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School of Geography

Ninth David M Smith lecture

15 November 2012

Time: 6:00 - 7:15pm
Venue: David Sizer Lecture Theatre, Francis Bancroft Building

Postsecular Stirrings? Geographies of hope in amongst neoliberalism

Professor Paul Cloke Professor of Human Geography, University of Exeter
Chair: Professor Miles Ogborn Head of School of Geography

Third Sector organisations associated with welfare, care and justice have become a significant element in the contemporary political and ethical landscape. These include a notable segment that is faith- motivated and founded on attempts to practice and perform theo-ethics. Far from simply being co-opted into neoliberal ideology and subject-formation, these organisations can represent spaces of resistance to neoliberalism. Moreover, in the possibility of establishing practical partnerships of postsecular rapprochement between different faith-related and non-religious groups, these ethical spaces can, I argue, become hopeful spaces of collaborative care and empowerment. In this way, postsecularism may be understood not as an epochal shift in the relations between the secular and the religious, but (following Klaus Eder and Jurgen Habermas) as a process by which the “hushed up voice of religion” in the public sphere is being heard again within specific postsecular technologies and spaces of reflexive ethical translation and crossover ethical narratives.

Paul Cloke is Professor of Human Geography at the University of Exeter, having previously held Chairs at the University of Bristol and University of Wales. Over the last decade he has been involved in collaborative research into ethical geographies, focusing in particular on responses to homelessness, the new politics of ethical consumption and the growing significance of faith-based or theo-ethics in contemporary society. He is currently engaged in research on postsecularism and faith-based interventions in a range of welfare and justice arenas. His latest books include: Swept Up Lives? Re-envisioning the Homeless City (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010, with Jon May and Sarah Johnsen); Globalising Responsibility: The Political Rationalities of Ethical Consumption (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011, with Clive Barnett, Nick Clarke and Alice Malpass) and Faith-based Organisations and Social Exclusion in European Cities (Policy Press, 2012, with Justin Beaumont).

A wine reception will follow the lecture.

To make a booking for this free event email: 
Amy Tan, School of Geography Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS 
email:, Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 8129, Fax: +44 (0)20 7882 7032

Download flyer:

D M Smith lecture 9 [PDF 194KB]
D M Smith lecture 9 [PDF 194KB] [PDF 194 KB]
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