Religion: Going Public aims to disseminate relevant research findings to wider audiences, and engage with and inform contemporary public debates on religion and society.

Editor in Chief: Mona Abdel-Fadil

Editor in Chief: Helge Årsheim

Members of Editorial Board: Ragna Lillevik,  Audun Toft and Erlend H. From


The Religion: Going Public blog discusses various aspects of contemporary religion in the public sphere and aims both to inform and participate in on-going public debates relating to religion and society. 

The blog develops out of a collaboration between researchers in three research projects funded by The Research Council of Norway's SAMKUL program. Religion: Going Public will bring together reader-friendly scholarly perspectives on contemporary religion and society. More specifically, the blog is bounded by SAMKUL’s overarching focus on cultural conditions underlying social change.

Our emphasis is on the multiple ways that contemporary religion plays into societies and social change, mainly focusing on Norway, Scandinavia and Europe. Our goal is to provide socially relevant and stimulating research-based blog posts that speak to public debates about religion. 

The blog will draw on a pool of researchers affiliated to the three SAMKUL projects, in addition to invited guest bloggers from the larger scholarly community.

We intend to provide scholarly communities, public administrators, decision makers and the general public with research-based insights on religion in contemporary societies, and contribute to and engage with on-going debates about religion and society.

Artistic illustrations and caricatures have been at the centre of  many religious disputes over the last decades and throughout history. Religion: Going Public is proud to present a unique and somewhat experimental collaboration with our in house illustrator Øyvind Westgård. The illustrations are stand alone ‘texts’ which may be interpreted differently by a variety of readers. The themes for the illustrations are set in collaboration with the editorial team of Religion: Going Public.

We would like to thank Dag Mostuen Grytli who acted as an editorial assistant for RGP in 2016.


Religion: Going Public is a collaboration across three SAMKUL research projects:                                

Good Protestant, Bad Religion? Formatting Religion in Modern Society (GOBA) is a research project hosted by the Faculty of Theology at the University of Oslo. As Norway experiences increasing religious diversity, the assertive role of Protestantism in the public sphere have become contentious political issues that are increasingly viewed within the framework of a simplified good/bad narrative, in which other religious traditions are measured according to their similarity to the specific format of Protestant religion in Norway. GOBA sets out to examine how major societal actors respond to these issues. GOBA has provided the funding for the development of Religion: Going Public.

Engaging with Conflicts in Mediatized Religious Environments (CoMRel) is a research project coordinated by Professor Knut Lundby, at the Department of Media and Communication, University of Oslo. The project examines how religion in public conflicts becomes thematised and enacted through mass media and social media and further articulated in social interaction. CoMRel draws on researchers in Norway, Sweden and Denmark and focuses on the intertwined role of media and religion in conflicts and tensions in contemporary Scandinavian societies (2015-2017). CoMRel, backed by funding from The Research Council of Norway will be managing the further the development of the Religion: Going Public blog.

Muslim Politics and Governance of Islam: Interactions of Structure and Culture in Multi-religious Europe (2014-2019) is a research project hosted by FAFO, in collaboration with researchers from Norway, the Netherlands and the US.

The blog is set up and run by Helge Årsheim (GOBA), Mona Abdel-Fadil (CoMRel), Ragna Lillevik (Muslim Publics) and Audun Toft (CoMRel) who contribute regularly.

Views expressed by our contributors are that of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the position of Religion: Going Public.