I began my sociological career with an undergraduate degree in Sociology at Exeter; this was followed by a doctorate at the London School of Economics. It was at this stage that I developed the two aspects of my work which were to endure throughout: an interest in the sociology of religion and an acquaintance with both France and French sociology. My doctoral thesis on the political aspects of the French Protestant community in the interwar period brought these together.
After a break from academic life when my children were small, I returned to the Department of Sociology in Exeter where I have taught a wide variety of both undergraduate and postgraduate modules. I was also involved with the Socrates-Erasmus Exchange Programme at both Department and School level. From 2002-06 I was the Director of Exeter’s Centre for European Studies. Post-graduate supervision has formed an important part of my work both in Exeter and elsewhere.
During my time at Exeter, I have enjoyed close collaboration with and visits to a number of European Universities and Grandes Ecoles, notably the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris. In 2000-01, I held the Kerstin Hesselgren Professorship at Uppsala University, where I returned in 2006-07 and again in 2010 and 2012. The 2006-07 visit also included a month at the Collegium for Advanced Studies at the University of Helsinki. In 2005, I spent the fall semester at Hartford Seminary in Connecticut.
I continue to work closely with the Uppsala Religion and Society Research Centre, more specifically with the Linnaeus Centre of Excellence: The Impact of Religion – Challenges for Society, Law and Democracy. See http://www.crs.uu.se/Impact_of_religion for more details.