Theos

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Theos stimulates the debate about the place of religion in society, challenging and changing ideas through research, commentary and events.

Religion isn’t going away. According to the Pew Forum 84% of the world is religious and they predict this figure will rise to 90% by 2050.  

Many of our most pressing issues – immigration, mental health, diversity, climate change, meaningful work, human rights and more – have an inherent religious element. Many of these debates would benefit from the centuries of ethical reflection embedded in faith traditions. And yet in Western countries religion is often poorly understood, feared or ignored.  

We  believe that faith, and Christianity in particular, is a force for good in society. Though our public narratives focus on the small (but very real) instances of faith as a problem, our starting point is that religious communities, and the wisdom embedded in them, are friends not foes, gifts not threats.  

Research is at our core. Our work is rigorous and we believe in stimulating intelligent debate. We publish reports on big issues impacting UK society, from the ethics of debt to the phenomenon of religiously inspired violence, from religious London to faith–based social action and multiculturalism.  

We host conversations, debates and lectures on religion, politics and society, in the contemporary world. We provide commentary and analysis on current affairs and popular culture.

Our research programme is organised around three streams, which can succinctly be expressed as Living, Doing and Being.

Stream 1: Living Together

How do we build healthy societies in an age characterised by deep difference? This stream explores issues including liberalism, pluralism, economics, secularism, migration, ethics and identity. 

Stream 2: Doing Good

How do people motivated by their faith contribute to flourishing communities? This stream explores faith based social action.  

Stream 3: Being Human

Why do we think what we think, believe what we believe, and how do we change our minds? This stream explores tribalism, what religious conceptions of the human can contribute to our understanding of what it means to live well, the limits of rationality and the role of the imagination.  

We exist to inform and enrich the understanding of everyone with a stake in shaping the public conversation, from politicians to poets, academics to archbishops, journalists to judges. You’ll hear and see us on the news, or quoted in the press, bringing  a non–tribal, thoughtful and intelligent Christian perspective. 

Wherever you stand on matters of faith, we hope you’ll join the conversation.

How we are funded

Theos is part of the British and Foreign Bible Society, from which it receives on an average year around half of its core funding . The majority of our published research is funded by charitable trusts, such as the William Leech Research Fellowships, the Halley Stewart Trust, Laing Family Trusts and Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts. This is always acknowledged on the research itself, except when a funder has requested otherwise. 

We provide consultancy research to a range of clients, and also run a Friends and Associates programme so that individuals can support us through regular giving. Our Annual Lecture is currently sponsored by CCLA, which is an investment fund for charities, churches and the public sector and owned by its clients. We do not receive funding from government, corporations or religious denominations, except as clients. Please do get in touch if you have any further questions, we will be happy to answer them as best we can.  

Theos is an inspired idea – and fills a big gap in our culture.

Edward Stourton, BBC journalist

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