NSRN Online Team

The NSRN Online team are responsible for everything that appears on this website and the NSRN Blog. Each member of the team is at various stages of their research, and all have distinct roles within NSRN Online. For information on those involved in the day-to-day running and overall vision of the NSRN as a whole, please see the NSRN Directors page.

Press queries should be directed to Lois or to any of the NSRN directors. For  email addresses, please follow the hyperlinks at each person’s name.


Suvi Karila

Cultural History, University of Turku, Finlandnsrn-pic-tiny

Suvi began as the Managing Editor of NSRN at the beginning of 2016. She maintains the NSRN website and co-ordinates the NSRN online team.

Suvi is a PhD candidate of cultural history at the University of Turku, Finland. She is working on a dissertation unraveling “lived nonreligion” of unbeliever women in the nineteenth-century United States. During the academic year 2015-2016 she conducts archival research as a Visiting Fulbright Scholar at Harvard University. For more information about Suvi and her research, see her homepage.

Yutaka Osakabe

Divinity, University of Aberdeen, UK

Yutaka, together with Katherine Sissons, acts as the deputy editor for the NSRN blog.

Yutaka is a PhD student in the Department of Divinity, University of Aberdeen. His thesis seeks to understand how Christian groups in the UK attempt to promote their normative claims in the public sphere by examining the case of restorative justice. He focuses on how they translate Christian language and negotiate their values and ideas in response to their perception of the secular and nonreligious. He has also been undertaking the case of Japanese Evangelical churches in a post-Fukushima society.

Katherine (Katie) Sissons

Anthropology, University of Oxford, UKKSissons photo

Katie, together with Yutaka Osakabe, acts as the deputy editor for the NSRN blog.

Katie is a doctoral student in the department of anthropology at the University of Oxford.  She is interested in the variety of lived experiences of nonreligion in the UK.  Before starting her doctorate she lived for a while in Vanuatu and is still interested in religion and religious change in Melanesia.


Assistant  Editors

Nathan Alexander

History, University of St. Andrews, UK400480_321189627925542_1317679353_n(1)

Nathan is responsible for the commissioning and publication of research-related posts for the NSRN blog with an historical theme.

Nathan is a PhD student in the School of History at the University of St Andrews. His dissertation examines the racial thought of British and American atheists, agnostics, and freethinkers from c. 1850 to 1914. He is also a co-founding director of the International Society for Historians of Atheism, Secularism, and Humanism. For more information about Nathan, visit his university website or Academia.edu page.

Katie Aston

Anthropology, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK

Katie provides editorial support and review editing services for the NSRN blog.

In 2015, Katie completed her PhD, ‘Living without God’ at Goldsmiths College, University of London.  This was an ethnographic study of nonreligious and secular material cultures. She is currently lecturing part time at Goldsmiths, teaching modules ‘Anthropology of Religion’ and ‘Ideology and the Secular’. She also Lectures at University of Worcester in the sociology department. For more information about Katie visit her Academia.edu page or her university website.

Josh Bullock

Sociology, University of Kingston, UKJosh Bullock Photo

Josh is responsible for the publication of upcoming events to  NSRN online, and the commissioning of event reports for the NSRN blog.

Josh is a PhD candidate in Sociology at the University of Kingston London. He completed his BA Hons (Media, Cultural Studies and Sociology) at the University of the West of England and his MSc at Bristol University (Social and Cultural Theory). His doctoral research is to deepen public understanding of the recent phenomenon of godless congregations, using the Sunday Assembly London to develop broader understandings of the nature of belief, community, belonging, wonder and atheist identity. Josh studies under the supervision of Doctor Sylvia Collins-Mayo, Doctor Sonya Sharma and Professor Basia Spalek. For more information about Josh visit his university website or his blog page.

Emilio Di Somma

Divinity, University of Aberdeen, UK

Emilio is responsible for the commissioning blog posts relating to political theology and philosophy of religion for the NSRN blog.

