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Staff Profile

Dr Sharon Jagger

Senior Lecturer

Sharon Jagger

My background is in Women's Studies, focusing on feminist theory and religion. Having obtained my PhD from Centre for Women's Studies at the University of York, I began teaching on various MA and BA programmes at both the University of York and at York St. John. I began my career at York St. John in earnest as a researcher working within the Religion and Philosophy department, where I now teach full time. Over the last few years my research has included collaborate work with Helen Turner (Associate Head, Art) in which we have brought music, performance and ideas around implicit religion together.


I currently teach on the following modules:

  • Religion, Gender and Sexuality MA
  • Studying Religion BA
  • Sociology of Religion BA
  • Religion and Politics BA
  • Foundations of Theology BA
  • Work Related Learning BA

I also supervise postgraduate students and am interested in the supervision of doctorates related to religion, gender and class, particularly using qualitative methods.


My PhD research focused on the experience of women priests in the Church of England and the ways in which they negotiate their belonging. As a feminist researcher, I am interested in the spiritualities of women, particularly when the masculinised symbol system of monotheism is challenged. This has led to externally funded research projects with clergy and lay women, focusing on class and gender. 

I have an ongoing research interest in how goddess spirituality is connected to feminism and activism and how women express notions of the feminine divine. I am also in a long-term collaboration with Helen Turner (Associate Head, Art) exploring how audience participation is connected to implicit religion and the meaning-making of performance as a ritual.

Professional activities

I am the Chair of the ethics panel for Humanities and the departmental lead for REF. I am a member of the British Sociological Association, SOCREL, and the Society for the Study of Religion.


Book Chapters

The Leveraging of Difference – book chapter in Women in Music Production edited by L. King and R. Hepworth, published by Routledge, 2020.

Journal Articles

Pollution and Witchcraft of Female Clergy. Discover Society, March 2017. Available at:

#metoo hits the Church of England. The Conversation, 06 November 2017. Available at:

Bishops Fumble Over Same-Sex Marriage. The Conversation 15 February 2017. Available at:

Could Feminists Save the Anglican Church?  The Conversation 18 January 2016. Available at:


York St. John research chaplaincy support of trans and non-binary staff and students at Anglican foundation universities. York St. John Blog. May 2019

Challenging the Church’s Menstrual Shaming with Poetry. The F-Word, April 2018. Available at:

Is Wonder Woman a Feminist?  The F-Word, April 2018. Available at:

Conference papers

November 2019 Faith Lives of Women and Girls Symposium Taboo: Menstruating at the Altar

June 2019 School Chaplains Conference Trans and Non-Binary Students and Staff and Chaplaincy Support Research Paper  

April 2019 British Sociological Association Conference Is the Church of England a Hostile Environment for Women Priests?

February 2019 Sisterhood in Action Conference, University of York The Trickster Priest: Resistances of Women in the Clergy

June 2018 York St. John University Research Lecture Series The Belonging of Women Priests in the Church of England

May 2018 York St. John Research Hub Ritual in Performance Practice.

March 2018 York Women’s Conference, York Constituency Labour Party An Introduction to Feminist Perspectives

July 2017 Auburn Seminary Colloquium, New York Trickster in Research Methodology

September 2017 Thresholds Conference, University of York. Women Clergy on the Edge of a Chthonic Breakdown: A Story of Liminality

June 2017 York Learning and Teaching Symposium, University of York Student Engagement Through Key Concepts

February 2017 Nordic Summer University Winter Symposium, Latvia Academy of Culture

Research as Performance: New Materialisms and Feminist Ritual

May 2017 Traversing Boundaries Conference, University of York Trickster Methodology

2017 Cultures of Collaboration, York St. John University Collaborative Practices: Performance as Research

December 2016 Mary Douglas’ Purity and Danger Symposium, University of York Embodying Pollution: The Case of Women Priests

May 2016 Sisterhood in Action Conference, University of York Organising Committee Methods as Activism: Interviews with women

February 2016 Futures: Life After Women’s Studies Conference, 2016 Activism Outside Academe

October 2015 Methods Conference, University of Sheffield Sexing the Focus Group: Discussing Rape Comedy

May 2015 Creative AHH Conference, Wales Pedagogy Techniques: Learning Through Performance Engagement

February 2015 Sisterhood in Action, University of York Sexing the Focus Group: Discussing Rape Comedy

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