Professor Stephen G Parker

Stephen Parker 2

Professor of the History of Religion and Education; MPhil/PhD Course Leader

Professors

Contact Details

email: s.parker@worc.ac.uk
tel: 01905 542165

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Professor Stephen Parker is Professor of the History of Religion and Education, Course Leader MPhil/PhD programmes, and lead in the School of Education towards REF2021. He is co-convenor of the Religion and Society Research Interest Group, a cross-university collaborative research initiative with Worcester Cathedral. 

Stephen researches the history of education in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and is particularly interested in how religious communities have sought to shape education policy and curricula over time. He is interested in how children have been taught to understand their own faith; how adults have sought to form children’s religious, civic and cultural identities; and how children have experience and respond to the educational initiatives of adults in these areas.

Stephen has published widely on aspects of religious and educational history, e.g. the history of Christianity and its shaping by secular forces and ideas, oral histories of religion from the Second World onwards, and international comparative histories of religious education. He researches the history of educational media, especially radio and television historically. His book, Religious Education: a broadcasting history will be published by Oxford University Press in 2021.

Moreover, Stephen is part of an international research group researching the professionalisation of religious education teaching and teachers across Europe since the Second World War.

While at Worcester, Stephen has developed and led range of programmes, including the MA Education and the university’s professional doctorate, as well as teaching across undergraduate and postgraduate education studies and teacher education awards.

Stephen is President of the History of Education Society, UK; an Associate Fellow of the Centre for Education Studies at the University of Warwick; an affiliated member of the University of Exeter’s Religion, Spirituality and Education Network and the University of Birmingham’s DOMUS: interdisciplinary research in histories of education and childhood. Stephen is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Beliefs and Values and the Brill Research Perspectives in Religion and Education series.

 

Qualifications

  • PhD (Birmingham)
  • PGCert (Teaching and Learning in Higher Education) (Liverpool)
  • MA (Birmingham)
  • B.Ed (Hons) Religious and Theological Studies and Education (Birmingham)

Teaching Interests

Stephen teaches and supervises on the Religion, Philosophy and Values in Education and Education Studies undergraduate programmes: especially the modules of Encountering Christianity, Encountering South Asian Religions and the History of Religion and Education.

He is Course Leader for Research Degrees for the School of Education, supervising broadly in aspects of religion and education.

Research Interests

Since coming to Worcester in 2008, Stephen has been engaged in several other funded research projects as Co- or Principal Investigator:

  • The professionalization of Religious Education since 1944 (funded by the Westhill Endowment)
  • The Hidden History of Curriculum Change in Religious Education in English schools, 1969-1979 (funded by the British Academy)
  • The Hidden History of Religious Education: The Life-Histories of R.E. Professionals in the Midlands from the long 1960s to the 1980s (funded by the Westhill Endowment).
  • The impact of A-level Religious Studies on the values and outlook of 16-19 year olds (funded by the St. Gabriel’s and the St Peter’s Saltley Trusts in)
  • The Bishops and the Board Schools, the Church of England and the 1870 Education Act (funded by the Society for Educational Studies)

Stephen has thus far supported seven doctoral researchers towards the completion of their PhD. He would be pleased to receive enquiries about supervision in any of the following areas:

  • History of education in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries
  • Educational media and the history of educational technology
  • International and comparative histories of religion and education and religious education
  • The churches, state and education
  • Faith and supplementary schooling
  • Religious Education: history, philosophy, policy, practice and pedagogy
  • Childhood and religion
  • The history of Sunday schooling
  • Religion in the Second World War
  • The history of Christianity in Britain in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries
  • Theories and theologies of education

He is currently supervising the following doctoral researchers:

Neil McKain - Humanism and Religious Education and the 1988 Education Act

Leigh-Anne Beattie - Former church building use by community groups

Jeremiah Adebolajo – British Muslim experiences of education

 

Publications

Books and edited volumes:

Crutchley, J., Parker, S.G. and Roberts, S. (2019) Sight, Sound and Text in the History of Education, London: Routledge.

Parker, S.G., Berglund, J., Lewin, D. and Raftery, D. (2019) ‘Religion and Education: Framing and Mapping a Field’. Brill Research Perspectives in Religion and Education, 1:1 

Strhan, A., Parker, S.G. and Ridgely, S. (2017) The Bloomsbury Reader in Childhood and Religion. London: Bloomsbury Press.

