He is a graduate in sociology from Queen's University of Belfast (BA, PhD). He was a co-founder (in 1998) of the zero28 Project, a faith-based peace and justice initiative in Northern Ireland. He has written and spoken widely on religion and conflict, art and spirituality and film, with his work appearing in The Independent, The Irish Times, Sojourners, and Third Way Magazine, among others.
He appears regularly on BBC Radio, and he and Jett Loe co-present a film review podcast called 'The Film Talk'.
Anti-Catholicism in Northern Ireland, co-authored with John D Brewer (Palgrave, 1998)
How Movies Helped Save My Soul: Finding Spiritual Fingerprints in Culturally Significant Films (Relevant Books, 2003)
Religion, Civil Society, and Peace in Northern Ireland, co-authored by John D Brewer and Francis Teeney (Oxford University Press, 2011)
Cinematic States (Burnside Books, 2013)
Chapter in: Researching the Troubles: Social Science Perspectives on the Northern Ireland Conflict (Mainstream, 2004)
Chapter in: Artisans of Peace: Grassroots Peacemaking Among Christian Communities (Orbis, 2003)
Article on 'Free Presbyterianism' in The Encyclopaedia of Ireland (Gill & Macmillan, 2004)