Losing our religion: sources of solidarity in pluralist settings

Stacey, Timothy. 2016. Losing our religion: sources of solidarity in pluralist settings. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

For the last thirty years a quiet revolution has been taking place in political theory. Starting in theology and philosophy, and making its way through history and sociology to politics, policy and practice, this disparate movement has slowly adopted the title of post-liberalism. Although difficult to encapsulate in a single argument, the central idea of post liberalism is that political theory has, over the course of the last four centuries, slowly but surely become dominated by liberalism, neglecting ideas of the good in favour of an abstract respect for plurality. This theory has apparently infiltrated politics, policy and practice, leaving these unable to inspire feelings of solidarity or collective action.

The aim of this thesis is to explore these ideas both theoretically and empirically. Theoretically, it places post-liberal ideas into dialogue with anthropologies and sociologies of religion, of the state, and of capitalism, with special attention to research engaged with how these categories influence ideas of the good. Empirically, it undertakes a multiple case-study ethnography of civic action groups working in London. The cases are chosen on the basis of their representing key policy paradigms for social solidarity in the post-war era: Christian, secular, multi-faith and post-secular.

The thesis concludes by offering an alternative framework, in which religion sits as a subset, for developing shared ideas of the good deliberatively and inclusively, so as to not only respect but thrive on plurality.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):



Religion, secularism, community, solidarity, social action, collective action, statism, capitalism

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS) > Faiths and Civil Society


31 July 2016

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

08 Aug 2016 10:36

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2022 11:41



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