Parker, S.G., Freathy, R.J.K., and Aldridge, D. (eds) (2015), The Future of Religious Education in England. Journal of Beliefs and Values, 36:1    

Parker, S.G., Freathy, R.J.K., Francis, L.J. (2015) History, Remembrance and Religious Education. Oxford: Peter Lang.

Parker, S.G., Lawson, T. (2012) God and War: the Church of England and Armed Conflict in the Twentieth-century. Aldershot: Ashgate.

Parker, S.G., Freathy R.J.K., Francis, L.J. (2012). Religious Education and Freedom of Religion and Belief. Oxford: Peter Lang.

Campbell, W.S., Parker, S.G. (2011). Faith in Education. Journal of Beliefs and Values, 32: 2.

Parker, S.G. (2005). Faith on the Home Front: Aspects of Church Life and Popular Religion in Birmingham, 1939 – 1945. Oxford: Peter Lang.

 

Book Chapters:

Parker, S.G., Freathy, R. (2020) The Church of England and religious education during the twentieth century. In Rodger, T., Williamson, P., and Grimley, M. (eds) The Church of England and British Politics Since 1900 Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer.

Parker, S.G. (2017) The BBC’s Religious Service for Schools, ‘Come and Praise’, and the musical aesthetic and religious discourse around the child. In Strhan, A., Parker, S.G., and Ridgley, S. The Bloomsbury Reader in Religion and Childhood London: Bloomsbury.

Parker, S.G. (2017) Classrooms as spaces of everyday religious and moral education and socialization. In Strhan, A., Parker, S.G., and Ridgley, S. The Bloomsbury Reader in Religion and Childhood London: Bloomsbury.

Parker, S.G. and Freathy, R.J.K (2017) Childhood, Faith and the Future: religious education and ‘national character’ in the Second World War. In Strhan, A., Parker, S.G., and Ridgley, S. The Bloomsbury Reader in Religion and Childhood London: Bloomsbury.

Freathy R, Parker SG, Schweitzer F, Simojoki H (2017). Conceptualising and researching the professionalisation of Religious Education teachers: historical and international perspectives in Freathy R, Robinson W, Doney J (eds.) Politics, Professionals and Practitioners, London: Routledge.

Freathy, R.J.K., Parker, S., Doney, J (2015) Raiders of the Lost Archive: methodological reflections on the hidden history of Religious Education in England. In Parker, S.G. Freathy, R.J.K., Francis, L.J. History, Remembrance and Religious Education. Oxford: Peter Lang.

Freathy, R.J.K and Parker, S. (2015) Introduction. In Parker, S.G. Freathy, R.J.K., Francis, L.J. History, Remembrance and Religious Education. Oxford: Peter Lang.

Freathy, R.J.K., Parker, S.G. (2012) Freedom from Religious Beliefs: Humanists and Religious Education in England in the 1960s and 70s. In Parker, S.G. and Freathy R.J.K. (eds) Religious Education and Freedom of Religion and Belief. Bern: Peter Lang.

Parker, S., Freathy, R., Francis, L.J. (2012). Introduction in Parker S, Freathy R.,Francis L.J. (eds.) Religious Education and Freedom of Religion and Belief, Oxford: Peter Lang, 1-3.

Lawson, T., Parker, S.G. (2012) God and War: a century in the politics of religion. In Parker, S.G. and Lawson, T. (eds). God and War: the Church of England and Armed Conflict in the Twentieth-century. Aldershot: Ashgate.

Parker, S.G. (2012) Reinvigorating Christian Britain: the spiritual opportunities of the war, national identity, and the hope of Religious Education. In Parker, S.G. and Lawson, T. (eds) God and War: the Church of England and Armed Conflict in the Twentieth-century. Aldershot: Ashgate.

Snape, M. F., Parker, S.G. (2001) Keeping Faith and Coping: belief, popular religiosity and the British people. In Liddle, P., Bourne, J. and Whitehead, I. (eds.) (2001) The Great World War (Volume 2): the people’s experience. London: Harper Collins.

Journal articles:

Parker, S.G., Allen, S., Freathy, R. (forthcoming 2020) ‘The necessity of religious historical literacy in understanding education policy formation: the Church of England and the Elementary Education Act, 1870’, British Journal of Educational Studies.

Parker, S.G. (2020) Editorial: 'Religious literacy: spaces of teaching and learning about religion and belief', Journal of Beliefs and Values: studies in religion and education 41(2), 129-131.

Parker, S.G. (2018) Editorial: ‘Spaces of religious and values education’, Journal of Beliefs and Values: studies in religion and education, 39(1), 1-2.

