Professor Martin Stringer was born in Tanzania, educated in South Yorkshire and undertook his first degree in Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester. Following a year in Tanzania he completed his PhD at the University of Manchester focusing on the way in which congregations understand their worship, and spent five years doing church related community work in Manchester’s eastern inner-city estates.
In 1993, Professor Stringer took up a lectureship in the sociology and anthropology of religion at Birmingham University and has maintained a constant interest in Christian worship, the development of congregational studies in the UK and the wider role of religion in British society. In October 2007 he was awarded a chair in Liturgical and Congregational Studies. During his 23 years at the University of Birmingham Professor Stringer was Head of Theology and Religion, Head of the College of Arts and Law and Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor with responsibility for the University's strategies for employability, valuing teaching, equality and diversity, Africa and community relations.
In 2015, Professor Stringer joined Swansea University with responsibility for Arts, Humanities and Social Science as well as Teaching and Learning across the University. Responsibilities within Strategic Development include leading on the University’s STEP4Excellence programme around student engagement, and the Go Beyond programme that is focused on curriculum development. External Relations roles include interactions with HEFCW, Welsh Government, the HEA, WISERD, South West Wales Reaching Wider Partnership as well as other key external stakeholders.
Professor Stringer’s own research is based on the anthropological methods of ethnography in detailed and extended studies of real life situations as a means to make sense of religious behaviour; he established and ran the Worship in Birmingham Project from 1998-2003. Key monographs include: Discourses on Religious Diversity (Ashgate 2013); Rethinking the Origins of the Eucharist (SCM 2011); Contemporary Western Ethnography of the Definition of Religion (Continuum, 2008); A Sociological History of the Christian Worship (CUP, 2005); and his ground-breaking On the Perception of Worship (1999).