Lancaster academic plays key role in setting values for a new world

A Lancaster University professor will join big thinkers from around the globe in a bid to tackle the problems of a changing world.

Professor Linda Woodhead, an expert on religion, will speak alongside other guests including the renowned American linguist, scholar and author Noam Chomsky.

The six-part series, ‘Values for a New World’ is organised by Canada’s University of Victoria History (UVic) Professor Paul Bramadat, the Director of the University’s Centre for Studies in Religion and Society.

The talks got underway online via Zoom this month with a conversation between writer Esi Edugyan, the two-time Giller Prize winner, and UVic professor Tim Lilburn.

The co-production, between UVic and the Anglican Diocese of Islands and Inlets of British Columbia, will feature other speakers including Croatian theologian Miroslav Volf (Jan. 7), Noam Chomsky (Feb. 2) and Canadian political scientist Thomas Homer-Dixon (Feb. 23).

Professor Woodhead will speak on March 4.

The series wraps up on March 16 with a panel discussion, moderated by Professor Bramadat, when all the speakers will take part.

The Values For a New World Series was designed to explore perspectives on the changing role of religion in contemporary society.

“What we want to do is to look at three things: the old normal; the current normal, or what we might think of as the new normal; and the future of normal,” said Professor Bramadat

The hope is that the guest speakers will offer both spiritual and political responses to the state of the world, and provide some tangible examples of how to rebuild it mid-pandemic.

“We have a chance to look at the ways these things might have been responsible for some of the problems we see more clearly now, and also ways in which there are some of the more creative solutions for our current predicament,” added Professor Bramadat.

Professor Woodhead, co-Director of Lancaster’s Institute for Social Futures, will speak on ‘Values are the New Religion’, the new culture wars, and implications for the future.

Tickets are free and participants must pre-register at