Jasper, Alison

Senior Lecturer in Religion


Current Research Projects:

1          Religious Education in secondary schools and higher education in the UK.

My colleague Dr John I’Anson (Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Stirling) and I are working to identify new directions of travel in relation to RE; a vision of programmatic change that we hope has implications for both research and educational practice. The intention is to offer a distinctively educational account providing new critical, ethical and experiential insights within a field that in recent years has been foreclosed by the existing settlement – or what we call the official account of religious education – OARE.


Relevant recent publications:

  • John I’Anson & Alison Jasper: July 2011. “‘Religion’ in educational spaces: Knowing, knowing well, and knowing differently.” Arts and Humanities in Higher Education: An International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice 3: 295-314.
  • Alison Jasper: 2015. “Womanspirit still rising? Some Feminist Reflections on ‘Religious Education’ in the UK.” Feminist Theology 23 (3): 240-253.
  • Alison Jasper: 2015. “RE/TRS is a Girl’s subject: Talking about Gender and the Discourse of ‘Religion’ in UK Educational Spaces.” Feminist Theology 24(1): 68-78.


2          Women and ‘religious’ agency.

Until recently feminist scholarship has tended to identify ‘religion’ or ‘the spiritual’ within a ‘religion/secular’ binary, as a mechanism for limiting women’s agency which is seen as a posture of resistance to dominant male-normative frameworks and institutions. However there is growing recognition that these identifications may in fact be viewed as positive and significant by women, thus challenging understandings of agency in these terms. I am exploring these themes through a consideration of women’s spiritual life-writing with colleagues from Stirling (Elizabeth Anderson), Glasgow University (Heather Walton, Anna Fisk) and Lancaster University (Dawn Llewellyn).


Relevant recent publication:

  • Alison Jasper: Because of Beauvoir: Christianity and the Cultivation of Female Genius, Texas: Baylor University Press, 2012.
  • Heather Walton: Not Eden: Spiritual Life Writing for this World, London: SCM Press, 2015
  • Dawn Llewellyn: Reading, Feminism, and Spirituality: Troubling the Waves (Breaking Feminist Waves), AIAA, 2015.



3          Scottish Women on a Mission (SWOAM)

With colleagues Dr Michael Marten and Dr Rajalaksmi Nadadur Kannan, I am researching women who were involved in the missionary work of the Scottish Episcopal Church and the Church of Scotland in the first half of the 20th century, or in the work of fund-raising for this. You can read more about the on-going project by clicking on these links:


https://ScottishWomenOnAMission.wordpress.com 2. Twitter:https://twitter.com/Scottish_WOAM 3. Facebook:http://facebook.com/ScottishWomenOnAMission


Relevant recent publication:

Michael Marten: Attempting to Bring the Gospel Home: Scottish Missions to palestine, 1839-1917 (International Library of Colonial History), I B Tauris, 2005.

I currently supervise a Masters student working on the changing attitude of women to body building and the space of ‘the gym.’ I have previously supervised PhD work to completion on: the German feminist theologian, Dorothee Soelle,; Jungian analysis of Goddess traditions in Christian and pre-Christian Europe; Shame and the Church (with particular emphasis on the experience of women in the ‘Magdalene Laundries’ of the 19th and 20th centuries); sexual ethics in American Churches of the far right.

To see all my blog postings on the Critical Religion website, click here. Please contact me directly using the form below if you would like to discuss supervision in any of these areas.