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£300,000 donation for monotheism research at Birkbeck

The ethics of Judaism, Christianity and Islam will be studied thanks to a generous donation

The ethics of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and the religious identities of their young followers, will be studied thanks to a generous donation to Birkbeck.

The social, political and cultural realities of the major monotheistic faiths in the UK will be analysed as part of the research project made possible by a £300,000 gift from The Exilarch’s Foundation.

The three-year Dangoor Postdoctoral Fellowship and the three-year Dangoor PhD Scholarship will be created as a result of the philanthropic funding. Both successful candidates will be directed and supervised by Professor Stephen Frosh, of Birkbeck’s Department of Psychosocial Studies. Applications for both positions related to the ethical monotheism research are now open and close on 9 May.

Professor Stephen Frosh said: “This new research project will lead to a better understanding of the psychological and sociological dimensions associated with the monotheistic faiths. Its interdisciplinary focus will help generate new insights about the ethics, culture and politics of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Religion plays a central role in societies throughout the world, including in our own secular society in the UK. As well as following religious doctrines and practices, people often turn to religion for individual spiritual guidance, and ethics has always featured prominently in religious discourse.”

Dr Naim E Dangoor CBE (pictured, above right), Founder and Trustee of The Exilarch’s Foundation, said: “I am delighted that The Exilarch’s Foundation is supporting such an important area of research.  The major monotheistic faiths continue to influence the lives of millions of people in the UK, and it is necessary to investigate the social, political and cultural impacts of these religions.”

Two strands of research

The Dangoor Postdoctoral Fellowship is an opportunity to explore monotheism in relation to social and ethical values. It would be appropriate to examine sociological, historical and/or psychological examinations of shared value systems and of identification with, and dissension from, them in the UK’s Christian, Jewish and Islamic communities.

The Dangoor PhD Scholarship will focus on how adolescents engage with monotheistic religious faiths and their understanding of the social, ethical, and political consequences of membership of, and identification with, faith communities.

Research at Birkbeck’s Department of Psychosocial Studies includes interdisciplinary work in sociological and philosophical ways of thinking. Professor Stephen Frosh’s research interests include identity construction, relational ethics, perspectives on Jewish identity and antisemitism.

Information about applying for the Dangoor Postdoctoral Fellowship is available online. The deadline for applications is 16 May.

Information about applying for the Dangoor PhD Scholarship is available online. The deadline for applications is 16 May.

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