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Religion, Conflict and Resolution Research Group

Unit(s) of assessment: History

Research theme: Safety and Security of Citizens and Society

School: School of Arts and Humanities; School of Social Sciences


The Religion, Conflict and Resolution Research Group was founded in 2016 (as the Centre for the Study of Religion and Conflict - CSRC) to enhance and develop the international profile ofr scholars in NTU History and to connect researchers and the public across wide boundaries of period and place to explore a variety of political, economic, military, social and cultural disputes connected by religious belief. Since its founding it has hosted 8 international conferences, 6 workshops, and runs seminar and a lecture series as well as the annual History postgraduate conference. It has supported a variety of staff and student publications through writing retreats, language, archive and palaeography training and networking activities, generating a range of collaborative publications for staff and students. In recent years it has expanded its medieval and early modern focus to include studies into more modern histories and the impact of the religious and colonial pasts on the present, and has developed concomitant strands in welfare, race, gender and emotions in relation to conflict.


The group was established at NTU in order to increase understanding of the origins, ideology, implementation, impact and historiography of religion and conflict from the medieval period into the early nineteenth century. Our understanding of "conflict" is interpreted very broadly to incorporate not just military encounters but conflict in political, social, institutional, cultural, ethnic, racial and gendered arenas, source material and debates. Tolerance, religious change, and the role of religion in the resolution of conflict are also of central importance to the studies we engage in.

Our activities have brought together a wide network of scholars who investigate the relationship of different faiths, confessions and heterodoxies to a variety of conflicts in global contexts as they intersect with other societal and situational factors. Our networking has enabled comparisons and contrasts across a wide range of geographical and chronological contexts and helped to develop new definitions and paradigms for understanding the roles played by belief in national, communal, and inter-personal conflicts. Details of our networking events and the research activities of staff and students are captured on our conference website and our blog, which also showcases student research. Typical activities include public lectures; book festivals; schools’ outreach, podcasts and TV and radio interviews.

Programme of Research

The expertise of the centre’s core members focuses broadly on the Crusades; the Levant and the Military Orders; Reformations and Confessional societies; the Conquest of the New World, Spanish and Mexican identity; Africa during the late medieval period; Britain and the USA from the Seventeenth to Nineteenth centuries; and the Transatlantic slave trade.

Our research relates to SDGS 1 (Poverty), 3 (Good Health and Wellbeing) 4 (Quality Education) 5 (Gender Equality), 10 (Reduced Inequalities) and 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions). Our research has connections to the Global Heritage and Health and Wellbeing SRTS. We have undertaken, published on and supervised significant research relevant to racial inequalities (Lussana, Fuller, Simmons); poverty, welfare and social inequalities (King, McCallum, Alexander); religious diversities and interreligious conflict (Morton, McCallum, Hodgson, Fuller, Gould); cultural and sexual identity (Fuller, Hodgson); military histories (Morton, Bennett); gender and emotions (Hodgson, Lussana, McCallum, Powell).

The centre has a strong focus on disseminating research and profile raising of work within the department. As well as significant REF outputs, our staff have a proactive programme of media outreach with regular outputs in terms of podcasts, interviews and TV, news and radio, as well as public-facing articles (the Conversation, BBC History, History Today, etc). We also have strong connections to the Historical Association, and deliver substantial schools outreach and teaching materials to support curriculum development.


Select collaborative publications

These are example publications resulting from research group projects and centre initiatives (for individual publications please see staff profiles)

  • S. A. King, P. Carter, P. Jones, N. Carter and C. Beardmore, In Their Own Write: A New Poor Law History From Below (Montreal, 2022).
  • Political Authority and Violence in Medieval and Early Modern History (proceedings from the 2019 CSRC conference) eds Matthew Rowley and Natasha Hodgson (London: Routledge, 2021).
  • Religion and Conflict in Medieval and Early Modern Worlds: Identities, Communities and Authorities (proceedings from the 2017 CSRC conference) ed. Natasha Hodgson, Amy Fuller, John McCallum, Nicholas Morton (London: Routledge 2020).

Prize-Winning Research

  • Nicholas Morton, The Crusader States and their Neighbours: A Military History, 1099-1187 (OUP, 2022) - Verbruggen prize for Military History 2022
  • Kate Arnold, ‘Pop and the Palästinalied: A Crusade Song Revived at the Turn of the New Millennium’ Crusades 22 (2023) - winner of the SSCLE best early career paper.
  • Jennifer Pearce, ‘Cross-Cultural Relations in the Early Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem: The Canons of the Council of Nablus, 1120. Nottingham Medieval Studies 66, (2022) 137-163 - winner of the Nottingham Medieval Studies Postgraduate Essay Prize


Select Media Articles and Research Podcasts

Our research events are open to the public and many have training elements: some are held in person, others online. Members of the centre have significant expertise in Knowledge Exchange and training, working closely with local, and international heritage and cultural institutions, museums and archives. We have a Youtube channel to host recordings of online events as well as events delivered by research staff. 

The events held by the Centre and Research Groups are listed on our Eventbrite page

PhD students

  • Kate Arnold - Crusade Songs and anti-Frankish Jihad Poetry: an ethnomusicological approach
  • Luke Butler - Southeast Asian Illuminated Manuscripts : A Study of the Maritime Silk Road Using Scientific Imaging and AI
  • Dylan Coulter - Disability under the old poor law, 1601-1834
  • Beth Cowley - Life in Mexico: Reclaiming Frances Calderón de la Barca as a historian of the Conquest of Mexico
  • Emma Fearon - Opening the Gates: gender and LGBTQI in castle histories
  • Catherine Gower, Nay, they will be kin to us, or they will fetch it from Japheth’: The production, dissemination and use of royal genealogical chronicles in the first reign of Henry VI (1422–61).
  • Jeffrey James - Punishment in the New Poor Law workhouse, 1834-1884.
  • James Kendrick - What makes a JP? A character research project on JPs in Elizabethan Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.
  • Chelsea Kilian - The Emotional Experience of Friendship in Early Modern England.
  • Elizabeth Lowry Household textiles and the English country house 1600-1940s
  • Erin Newman - Were Male and Female criminals in Seventeenth Century popular and court literature, represented as either defying or complying with Religious and Gender Ideals?
  • Jennifer Pearce - Latin Law and the Indigenous Population of the Crusader States.
  • Chloe Riggs - Queenship in the thirteenth century Levant.
  • Sophie Rice - Dying Well during the British Civil War.
  • Mary Rudling - The experiences of the poor under the Old and New poor laws in Sussex, 1800-1860.
  • Amy Scott - Women and separation from their children.
  • Makiko Tsunoda - A study of 18th to 19th-century Japanese Nanga Paintings through art historical and material analysis, with a focus on the Nanpin School.
  • Caroline Walton- An emotional history of the nineteenth-century workhouse.
  • Leticia Pala - Medieval women, confinement and agency
  • Jordan Healey - Parliamentary under secretaries in the 1850s and 1860s and the rise of the controlling central state;
  • Corrie Green - Drinking culture in Nottingham 1800-1900

Related Research

Ep.8 - From medieval times to the modern day – are we erasing women’s experiences?
Women’s voices and their roles within society have been under-represented and stereotyped throughout time, from historical textbooks to modern-day films and TV. Whilst we continue to break new ground in terms of transforming women’s representation on screen and make moves towards gender equality, are we really doing enough to shake off some of these assumptions?

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