Professor Robert E Warner FRSA

Executive Dean of Humanities

I was delighted to join this department in September 2009. The academic team is an exceptional combination of dedication to providing the best possible student learning experience and publishing outstanding international research. I thoroughly enjoy combining academic leadership and management with research and teaching. My academic background combines the disciplines of literary criticism, theology and the sociology of contemporary religion.


  • BA (hons) English & Related Literature York
  • MA Ezra Pound & Modern Poetry York 
  • MA Theology Oxford
  • PhD Theology & Sociology of Religion King’s College, London


I am married to Claire and we have two sons, one a diplomat and the other a professional musician. Ten years ago we took on the project of renovating a house built in the 1780s; we are now renovating a house from the 1850s. I enjoy walks in the country, gardening and classical music. My favourite city is Florence.


  • Secularization and pluralism in the British religious economy.
  • Contemporary socio-cultural modifications of religious traditions and practices.
  • Evangelicalism, Pentecostalism and Fundamentalism


  • Religion, culture and secularization
  • Sociology of contemporary Christianity.
  • The decline of Christianity among the mid-19th century literary elite

AHRC/ESRC Religion and Society: 3 year award of £334,000, 2009-2012, with colleagues from the universities of Durham and Derby. An empirical study of Christian faith and the university experience, examining Roman Catholic, mainstream Protestant and evangelical student groups.

Published work


Christianity and the University Experience, Mathew Guest, Kristin Aune, Sonya Sharma & Rob Warner. London, Continuum, 2013.
Secularization and its Discontents. London, Continuum, 2010.
Reinventing English Evangelicalism, 1966-2001. A Theological and Sociological Study, Carlisle, Paternoster, 2007.

Future planned books

The functions of religion in the post-Christian novels of George Eliot.

Chapters in edited volumes

‘The Widening Gyre: Counter-trends in Evangelical Theology and Sub-culture’, in Pete Ward & Martyn Percy (eds), The Wisdom of the Spirit: Gospel, Church and Culture. London: Ashgate, 2014, pp. 103-118
‘Evangelical Bases of Faith and Fundamentalising Tendencies’ in David Bebbington and David Ceri Jones (eds.) Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism: The Experience of the United Kingdom During the Twentieth Century, Oxford: OUP, 2013.
‘How Congregations are Becoming Customers’, in Michael Bailey, Anthony McNicholas & Guy Redden (eds.) Mediating Faiths: Religion and Socio-Cultural Change in the Twenty-First Century. London: Ashgate, 2011, pp. 119-130.   
‘Autonomous Conformism: the paradox of entrepreneurial Protestantism (Spring Harvest: a case study)' in Abby Day (ed.) Religion and the Individual, Ashgate Religion and Theology in Interdisciplinary Perspective Series, in association with the BSA Sociology of Religion Study Group, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2008, pp. 151-178.
‘York's evangelicals and charismatics: an emergent free market in voluntarist religious identities' in Sebastian Kim & Pauline Kollontai (eds) Community and Identity: Perspectives from Theology and Religious Studies, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007, pp.183-202.
‘Ecstatic spirituality and entrepreneurial revivalism' in Andrew Walker & Kristin Aune (eds) On Revival: A Critical Examination, Carlisle, Paternoster, 2003. pp 221-238.

Journal articles

‘Re-imagining a Church Foundation University in a Secular Age.’ Journal of Beliefs and Values, Vol. 34, No. 3, December 2013, pp. 347-358.

‘Challenging “Belief” and the Evangelical Bias: Student Christianity in English Universities’. Guest, M., Sharma, S., Aune, K and Warner, R. Journal of Contemporary Religion, 2013.

‘Transformations of English Evangelicalism’, Anvil, vol 26, nos 3 and 4, 2009, pp. 209-218.

Pluralism and voluntarism in the English religious economy, Journal of Contemporary Religion. Vol. 21, No. 3, October 2006, pp. 389-404.