Emilio is a PhD Candidate in the department of Divinity, University of Aberdeen. He is currently working on the interpretation of the concept of ‘faith’ in the work of Charles Taylor and its representation in our contemporary society. His recent interests focus on analyzing the existence of relations of ‘faith’ in nonreligious and secular contexts.

Janet Eccles

Independent Researcher, UKJanet Eccles

Janet provides editorial support and review editing services for the NSRN blog.

Janet gained her PhD on Christian and disaffiliated women in 2010, as a mature student at Lancaster University UK, followed by a period as research associate on the Young Atheists Project. Now an independent researcher, she has published journal articles and/or book chapters on topics ranging from Christian women affiliates and disaffiliates and forms of nonreligion to multi-faith chaplaincy, Anglican monasticism and insider/outsider issues.  She is also part-time adult education tutor in Religious Studies in Cumbria.

Jade Jones

Strategic Studies, University of Aberdeen, UKJade-small

Jade is responsible for the commissioning of law-related blog posts for the NSRN blog.

Jade is an MSc student in Strategic Studies within the International Relations department at the University of Aberdeen. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Law at the Robert Gordon University. Following her Master’s degree, Jade hopes to work in professional research with universities or government bodies. Her research interests include religion within legal systems at a transnational level, the use of force, international human rights and military history.

Jonathan Jong

Anthropology, University of Oxford, UK

Jonathan is responsible for maintaining the lists of current researchers and postgraduate researchers in the NSRN Research Directories. If you think you should be listed, or know of others who have been omitted please do get in touch.

Jonathan is the Research Co-ordinator for the Ritual, Community, and Conflict project at the Centre for Anthropology and Mind, University of Oxford. Prior to this, he completed his PhD. in experimental psychology and philosophy of religion at the University of Otago, New Zealand, with a thesis entitled Scaring the bejesus into people: the effects of mortality salience on explicit and implicit religious belief. His research interests include the effects of ritual participation on social behaviour, the role of existential anxieties and cognitive biases in religious belief, the measurement of religious belief, and the philosophical relationship between naturalism and theism. More information about Jonathan’s work here.

Evelina Lundmark

Sociology, Uppsala University, Swedenevelina-small

Evelina is responsible for the commissioning of blog posts relating to sociology of nonreligion and secularity and the role of media for the NSRN blog.

Evelina is a doctoral student in the Sociology of Religion at Uppsala University. She writes about self-positioned de-converts and atheists perform identity in relation to their de-conversion narratives or coming out stories on the socio-technological platform YouTube using performativity and actor network theory. She has previously done research on atheism online, specifically on reddit.com/r/atheism where she used discourse theory in order to examine how /r/atheism users constructed religion and religious people. She has also collaborated with Alf Linderman on a study on how the Swedish Christian magazine Vår Lösen impacted the daily press during Anne-Marie Thunberg’s tenure as editor in chief. Before that she worked as a research assistant to Maria Liljas on the Camine project. Camine is a collaboration between Uppsala University and SLU and examines the modern graveyard in Sweden as a physical and existential space.

Scott Midson

Theology, University of Manchester, UKScott-small

Scott is responsible for the commissioning of NSRN blog posts relating to the relationship between religion and nonreligion.

Scott has recently completed doctoral studies at the University of Manchester. His thesis explored the notion of the ‘cyborg’ and the challenges that it poses to understandings of humans, assessed through theological anthropology. This investigation reflects his wider interests in theology and posthumanism, which spans to cover questions about popular culture, technology, religion, and secularity.

Stefania Palmisano

University of Turin, Italy and Lancaster spalmisa.fotografiaUniversity, UK

Stefania provides editorial support and review editing services for the NSRN blog.

