Dr Christopher Cotter (MA (Hons), MSc, PhD, AFHEA)

Leverhulme Early Career Fellow


I am a Religious Studies scholar by training, specialising in all things 'non-religous', and from Sept 2017 I am Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow at the School of Divinity, working on a comparative study of communities in Northern Ireland and Scotland. 

I completed my doctorate in Religious Studies at Lancaster University in 2016, working with Professor Kim Knott. My thesis–Religion-Related Discourse: A Critical Approach to Non-Religion in Edinburgh’s Southside–focused upon the discourses on ‘religion’ in the Southside of Edinburgh, the concepts of ‘non-religion’ and ‘the secular’, and the ensuing critical and theoretical implications for Religious Studies. My previous degrees at the University of Edinburgh focused upon ‘New Atheism’ and alternative typologies of ‘non-religion’, and my wider interests include New Religious Movements, qualitative methods, discourse analysis, spatial approaches, critical theory, and Religious Studies as a discipline.

I am author of The Critical Study of Non-Religion: Discourse, Identification and Locality (Bloomsbury, August 2020), co-editor of Social Identities between the Sacred and the Secular  (Routledge, 2013), After World Religions: Reconstructing Religious Studies (Routledge, 2016), New Atheism: Critical Perspectives and Contemporary Debates (Springer, 2017) and Religion and Non-Religion in Fortress Europe: Perspectives on Belief, Immigration, and Identity in a time of Polarized Politics (Forthcoming, 2021), and have also published journal articles, book chapters and reviews in related areas. I am also co-editor of the open-access journal Secularism & Nonreligion.

I am co-founder, co-editor-in-chief, and co-host of the The Religious Studies Project podcast, and CEO of The Religious Studies Project Association (SCIO). I am also Co-Director at the Nonreligion and Secularity Research Network, Honorary Treasurer of the British Association for the Study of Religions, and a member of the Culture on the Edge research collaborative.


PhD [Lancaster]

MSc by Research [Edinburgh]

MA (Hons) [Edinburgh]

Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Responsibilities & affiliations

External appointments:

Honorary Treasurer of the British Association for the Study of Religions

Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Religious Studies Project

Co-Director of the Nonreligion and Secularity Research Network

Co-Editor of Secularism & Nonreligion (open-access journal)

Member of Culture on the  Edge

Member of editorial or advisory boards for journals:

Implicit Religion

Secularism & Nonreligion

Journal of the British Association for the Study of Religions


View all 19 publications on Research Explorer