PETER B. CLARKE was Professor Emeritus of the history and sociology of religion at King's College (University of
London) and professorial member of the Faculty of Theology at the University of Oxford, where he lectured in anthropology of religion. He was
also a member of Common Room at Wolfson College (University of Oxford), and an Honorary Professor at the University of Birmingham.
Professor Clarke studied history at Oxford University and researched for his doctorate at King's College London (University of London). He had taught at universities in Africa, including the University of Ibadan Nigeria, Brazil and Japan. He joined King's College London in 1978 where he was the Professor of the history and sociology of religion in the Department of Theology & Religious Studies, and where he founded the 'Centre for New Religions' in 1982.
His academic work consisted of teaching the anthropology of religion at Oxford University, where he was also supervising a number of D.Phil (Ph.D) theses.
Prof Peter Clarke's research field covered the study of modern Islam in Europe and Africa, new religious movements (NRMs) from a global perspective with special reference to modern Japanese religions outside Japan and African-Brazilian religions, and religions and the environment. He founded Journal of Contemporary Religion in 1984 and is its co-editor with Dr Elisabeth Arweck.
Prof Clarke wrote and edited more than 20 books, including Religion Defined and Explained (MacMillan, 1993) with co-author Professor Peter Byrne, and contributed numerous articles to learned journals. The most recent publications include the editing of and contributions to: Encyclopedia of New Religious Movements (Routledge, 2006); New Religions in Global Perspective (Routledge, 2006); Japanese New Religions in Global Perspective (Curzon, 2000); A Bibliography of Japanese New Religious Movements: With Annotations (Japan Library, 1999); New Trends and Developments in African Religions (Greenwood, 1998); New Trends and Developments in the World of Islam (Luzac Oriental, 1997); New Religious Movements in Western Europe: An Annotated Bibliography (Greenwood, 1997) with Dr Arweck; and Japanese New Religions in the West (Japan Library, 1994) with co-editor Jeffrey Somers. He edited (2009) with Peter Beyer The World's Religions: Continuities and Transformations (Routledge) and was sole editor of The Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of Religion (2009/ paperback edition 2011) for Oxford University Press. He was the author of 'The Origins, Scope, and Spread of the Millenarian Idea' in the Oxford Handbook of the Reception History of the Bible' (ed. Michael Lieb et al, 2011).
PBC March, 2011