianity and the University Experience: Understanding Student Faith (Bloomsbury, 2013), co-authored with Kristin Aune, Sonya Sharma and Rob Warner. Three further projects focusing on the status of religious identities within the contexts of British Higher Education arose from this endeavour. The ‘Chaplains on Campus’ project, undertaken alongside Kristin Aune and Jeremy Law, took stock of the work of university chaplains across the UK HE sector, taking account of the experiences of chaplains themselves, students, and the decision makers who determine how university chaplaincy is resourced and managed. ‘Re/presenting Islam on Campus’ was a 3-year project undertaken alongside Alison Scott-Bauman, Shuruq Naguib, Sariya Cheruvallil-Contractor and Aisha Phoenix. Its aims were to trace the ways in which Islam and Muslims are represented within UK universities, drawing on fresh empirical data to analyse patterns of reinforcement, negotiation and subversion of ideas at the level of university policy, teaching and learning, and the popular attitudes of staff and students. The findings were published in 2020 in a book, Islam on Campus: Contested Identities and the Cultures of Higher Education in Britain and in a freely available online report, Islam and Muslims on UK University Campuses: Perceptions and Challenges.
A third project, on worldview diversity among university students across the UK, builds on innovative research in the USA in gauging how students within different universities relate to those with cultural and religious worldview different from their own. It aims to trace patterns of religious diversity and develop an understanding of how positive relationships across this diversity are built within higher education contexts.
In recent years my research interests have extended into questions of how recent cultural developments characterised as 'neoliberal' have changed the expression of religious identities and the task of the sociology of religion as it seeks to make sense of them. My first book on this topic, Neoliberal Religion: Faith and Power in the 21st Century, will be published later in 2022 by Bloomsbury.
My general interest in the sociology of religion is reflected in the postgraduate students whose research I supervise, both on the PhD and the Doctor of Theology and Ministry programmes. All of my postgraduate research students are engaged in the empirical study of contemporary religion, and I would be more than happy to engage in email correspondence with further candidates who wish to pursue a project that reflects my research interests.
At the undergraduate and MA level I work alongside Professor Douglas Davies, Dr Jonathan Miles-Watson and Dr Sitna Quiroz within the broad field of the study of religion. Each of us works from a social scientific perspective and emphasise the importance of studying religion as a lived phenomenon.
My broader research activities bring me into contact with a lively international network of academics working in related areas. I currently serve as chair of the British Sociological Association’s Religion Study Group (SocRel), and work with an excellent executive committee on developing that subfield within the UK context.
- Guest, M. (2022). Neoliberal Religion: Faith and Power in the Twenty-First Century. Bloomsbury
- Scott-Baumann, A., Guest, M., Naguib, S., Cheruvallil-Contractor, S., & Phoenix, A. (2020). Islam on Campus: Contested Identities and the Cultures of Higher Education in Britain. Oxford University Press
- Guest, M., Aune, K., Sharma, S., & Warner, R. (2013). Christianity and the University Experience: Understanding Student Faith. Bloomsbury
- Davies, D., & Guest, M. (2007). Bishops, Wives and Children: Spiritual Capital Across the Generations. Ashgate Publishing
- Guest, M. (2007). Evangelical Identity and Contemporary Culture: A Congregational Study in Innovation. Paternoster
Chapter in book
- Guest, M. (2022). From Protestant Ethic to Neoliberal Logic: Evangelicals at the Interface of Culture and Politics. In R. W. Hood, & S. Cheruvallil-Contractor (Eds.), Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion, Volume 32: Lesser Heard Voices in Studies of Religion (482-507). Brill Academic Publishers. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004505315_025
- Guest, M. (2019). The 'Hidden Christians' of the UK University Campus. In E. Arweck, & H. Shipley (Eds.), Young people and the diversity of (non)religious identities in international perspective (51-67). Springer Verlag. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-16166-8_4
- Guest, M. (2017). From Jevons to Collini (via Douglas Davies): Reflections on Higher Education and Religious Identity. In M. Guest, & M. Middlemiss Lé Mon (Eds.), Death, life and laughter : essays on religion in honour of Douglas Davies (201-220). Routledge
- Aune, K., & Guest, M. (2017). The Contested Campus: Christian Students in UK Universities. In K. Aune, & J. Stevenson (Eds.), Religion and higher education in Europe and North America (71-89). Routledge
- Guest, M. (2015). Religion and the Cultures of Higher Education: Student Christianity in the UK. In L. Beaman, & L. Van Arragon (Eds.), Issues in religion and education : whose religion? (346-366). Brill Academic Publishers. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004289819_017
- Guest, M. (2015). Evangelicalism and Politics. In G. Smith (Ed.), 21st century evangelicals : reflections on research by the evangelical alliance (82-99). Instant Apostle
