Linda Woodhead is Distinguished Professor of Religion and Society, and has been awarded an MBE for her services to higher education. In 2007, Linda became the director of the Religion and Society research programme, heading 265 academics in the field. This culminated in the Westminster Faith Debates which she co-founded with then-Home Secretary Kenneth Clarke. The debates featured Tony Blair, Rowan Williams and Richard Dawkins. The head of the Royal Society of Arts, Matthew Taylor, described Linda as ‘one of the world's leading experts on religion’.
Linda's latest book, That Was the Church that Was: How the Church of England Lost the English People, asks how religion in England became such a ‘toxic’ brand. The book contains candid accounts of many church figures and has caused some controversy. She writes, ‘Like a cargo cult, [the Church] assumed that if you aped the jargon and waved some of the symbols, success and prestige must naturally follow.’