Parker, S.G., Crutchley, J. and Roberts, S.  (2018)   Editorial: ‘Sight, Sound and Text in the History of Education, History of Education, 47(2), 143-147.

Parker, S.G. (2017) Editorial: ‘Research in religion and education and the practitioner’, Journal of Beliefs and Values: studies in religion and education, 38(1), 1-2.

Doney, J., Parker, S.G., and Freathy, R.J.K. (2017) Enriching the historiography of Religious Education: insights from oral life history, History of Education, 46(4), 436-458.

Village, A., Francis, L.J., and Parker, S.G. (2017) Exploring the trajectory of personal, moral and spiritual values of 16- to 18-year-olds studying religion at A level, Journal of Beliefs and Values: studies in religion and education, 38(1)

Francis, L.J., Astley, J., and Parker, S.G. (2016) Who studies religion at Advanced level: Why and to what effect?, Journal of Beliefs and Values: studies in religion and education, 37(3), 334-346.

Parker, S.G. and Reader, J. (2016) Editorial: Faith in the Public Sphere Journal of Beliefs and Values: Studies in Religion and Education, 37(3)

Parker SG, Freathy R, Doney J (2016). The Professionalisation of Non-Denominational Religious Education in England: politics, organisation and knowledge. Journal of Beliefs and Values: Studies in Religion and Education, 37(2)

Parker, S.G. (2016) Editorial: Journal of Beliefs and Values: Studies in Religion and Education, 37(2), 129-130.

Freathy R, Parker SG, Schweitzer F, Simojoki H (2016). Conceptualizing and Researching the Professionalization of Religious Education Teachers: Historical and International Perspectives. British Journal of Religious Education, 38(2), 114-129.

Freathy R, Parker SG, Schweitzer F, Simojoki H (2016). Professionalism, Professionalization and Professionality in Religious Education. British Journal of Religious Education, 38(2), 111-113.

Simojoki, H., Schweitzer F, Parker SG, Freathy R. (2016). Die Professionalisierung des Religionslehrerberufs als Aufgabe und Gegenstand religionspadagogischer Forschung. Historische und systematische Perspektiven. Zeitschrift Für Pädagogik Und Theologie, 68(2), 135-152.

Simojoki H, Schweitzer F, Parker SG, Freathy R (2016). Editorial. Zeitschrift Für Pädagogik Und Theologie, 68(2), 131-133.

Parker, S.G., Freathy, R. and Aldridge, D. (2015) The future of Religious Education: crisis, reform and iconoclasm, Journal of Beliefs and Values, 36:1, pp.1-4.

Freathy, R.J.K., Parker. S.G. (2015) Prospects and problems for religious education in England, 1967-1970: curriculum reform in political context, Journal of Beliefs and Values, 36:1, pp.5-30.

Parker, S.G. (2015) Mediatising childhood religion: the BBC, John G. Williams, and collective worship for schools in England, c.1940-1975, Paedagogica Historica: international journal of the history of education 51(5), pp. 614-630.

Freathy, R.J.K, Parker, S.G., Schweitzer, F., and Simojoki. H. (2014) Towards international comparative research on the professionalisation of Religious Education, Journal of Beliefs & Values: Studies in Religion & Education, 35:2, 225-241.

Freathy, R.J.K., Parker, S.G. (2013) Secularists, Humanists and religious education: religious crisis and curriculum change, 1963-1975, History of Education: journal of the History of Education Society, 42: 2, 222—256.

Parker, S.G., Freathy, R.J.K. (2012) Ethnic diversity, Christian hegemony and the emergence of multi-faith religious education in the 1970s, History of Education: journal of the History of Education Society, 41: 3, 381–404.

Parker, S.G., Freathy, R.J.K. (2011) Context, Complexity and Contestation: Birmingham’s Agreed Syllabuses since the 1960s, Journal of Beliefs and Values: Studies in Religion and Education, 32: 2, 247 – 263.

Freathy, R.J.K., Parker, S.G. (2010) The necessity of historical inquiry in educational research: the case of religious education, British Journal of Religious Education, 32: 3, 229 – 243.

Parker, S. G. (2010) 'Teach them to pray Auntie’: Children's Hour Prayers at the BBC, 1940-1961, History of Education: journal of the History of Education Society, Vol. 39: 5, 659-676.

Parker, S.G. (2009b) Theorizing sacred space in educational contexts: a case study of three English Midlands Sixth Form Colleges, Journal of Beliefs and Values, 30:1, 29-39.

Parker, S.G. (2009a) ‘Blessed are the pacifists’: E.W. Barnes of Birmingham and Pacifism, 1914-1945, Midland History, Vol. 34: 2, 204–219.