- Guest, M., Olson, E., & Wolffe, J. (2012). Christianity: Loss of Monopoly. In L. Woodhead, & R. Catto (Eds.), Religion and change in modern Britain (57-78). Routledge
- Murray, P., & Guest, M. (2012). On Discerning the Living Truth of the Church: Theological and Sociological Reflections on Receptive Ecumenism and the Local Church. In C. Scharen (Ed.), Explorations in ecclesiology and ethnography (138-164). Eerdmans
- Guest, M. (2012). Religion and Knowledge: the Sociological Agenda. In M. Guest, & E. Arweck (Eds.), Religion and Knowledge: Sociological Perspectives (1-21). Ashgate Publishing
- Guest, M. (2010). Socialisation and Spiritual Capital: What Difference do Clergy Families Make?. In S. Collins-Mayo, & P. Dandelion (Eds.), Religion and youth (175-180). Ashgate Publishing
- Guest, M. (2009). The Plausibility of Creationism: A Sociological Comment. In S. Barton, & D. Wilkinson (Eds.), Reading Genesis after Darwin (217-236). Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof%3Aoso/9780195383355.001.0001
- Guest, M. (2008). The Reproduction and Transmission of Religion. In P. Clarke (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of the sociology of religion (651-670). Oxford University Press
- Guest, M. (2007). In Search of Spiritual Capital : the Spiritual as a Cultural Resource. In K. Flanagan, & P. Jupp (Eds.), The sociology of spirituality (181-200). Ashgate Publishing
- Guest, M. (2007). Reconceiving the Congregation as a Source of Authenticity. In J. Garnett, M. Grimley, A. Harris, W. Whyte, & S. Williams (Eds.), Redefining Christian Britain : post-1945 perspectives (63-72). SCM Press
- Guest, M. (2004). ‘Friendship, Fellowship and Acceptance’: The Public Discourse of a Thriving Evangelical Congregation. In M. Guest, K. Tusting, & L. Woodhead (Eds.), Congregational studies in the UK : Christianity in a post-Christian context (71-84). Ashgate Publishing
- Woodhead, L., Guest, M., & Tusting, K. (2004). Congregational Studies: Taking Stock. In M. Guest, K. Tusting, & L. Woodhead (Eds.), Congregational studies in the UK : Christianity in a post-Christian context (1-23). Ashgate Publishing
- Guest, M. (2002). ‘Alternative Worship’: Challenging the Boundaries of the Christian Faith. In E. Arweck, & M. Stringer (Eds.), Theorizing faith: the insider/outsider problem in the study of ritual (35-56). University of Birmingham Press
- Guest, M., & Middlemiss-Le Mon, M. (Eds.). (2017). Death, Life and Laughter: Essays on Religion in Honour of Douglas Davies. Routledge
- Guest, M., & Arweck, E. (Eds.). (2012). Religion and Knowledge: Sociological Perspectives. Ashgate Publishing
- Guest, M., Tusting, K., & Woodhead, L. (Eds.). (2004). Congregational Studies in the UK: Christianity in a Post-Christian Context. Ashgate Publishing
- Aune, K., Peacock, L., Guest, M., & Law, J. (2023). University Chaplaincy as Relational Presence: Navigating understandings of good and effective chaplaincy in UK universities. Journal of College and Character, 24(3), 197-216. https://doi.org/10.1080/2194587X.2023.2224573
- Huang, Y., Aune, K., & Guest, M. (2021). COVID-19 and the Chinese Christian Community in Britain: Changing Patterns of Belonging and Division. Studies in World Christianity, 27(1), 7-25. https://doi.org/10.3366/swc.2021.0323
- Guest, M. (2021). Tracing the routes to pro-Trump Evangelicalism. Journal of Contemporary Religion, 36(1), 161-166. https://doi.org/10.1080/13537903.2021.1873599
- Aune, K., & Guest, M. (2019). Christian University Students’ Attitudes to Gender: Constructing Everyday Theologies in a Post-Feminist Climate. Religions, 10(2), Article 133. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10020133
- Guest, M. (2017). The Emerging Church in Transatlantic Perspective. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 56(1), 41-51. https://doi.org/10.1111/jssr.12326
- Guest, M., & Aune, K. (2017). Students' Constructions of a Christian Future: Faith, Class and Aspiration in University Contexts. Sociological Research Online, 22(1), 200-212. https://doi.org/10.5153/sro.4251
- Sharma, S., & Guest, M. (2013). Navigating religion between university and home: Christian students' experiences at English universities. Social and Cultural Geography, 14(1), 59-79. https://doi.org/10.1080/14649365.2012.735691
- Guest, M., Sharma, S., Aune, K., & Warner, R. (2013). Challenging 'Belief' and the Evangelical Bias: Student Christianity in English Universities. Journal of Contemporary Religion, 28(2), 207-223. https://doi.org/10.1080/13537903.2013.783326
- Guest, M. (2012). Keeping the End in Mind: Left Behind, the Apocalypse and the Evangelical Imagination. Literature and Theology, 26(4), 474-488. https://doi.org/10.1093/litthe/frs053
- Guest, M. (2010). Evangelicalism and Capitalism in Transatlantic Context. Politikologija religije, 4(2), 257-279
- Guest, M., & Taylor, S. (2006). The post-evangelical emerging church : innovations in New Zealand and the UK. International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church, 6(1), 49-64. https://doi.org/10.1080/14742250500494757
- Guest, M. (2005). Sacred Space and the Local Church: Developments in Congregational Studies
- Guest, M., Scott-Baumann, A., Cheruvallil-Contractor, S., Naguib, S., Phoenix, A., Lee, Y., & Al-Baghal, T. (2020). Islam and Muslims on UK University Campuses: Perceptions and Challenges. [No known commissioning body]
- Aune, K., Guest, M., & Law, J. (2019). Chaplains on Campus: Understanding Chaplaincy in UK Universities. [No known commissioning body]
- Guest, M., Sharma, S., & Song, R. (2013). Gender and Career Progression in Theology and Religious Studies. [No known commissioning body]