What do we mean when we say something is religious? What do we mean when we say something is not religious? Do we ever stop to consider if the person we are speaking to or about understands the word religion in the same way that we do? These are all questions that drive the study of Implicit Religion, which began in the 1960s with the work Professor Canon Edward Bailey.
The Edward Bailey Centre for the Study of Implicit Religion at Bishop Grosseteste University, will serve as a hub for a wide range of activity including ranging from the Implicit Religion conference each May to work in local schools, university modules, research projects, and free public events. We will be running other conferences, symposiums and day events – all of which members of the public are welcome and encouraged to join us at. The centre aims to create new degree modules that are relevant and focused on Implicit Religion within Lincolnshire, to develop new degree courses that will bring international postgraduate students to BGU and be accessible for adults in Lincolnshire.
Implicit Religion focuses on commitments, rituals, actions, rites of passage, behaviours and beliefs that appear in things we would not normally think of as ‘religious’, for example the game of football or knitting communities. To this end Edward Bailey suggested three areas for focus: commitment, integrating foci, and intensive concerns with extensive effects. These have been explored in a wide range of topics from art, shopping, Elvis fans, pilgrimage, Occupy protests, video games, Starbucks, punk rock, elective childlessness, animal rights, tattoos and sport.