Recently Published Book Reviews:

Alisa Clapp-Itnyre (2016) British Hymn Books for Children, 1800—1900: Re-tuning the History of Childhood, Farnham: Ashgate; Hugh Morrison and Mary-Clare Martin (eds) (2017) Creating Religious Childhoods in Anglo-World and British Colonial Contexts, 1800—1950, Abingdon: Routledge; Naomi Thompson (2018) Young People and Church Since 1900: engagement and exclusion, Abingdon, History of Education: journal of the History of Education Society, published online May 2018.

Worsley, H. (ed) (2013) Anglican Church School Education: moving beyond the first two hundred years. London: Bloomsbury. British Journal of Religious Education, published online January 2014.

Hebert, D. and Kertz-Welzel, A. (2012) Patriotism and Nationalism in Music Education. Farnham: Ashgate, History of Education: journal of the History of Education Society.

Beaken, R. (2012). Cosmo Lang: Archbishop in War and Crisis. London: IB Tauris., May 2013.

Revell, L. (2012) Islam and Education: the manipulation and misrepresentation of a religion Stoke-on-Trent: Trentham Books, Journal of Beliefs and Values, 34, 1, 2013, pp.125-127.

Green, S.J.D (2011). The Passing of Protestant England: secularisation and social change, c. 1920-1960. Cambridge: CUP in the Journal of British Studies, vol. 51, 3, 2012, pp.769-770.

King, Ursula (2009) The Search for Spirituality: our global quest for meaning and fulfilment, Norwich: Canterbury Press, published February, 2010.

Shapiro, Joan Poliner and Gross, Steven Jay (2007) Ethical Educational Leadership in Turbulent Times (Re-solving Moral Dilemmas). London: Routledge, published April 2010.

Other articles:

 

Stephen Parker, ‘Wakefield, Henry Russell (1854-1933)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press

Stephen Parker, ‘Woods, Edward Sydney (1877-1953)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press

Parker, S.G. (2007) Life After Death and Personhood, Dialogue: A Journal of Religion and Philosophy, Issue 29: November 2007

Freathy R, Parker SG, Schweitzer F, Simojoki H. (2016). The professionalisation of RE teachers: a process in progress? REtoday, 33(3).

Reports:      

The Future of Religious Education: Prospects and Problems for Religious Education (revisited). Summary Report on a Conference held at the University of Worcester in 2013.

First Thoughts on Spirituality in the Sixth Form College, Farmington Fellowship Report, 2008.

Or other relevant ‘outputs’ - such as exhibitions, performances etc. 

Lead Series Editor: Religion, Education and Values, Peter Lang AG.

Volumes published thus far:

Vol. 1 Jeff Astley, Leslie J. Francis, Mandy Robbins and Mualla Selçuk (eds): Teaching Religion, Teaching Truth: Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives.?293 pages. 2012. isbn 978­3­0343­0818­2

Vol. 2 Stephen Parker, Rob Freathy and Leslie J. Francis (eds): Religious Education and Freedom of Religion and Belief. 286 pages. 2012. isbn 978­3­0343­0754­3

Vol. 3 Ann Casson: Fragmented Catholicity and Social Cohesion: Faith Schools in a Plural Society.?198 pages. 2013. isbn 978­3­0343­0896­0

Vol. 4 Sylvia Baker: Swimming Against the Tide: New Independent Christian Schools and their Teenage Pupils.?259 pages. 2013. isbn 978­3­0343­0942­4

Vol. 5 Nuraan Davids: Women, Cosmopolitanism and Islamic Education: On the Virtues of Engagement and Belonging.?195 pages. 2013. isbn 978­3­0343­1708­5

Vol. 6 Julian Stern: Loneliness and Solitude in Education: How to Value Individuality and Create an Enstatic School.?224 pages. 2014. isbn 978­3­0343­1733­7

Vol. 7 Stephen G. Parker, Rob Freathy and Leslie J. Francis (eds) History, Remembrance and Religious Education. 423 pages. 2015. isbn 978­3­0343­1720­7

Vol. 8 Trevor Cooling with Beth Green, Andrew Morris and Lynn Revell: Christian Faith in English Church Schools: Research Conversations with Classroom Teachers. 205 pages. 2016. isbn 978­3­0343­1938­6

Vol. 9 Julian Stern: Virtuous Educational Research: Conversations on Ethical Practice. 205 pages. 2016. isbn 978­3­0343­1880­8

