Skip Content

Professor James Beckford FBA

Sociology Western Europe Switzerland and France Sociology of Religion Cultural Sociology Sociology of Ethnicity/Race USA, Canada and/or Mexico
Professor James Beckford FBA profile picture

About this Fellow

James A. Beckford has been Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Warwick since 2008. He has a PhD in Sociology and a DLitt from the University of Reading. He has taught sociology at the University of Reading, the University of Durham, Loyola University of Chicago and the University of Warwick. He has also held visiting positions at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris, 2000 and at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes in Paris, 2004. He was elected President of the Association for the Sociology of Religion in 1988-89, Vice-President of the International Sociological Association from 1994 to 1998, President of the International Society for the Sociology of Religion from 1999 to 2003, and President of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion in 2010-11. Since 1991 he has also been a Governor of Inform (Information Network Focus on Religious Movements). The University of Lausanne conferred on him the title of Docteur ès Sciences des Religions honoris causa in 2014.



Current post

  • Professor Emeritus of Sociology, University of Warwick

Past Appointments

  • Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in Sociology, University of Durham, 1973 - 1987
  • Professor of Sociology, Loyola University, Chicago, 1987 - 1989
  • Professor of Sociology, University of Warwick, 1989
  • Professor of Sociology, University of Warwick, University of Warwick, 1989
  • , University of Reading, 1966 - 1973
  • Professor Emeritus of Sociology, University of Warwick, University of Warwick, 1989


Cult Controversies. The Societal Response to the New Religious Movements 1975

Religion in Prison. Equal Rites in a Multi-Faith Society, (with Sophie Gilliat) 1998

Muslims in Prison: Challenge and Change in Britain and France, (with Danièle Joly and Farhad Khosrokhavar) 2005

The Trumpet of Prophecy. A Sociological Study of Jehovah's Witnesses 1975

Religion and Advanced Industrial Society 1989

Social Theory and Religion 2003

Other Theology and Religious Studies Fellows

Professor Anthony Thiselton

The interdisciplinary area of biblical and philosophical hermeneutics, coupled with Pauline studies, including exegesis of the Epistles, Pauline Theology and Reception Criticism

Professor Francis Clooney

Classical Hindu scriptural interpretation, particularly ritual Mimamsa and theological Vedanta traditions, and Srivaisnava devotional tradition; comparative theology, grounded in Hindu-Christian studies; Catholic missionary traditions in India

Professor William Courtenay

Medieval intellectual history; medieval philosophy & theology; history of medieval universities, notably Oxford & Paris; paleography & codicology