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The inaugural lecture of Prof Adrian Coyle: Identity, Religion and ‘the Public Square': A View from Social Psychology (or...‘I, us, them and God – here, there but perhaps not everywhere')

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Time: 7.00pm - 9.00pm
Venue: Room 0002, John Galsworthy Building, Penrhyn Road campus, Penrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2EE
Price: free

The inaugural lecture of Prof Adrian Coyle: Identity, Religion and ‘the Public Square': A View from Social Psychology  (or...‘I, us, them and God – here, there but perhaps not everywhere')

Join us for the inaugural lecture of Professor Adrian Coyle.

In recent years there has been much debate about the role of religion in ‘the public square' or public life. Broadly speaking, these are questions about the relationship between religion and the secular state. Academic analysis of this debate has drawn largely from politics, sociology and theology. Yet social psychology offers concepts and research that can enrich our understanding of important aspects of the debate. Foremost among these is the complex, multi-faceted construct of identity. In this talk, I shall outline understandings of identity drawn from social psychology and shall consider people's religious commitments as components of their identity. I shall then examine contexts in which religious dimensions of people's identities complement or are in tension with other identity dimensions and/or with demands that those people are required to meet in their social worlds. The focus here will be on how people manage religious and professional dimensions of identity in occupational contexts in the public sector, such as in health and police work. In this discussion, I shall draw upon research on identity that I and others have conducted and also upon my study of theology. Through this , I aim to demonstrate how social psychological perspectives can provide powerful explanations of what is at stake for people in situations where religious dimensions of identity are in tension with other demands and what people gain by responding in various ways. Such insights can be useful in informing organisational practice to help avoid or defuse conflict and promote integration and motivation.

Adrian Coyle is Professor of Psychology at Kingston University, London. Prior to this, he worked at the University of Surrey for 23 years. He is a Social Psychologist and his research and publications have addressed a range of topics, principally psychological issues in identity, religion/spirituality, loss and bereavement, and sexuality. Much of this work has been framed in terms of social psychological approaches, theories and concepts, particularly Identity Process Theory, discourse, and theories relevant to social inclusion and exclusion. The vast majority of his research is qualitative. He has contributed to the promotion of qualitative research in British psychology and is a keen advocate of its value in developing insightful and useful answers to research questions. He was co-editor of the award-winning book, Lesbian & Gay Psychology: New Perspectives (with Celia Kitzinger: BPS Blackwell, 2002), and Analysing Qualitative Data in Psychology (with Evanthia Lyons: SAGE, 2007, 2016).

Followed by a drinks reception.

Booking is essential to attend this event.

For further information about this event:

Contact: Lucy Williams, Events Officer, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Email: l.williams@kingston.ac.uk

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Directions to Room 0002, John Galsworthy Building, Penrhyn Road campus, Penrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2EE:

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