Vol. 10 Jeff Astley and Leslie J. Francis (eds) Diversity and Intersectionality: Studies in Religion, Education and Values. 264 pages. 2016. isbn 978-3-0343-2252-2

Vol. 11 Robert A. Bowie Dignity and Human Rights Education: exploring ultimate worth in a post-secular world. 2017. isbn 9781787072084

Vol 12 Olwyn E. Mark Educating for Sexual Virtue: a moral vision for relationships and sex education. 242 pages. 2017. isbn 978-178-70712-85

Vol. 13 Peter Cumper and Alison Mawhinney Collective Worship and Religious Observance in Schools. 396 pages. 2018. isbn 9781787076570

External Roles

President of the History of Education Society, UK (2019-2022)

Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Beliefs and Values: studies in religion and education

Editor-in-Chief Brill Research Perspectives on Religion and Education

Member of the Peer Review College of the  Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)

Stephen has been an Associate Fellow of the University of Warwick Centre for Education Studies since 2009.

 

External Examiner:

BA Education Studies, Liverpool Hope University, 2016-

MA Education, UCL IoE London, 2020-

 

Regular peer reviewer for:

British Journal of Educational Studies

British Journal of Religious Education

The Historical Journal

History of Education

History of Education Researcher

Paedagogica Historica: international journal of the history of education

 

Invited keynote addresses, lectures and papers given in national and international forums:

Mediatising Religious Education: BBC radio for children and schools, c1920s-1970s, invited public lecture University of Oxford, November 2017.

‘Promoting a community of the air’: national religious identity, children, and the BBC during the Second World War, invited symposium Christianity and the Second World War, University of Durham, September 2017.

The 1944 Settlement – Engineering Religion, Culture and Education in post-war Britain’. A New Settlement: Religion and Belief in Schools, St George’s, Windsor. February 2016.

Professionalization of RE teachers in England and Germany between 1944/45 and 1988/89 – towards international comparative research. Teacher Professionalization and the Professional Quality of Religious Education: An International Symposium, University of Exeter, UK, March 2015.

What is religious education, and should it be taught in schools? Public lecture at the Hive, University of Worcester, February 2014.

Faith on the Home Front: national identity, the spiritual issues of the war and religious education. Contemporary Issues in the Worldwide Anglican Communion: a research symposium, University of Kent, September 2013.

‘Taking a historical perspective’, Canterbury Christchurch University. Invited lecture. July 2013.

‘How did we get to here in RE? Prospects and Problems Revisited’ (S. G. Parker and R. Freathy). The Future of Religious Education: Prospects and Problems for Religious Education (Revisited). University of Worcester, June 2013.

John G. Williams, school worship and the idea of childhood piety at the BBC, Institute of Historical Research, University of London, June 2013.

Convener and presenter at a symposium entitled God and War: the Church of England and the wars of the twentieth-century, April 2011, University of Winchester.

Ethical Leaders Born or Made? Exploring Notions of Virtuous Leadership, launch conference of the University of Worcester’s Centre for Ethical Leadership, November 2010.

Freedom from religious beliefs: A case-study from the history of English Religious Education, History of Religions’ Seminar, University of Birmingham, June 2010 (with R.J.K. Freathy)

Bishop E.W. Barnes of Birmingham, 1923-1953, the Eric Hopkins’ Memorial Lecture, May 2010, University of Birmingham and the Historical Association

‘Keep Praying Through’: religion on the Home Front in Birmingham in World War Two, Centre for Birmingham and Midlands History, March 2010, University of Birmingham.

Religious Education in Historical Perspective, a symposium at the University of Tuebingen, 18-19 December, 2009 (with R.J.K. Freathy).

Educating the Citizen in World War Two: views from the Home Front, March 2009, Oxford Brookes University

The hidden history of Religious Education, 1969-1979, April 2009, University of Exeter School of Education and Lifelong Learning

Pastor, Pacifist and Eugenicist: Bishop Barnes of Birmingham, the Open University West Midlands Regional Arts Group, May 2008.

Blitz Religion? The case of Birmingham 1940-1941, Institute for Historical Research Seminar, University of London, November 2003

In Word and Deed: pastoral care in wartime Birmingham, University of Birmingham History of Religions Seminar, January 2001

Membership of Professional Bodies

President of the History of Education Society, UK

Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (FRHistS)

Fellow of the Royal Society for Arts (FRSA)

Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA)

Council Member of the Church of England Record Society

Member of the International Seminar on Religious Education and Values

Member of Association of University Lecturers in Religious Education

Member of the International Standing Conference for the History of Education