Professor Alison Scott-Baumann


Alison Scott-Baumann is Professor of Society and Belief in the Centre of Islamic Studies in the Near and Middle East Department at SOAS and her work has two interrelated and also distinct research strands, social justice and philosophy. Her research has recently been recognized and rewarded by world-class research grants from Leverhulme (2012-13), ESRC (2012-13) and AHRC (2015-18).

With regard to social justice she is best known for her ongoing work on Islam in Britain that dates back to 1997. She has been consulted by government (2007 Siddiqui Report; 2008-10 Review of imam training) and has received HEA funding on several occasions.

In 2015 AHRC awarded Alison a major three year grant to research Re/presenting Islam on campus at SOAS, with an interdisciplinary academic team: Dr. Sariya Cheruvallil-Contractor (Coventry), Dr. Mathew Guest (Durham), Dr. Shuruq Naguib (Lancaster), Dr. Ashraf Hoque (postdoctoral researcher SOAS) and Mr. Kareem Darwish (administrator SOAS). This project will seek to redress the imbalance in current approaches towards Islam and towards the role of universities in a democratic state.

Alison applies philosophy to social justice issues, regarding Islam, higher education and feminist debates. She is also known internationally for her philosophical research and was awarded a Leverhulme Fellowship for original research on Ricoeur, Kant and Sartre (2012-13). She works extensively on Ricoeur, and is an invited member of the Conseil Scientifique of the Fonds Ricoeur in Paris, and board member of three international Ricoeur groups. She publishes regularly on Ricoeur and speaks frequently at international conferences in Europe and USA.

She is a Visiting Researcher in the Politics, Philosophy and Religion Department at Lancaster University and a Visiting Researcher at VU Amsterdam University in the Centre for Islamic Theology.

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Dr. Mathew Guest


Dr Mathew Guest is Reader in the Sociology of Religion within Durham University’s Department of Theology and Religion. He has published widely on the sociology of Christianity in late modern western cultures, focusing especially on the evangelical movement and religion within university contexts. He is the author or editor of six books, including Evangelical Identity and Contemporary Culture: A Congregational Study in Innovation (2007), Bishops, Wives and Children: Spiritual Capital Across the Generations (2007, with Douglas Davies) and Christianity and the University Experience: Understanding Student Faith (2013, with Kristin Aune, Sonya Sharma and Rob Warner). His research is bound together by a concern for the major institutional phenomena that frame how religious identities are perpetuated, sustained and subverted within the British context.

He was Principal Investigator on the ‘Christianity and the University Experience in Contemporary England’ project (funded by the AHRC and ESRC), and on an HEA funded project on ‘Gender and Career Progression in Theology and Religious Studies’; he is co-investigator on ‘Chaplains on Campus’, a project funded by the Church Universities’ Fund, as well as being co-investigator on the ‘Re/presenting Islam on Campus’ project. In 2013 he was visiting research fellow at the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society at the University of Victoria, British Columbia.

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Dr. Shuruq Naguib


I received my PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Manchester, Department of Middle Eastern Studies. My research covers two key strands: the classical and pre-modern intellectual and textual traditions, particularly Qur’an hermeneutics and ritual law; and Muslim responses to modernity, with a focus on how twentieth century and contemporary Muslim women scholars read the tradition to intellectually and socially develop their religious authority as knowers of the tradition. I have written on ritual purity, metaphor in post-classical Qur’an interpretation and Arabic rhetoric, feminist hermeneutics of the Qur’an, and contemporary female exegetes and jurists in Islam. In recent years, I have developed an interest in Islam in Britain, co-authoring a study of change in conceptions of God in modern Britain and leading a research project entitled Muslim Women Reading Religious Texts in Britain and Egypt (2010-2011). The project investigated how core Islamic texts are read by ‘ordinary’ Muslim women in light of their contexts. I have also been involved in supporting Islamic studies in the UK through my work with HEFCE’s Islamic Studies Network until 2012, and currently through my capacity as interim Co-chair of the British Association of Islamic Studies (BRAIS).

Research Interests: Classical Exegesis of the Qur’an (Intertextuality and Hermeneutics); The Representation of Women in the Qur’an and Exegesis;RitualEthics in Islam, Genderin Islamic thought; Contemporary Women Interpreters of the Qur’an (Muslim Feminism); Dis/continuities between traditional and contemporary Islamic thought; Bint al-Shati’: the First Sunni woman exegete and hermeneutician.

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Dr. Sariya Cheruvallil-Contractor


Sariya Cheruvallil-Contractor’s research focuses on the lived experiences of religion or belief in modern Britain, with particular emphasis on Islam, feminism, inter-faith relations and democratic methodologies that seek to work with and for research participants. She comes to Coventry University from the University of Derby where she worked a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Society, Religion and Belief.

She completed her fully-funded PhD at the University of Gloucestershire in 2010. Her doctoral research entailed a feminist giving of voice to young Muslim women in Britain. She began her post-doctoral career at the University of Derby as Project Researcher and Qualitative Lead on a three-year AHRC & ESRC Religion & Society programme project, Religion and Belief, Discrimination and Equality in England and Wales: Theory, Policy and Practice, 2000-2010. She subsequently led her own ESRC funded project on Collaborative Partnerships between Muslim institutions and HE. In 2015, she and three other colleagues (SOAS, Durham and Lancaster) have been awarded AHRC funding for a three-year project Islam on Campus which will examine narratives and the sources of narratives around Islam on British university campuses, with regard to radicalisation, gender and inter-faith relations. She is the Web Officer for the British Association for Islamic Studies.

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Dr. Aisha Phoenix


Aisha Phoenix is the Post-Doctoral Researcher on the AHRC-funded ‘Re/presenting Islam on Campus Project’, which is led by the Principal Investigator Professor Alison Scott-Baumann. Aisha has an ESRC-funded PhD in Sociology from Goldsmiths, University of London, Masters in Social Research (Goldsmiths) and Social Anthropology of Development (SOAS), a Postgraduate Diploma in Newspaper Journalism (City) and a BA in Arabic and Modern Middle Eastern Studies (Oxford). Her PhD research was on how Palestinian university students narrate their lives under occupation. Before returning to academia, Aisha worked as a media and advertising reporter at Bloomberg News in London.

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Mr. Kareem Darwish, Project Co-ordinator


This will be updated soon.

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