SJ cropI am a sociologist of religion and Lecturer in the Department of Theology and Religion, University of Birmingham, UK. I completed my doctorate in Goldsmiths, University of London and have held research positions at York St John University, Newman University and the Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship, University of Bristol, where I am a Research Affiliate.

My primary area of research interest is in the public negotiation of ultimate beliefs. Most of my research has focused on the Islamic tradition in the UK, although I have written about and researched a variety of subjects relating to the study of religion and belief, including:

  • Religion, social change and national identity
  • The political representation of religious (especially Muslim) minorities
  • Religion and higher education
  • Anti-Muslim prejudice
  • Liberalism, multiculturalism and public religion
  • Strategies for the prevention of violent extremism in the UK

Between 2014 and 2017 I was part of a research team looking at how publics understand the relationship between science and religion, and am currently Co-Investigator on a follow-on project examining perceptions in Spain, Argentina, Germany, Sri Lanka and Australia. In 2019 I will publish Science, Belief, Society: Religion, Non-religion and the Public Understanding of Science with Policy Press (with Tom Kaden and Rebecca Catto) and in 2020 will publish Islam and the Secular State: National Identity and the Transformation of Muslim Community in Britain with I.B. Tauris.

My research has been covered in The Times Higher Education and The Daily Telegraph, and I have advised BBC Radio 4’s The Today Programme on their coverage of local politics and multiculturalism. I also edit, and occasionally blog on, Public Spirit, a forum of religion and public policy supported by the AHRC and based at the University of Bristol.