Bryan Turner, director of the GC’s Committee for the Study of Religion, is one of the world’s leading sociologists of religion; he has also devoted attention to sociological theory, the study of human rights, and the sociology of the body. His current research involves the role of religion in contemporary Asia and the changing nature of citizenship in a globalizing world. He has two research grants to study Muslim communities in the United States and Australia with special reference to the Shari’a, and another grant to study the legal debate about same-sex marriages.
Turner has written, coauthored, or edited more than seventy books and more than two hundred articles and chapters, including most recently The Religious and the Political: A Comparative Sociology of Religion (2013) and Religion and Modern Society: Citizenship, Secularisation and the State (2011), both published by Cambridge University Press.
In Vulnerability and Human Rights (2006), he presents an interdisciplinary dialogue with the literature of economics, law, medicine, philosophy, political science, and religion. The Body and Society: Explorations in Social Theory (2008), first published in 1984, is in its third edition. He is also an author or editor of the Cambridge Dictionary of Sociology, Blackwell Companion to Social Theory, and Sage Handbook of Sociology. He is a founding editor of the journals Body & Society, Citizenship Studies, and Journal of Classical Sociology.
Turner has had university appointments in Europe, Australia, Singapore, and the United States. He came to the GC in 2010 from Wellesley College, where he was Alona Evans Distinguished Visiting Professor; he is also professor of social and political thought at the University of Western Sydney, Australia. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Leeds and has been awarded the Doctor of Letters from both Flinders University in South Australia and the University of Cambridge.