Sociology, Socio-Theology Scholar in Residence July-October 2009, August 2010 Great Britain e-mail

Keenan William

William Keenan is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Nottingham Trent University, England. His research project in Salzburg explored the intellectual position of atheism in relation to the postmodern debates on ‘the return of the sacred’. Has atheism enough in the spiritual and moral tank to supply meaning in a ‘meaningless world’? How renewable are the mystical traditions in late modern contexts?

Inspired by the socio-theologies of David Martin, Peter Berger and Paul Evdokimov, together with intellectual resources within the renewal tradition of the church, Keenan juxtaposes the moral framework of secular humanism with the spiritual cosmos of religious faith. He argues that the latter provides a radical, that is, foundational, alternative to the widespread ‘crisis’ claim that ‘the end is nigh’.

Two further projects were undertaken by Keenan at the ifz: 1. The construction of a bricoleur’s eye-view of images of renewal. Drawing upon his expertise in visual sociology, Keenan explores ‘representations of hope’ within contemporary consumer culture; 2. A case study account of founder-follower tension in the renewal of religious life.