Values as our New Religion

Linda Woodhead

In Britain and the US, more and more people identify as having no religion. Yet having strong values is seen as more important than ever. Professor of Religion and Society Linda Woodhead discusses and critiques the liberal, moral and religious landscape.

  • Linda Woodhead
    Linda Woodhead

    Linda Woodhead is Distinguished Professor of Religion and Society at Lancaster University, and is the co-founder of the Westminster Faith Debateswith former Home Secretary Charles Clarke.


About the Course


Values are what hold societies together. Yet it isn't always easy to see what those values actually are or how they're changing all around us. Not only can our own values be opaque to us, organisations actively practice deceit around communicating their values. Few employers live up to the values they espouse in mission statements and founding myths. In an increasingly secular and hypocritical Britain, Linda Woodhead helps us navigate the new (and sometimes contradictory) values vying to fill the gap left by religion.

How did Britain get to its current state of value turmoil? Why do different generations struggle to empathise with one another and how can we better listen to one another? How and why is value gendered? And what does Rihanna have to do with millennial value formation?


By the end of the course, you will have learned:

  • What the three major ethics determining British values today are
  • The overlooked reason why churches have really started to fail
  • How the NHS came to be a sacred symbol of British identity
  • How to reflect on your own values
  • What millenials and baby boomer women have in common
  • The four steps to finding out an organisation's real values


As part of the course there are in-video quiz questions to consolidate your learning.

IAI Academy courses are designed to be challenging but accessible to the interested student. No specialist knowledge is required.


About the Instructor

  • Linda Woodhead

    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’.

Course Syllabus

  • Part One: The Values of Britain
    Values have floated free from traditional religion but serve many of the same purposes – identity, social cohesion, stability, a compass, discipline. Woodhead draws on extensive research to outline our new sacred values.
  • Part Two: Critique of the New Values
    What are the foundations of these new values, and are they sustainable? Woodhead assesses the manifestations of post-Christian morality.