Stephen Pihlaja 
/'stiːvən 'pihlaija/

Hi there, my name is Stephen and I'm an author and academic researching and teaching at Newman University in Birmingham (UK). My work focuses on the dynamics of discourse, or language in use, particularly in online interaction around religious issues. I analyse discourse to understand how people present themselves and their beliefs to diverse audiences, and how technology changes not just the presentation of belief, but how and what people believe. To do this, I employ different methods of discourse analysis to investigate metaphor, narrative, and antagonism in interaction.

My first book, Antagonism on YouTube was published by Bloomsbury in 2014 and my second book, Religious Talk Online was published in 2018 with Cambridge University Press. My newest book, Talk about Faith, will be released early in 2021 on CUP. I've co-authored a book called Cognitive Linguistics and Religious Language: an Introduction, with colleagues in Japan which will also be coming out in 2021.

I've also edited Analysing Religious Discourse (2021, CUP), and special issues of Language and Literature and Metaphor and the Social World and co-edited the Routledge Handbook of English Language StudiesMy edited collection Contemporary Media Stylistics with Helen Ringrow came out in Spring 2020 with Bloomsbury. I am Book Reviews Editor for the Journal of Language and Discrimination

Book launch

 19 Feb 2021

Please join us for our book launch on 7 March 8AM EST/1pm GMT/10PM JST hosted by the Humanities Research Centre at Newman University.

 Link for the Zoom meeting: Everyone is welcome!

Analysing religious discourse

 2 December 2020

More than three years in the making, my book Analysing Religious Discourse with contributions from great colleagues, friends, and yes, even family, is now available for preorder! At a hefty 349 pages, this book will be an essential read for anyone working on religious language and discourse. 

Board of Governors

 26 November 2020

I've been elected Chair of the Board of Governor's at St Michael's primary school in Bartley Green (although my name is still badly misspelt on the site, I promise it's actually me!). It's a challenging role to be sure, but I've been learning quite a bit about primary education in England. Looking forward to being increasingly involved in local life in local community life in Bartley Green. 

Extract of new book

12 November 2020

CUP has posted a pdf of the first few pages of my new book if you're interested:

This is a link to order the book: