Queen’s University Belfast: International research project will study religion in societies emerging from Covid-19

The collaborative international research project will analyse factors that affect how religious actors have framed issues of health, illness and science; how relationships between religion and the state have been transformed in the context of the pandemic; and whether or how religious adaptations to the digital world have taken account of inclusion and other ethical issues.

Dr. Gladys Ganiel from Queen’s University is the lead principal investigator on the three-year research project entitled ‘The Changing Role of Religion in Societies Emerging from COVID-19.’

Research partners include Professor Solange Lefebvre from University of Montreal (Canada); Professor Kerstin Radde-Antweiler from University of Bremen (Germany), and Professor Slawomir Mandes from University of Warsaw (Poland).

Speaking on the project, Dr. Ganiel, Reader in Sociology in the School of Social Sciences Education and Social Work, and a Fellow in the Senator George J Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has served as a catalyst for religious change across societies, with the role of religion taking on renewed significance in many societies, including those experiencing secularisation.

“This new study will seek to discover how various religions are contributing to the building of more resilient, inclusive, and sustainable societies as we emerge from the pandemic.”

The research team will use a variety of methods including surveys, interviews, and analyses of media material and content produced by the Churches to gather information and anaylse their results.