Stefania Palmisano is Lecturer in the Sociology of Organization at the University of Turin, Italy, where she teaches the Sociology of Religious Organizations. She is Visiting Research Fellow, Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion in Lancaster University (UK). She also has been Visiting Research Fellow at the Department of Sociology in Boston University (USA). At the moment she is doing research on new monasticism and its relationship with monastic tradition. She is also editing a book in Italian on the study of relations between religion and economics. Recent publications include: Ambiguous Legitimation: Grassroots Roman Catholic Communities in Italy and Ecclesiastical Hierarchies (Temenos. Nordic Journal of Comparative Religion); New Monastic Organizations. Innovation, Recognition, Legitimation (Journal for the Study of New Religions); Catholicism and Spirituality in Italy, (Journal of Contemporary Religion).

Jesper Petersen

Religious Studies and Teacher Education, NTNU, Norway

Jesper is responsible for maintaining the NSRN’s dynamic directory of Resources for teachers and students of Nonreligion and Secularity. If you are aware of any omissions please do get in touch.

In 2011, Jesper defended his PhD thesis on modern Satanism entitled Between Darwin and the Devil: Modern Satanism as Discourse, Milieu, and Self, putting a provisional end to years of studying religious and nonreligious Satanists. He is currently an associate professor at the Programme for Teacher Education, NTNU, Trondheim, Norway, concentrating on social science and religious studies related to education, non-religion and alternative currents. He has published extensively on Satanism and controversial religions, but his research interests include religion and science, nonreligion and secularity, religion and popular culture, and the interface between education, methodology and theory. For a list of publications, see Christin; for contact, see academia.edu.

Fernande Pool

Anthropology, London School of Economics and Politics, UKFernande-small

Fernande is responsible for the commissioning of blog posts relating to South East Asia, Islam and secularism for the NSRN blog.

Fernande first completed a BA in Cultural Studies and a BA in Spanish language and literature at the Universiteit van Amsterdam, before proceeding with the MSc in Social Anthropology at the London School of Economics and Political Sciences (LSE). She has recently submitted her PhD thesis to the Anthropology Department at the LSE, with the title The ethical life of Muslims in secular India: Islamic reformism in West Bengal. The thesis seeks to explore the nature of ethical life of a marginalised minority. It focuses in particular on the everyday experiences and vernacular conceptualisations of secularism, and their relationship to the contemporary transformations in Islamic belief and practice. For more information, visit her Academica.edu page.

Francisco Santos Silva

Religious Studies, Universidade Nova de LisboaFrancisco-small

Francisco is responsible for the commissioning of the NSRN blog posts dealing with science and (non)religion.

Born in 1982 in Lisbon, Portugal, Francisco has a degree in Comparative Religions and Social Anthropology from the University of Manchester, UK, having an MA Religious Studies from the same university. He got his PhD in Religious Studies, also in Manchester, in 2009 and is now a researcher and Post-Doc student at the Center for Overseas History (CHAM) in the faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of Universidade Nova de Lisboa, in Lisbon, Portugal, where he has lectured on the Philosophy of Religion.

Amanda Schutz

Sociology, University of Arizona, USAIMG_0143

Amanda is a PhD candidate in sociology at the University of Arizona. Her research is motivated by interests in identity, deviance, social movements, and organizations. Her dissertation explores variation in nonreligious organizations (e.g., atheist, humanist, skeptic groups) in Houston, Texas, and what motivates nonbelievers to join such groups. To learn more about Amanda, visit her webpage at the UA School of Sociology.

Cristian Tudorache

Sociology, University of Aberdeen, UK

Cristian is responsible for the commissioning of Eastern Europe and social class related blogs posts for the NSRN blog.

Cristian is a Masters student in Sociology at the University of Aberdeen with an MA degree obtained from the same programme. His current research focuses on the experience of non-religious migrants within the UK. Currently he is applying for a PhD with a research proposal that will investigate the connection between neoliberalism and atheism in the Eastern European context.


Former Team Members

We are very grateful for the service of our former team members:

  • Anna Hennessey (Philosophy, California State University, Fresno, USA)
  • Bethany Tamara Heywood (Psychology, Queen’s University, Belfast, UK)
  • Lorna Mumford (Anthropology, University College London, UK)
  • Per Smith (Religious Studies, Boston University, USA)


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Page updated 7 February, 2016.