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Durham University

Department of Theology and Religion

Current Postgraduate Research Students

Mr Laurens De Rooij, MA, BA, AHEA

Contact Mr Laurens De Rooij

Biography

Twitter: @LaurensdeRooij

New Publication: Religious Transformation in Modern Asia. Edited by David Kim.

Laurens was born in Tiel, The Netherlands and lived there until he was nine when he moved to the area around Cambridge, UK, and lived there until he was 14. He completed his secondary school education back in the Netherlands before moving to Leuven, Belgium to study at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. There he completed a BA in Theology and Religious Studies (2010) and an MA in Theology and Religious Studies, specialising in Islam (Cum Laude, 2012).

He wrote his Master's thesis on Tariq Ramadan and Islam in the West. Debating whether according to Tariq Ramadan a ‘western’ Islam is possible or only an Islamisation of western culture is possible? With a concluding section that compared Tariq Ramadan’s work to that of Bassam Tibi. His supervisor for that work was Dr. Stef Van den Branden.

During his time at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium he also wrote two Bachelor theses, one discussing the relationship between, Theology & Praxis: The relationship between the Vatican and liberation theology as following the instructions of 1984 & 1986, with Prof. Johan de Tavernier as supervisor. This followed up from an earlier piece on Karl Marx and his work, as used within liberation theology and more specifically the work of Alistair Kee. This work was supervised by Prof. Jacques Haers, SJ.

Since March 2013 Laurens is a very active researcher and contributor for the academic website euro-islam.info. On its webpage www.euro-islam.info an active network of researchers and scholars (who conduct comparative research on Islam and Muslims in the West) disseminate key information to politicians, media, and the public. This is sponsored by the GSRL Paris/CNRS France and Harvard University. With over 50,000 unique visitors each month, the site has grown into the most reliable online reference for Islam in Europe.

Next to this Laurens is the post-graduate convenor for the Islam, Modernity and Law research centre at Durham University. In addition to this he is a committed member of the Organising Committee for ASREC EUROPE whose inaugural conference he has helped organise and has been key to hosting it in Durham in September 2014. ASREC Europe was created following fruitful discussions and collaborations at the ASREC (The Association for the Study of Religion, Economics, and Culture) annual conference in 2013.

Laurens spent time in the spring of 2013 researching South-East Asian Islam and teaching on Islam in the West and Social Scientific Methods for studying Islam at the Graduate School of the Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University in Jakarta, Indonesia. His reserarch then took him to the United States for a period as visiting scholar and researcher in the fall semester of 2013 at the Religion Department at Duke University in Durham North Carolina, USA. It was here that Laurens had the opportunity to develop his thoughts on Islamic Studies further engaging with students and faculty under the supervision of Ebrahim Moosa. His period here allowed him to meet and discuss ideas and reflect with students and staff of both Duke and the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Aftert this fellowship had ended he was a visiting researcher and scholar at the Centre for Religion, Media and Culture in the Journalism & Mass Communication Department at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado, USA in the spring semester of 2014. His fellowship here allowed him to conduct his own independent research, as well as working with esteemed colleagues such as Stewart Hoover and Nabil Echchaibi.

He is also committed to the excellence in teaching by completing Durham's Learning and Teaching Award (DULTA) in 2014 making him an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Current Research

Laurens is currently a doctoral candidate and will be finishing his dissertation in the autumn of 2014. His dissertation will examine how non-Muslim people in Britain interpret news reports about Islam and Muslims.

This will be an interdisciplinary study that will discuss the issue of media reports about Muslims and Islam whilst drawing upon areas such as hermeneutics, media studies, philosophy of identity and religious studies. The research will hope to garner a greater understanding into the way the individual understands and interprets media reports related to Islam as well as the effect a media report can have on the way it is perceived and received.

Presentations

Presentations and Public events Invited to speak at:

'Dealing with cultural baggage: Similarities and differences found in Istanbul, Amman and Tehran.', St. Chad's Research Forum, Durham, UK, 2012.

'Construction of opinion and the effect of media portrayals: Non-Muslim interpretations of Islam and Muslims following their portrayal in the British media', ‘Encounters’ Theology and Religion Postgraduate Research Day, Durham University, UK, 2013.

'News media consumption in Britain and its effect on Muslim identity construction and public and private practices', Afghan Womens Outreach Programme Conference, London, UK, 2014.

'Islamic Identity in the Secular Environment of Post-Colonial Indonesia', Korean Association of Religious Studies, Seoul, South Korea, 2014.

Presentations given

'Lifting the veil on the subjectivity involved in objectively reporting Qur’anic and Islamic themes and topics in the British media.', St. Chad's Research Forum, Durham, UK.

'The representation of the Qur’an and its themes by the British media', International Quranic Studies Symposium, “The Quran in a World of Challenges”, Oxford, UK.

'The subjectivity involved in objectively reporting themes and topics in the media', Kyoto University-Durham University Joint International Symposium 2012: Emergence and Feedback in Physical and Social Systems, Kyoto, Japan

'Looking Behind the Mirror: An analysis of the reception of media reports and the consequences for the understanding of Islam in Britain', The International Conference on Contemporary Philosophy of Religion, Tehran, Iran.

'Lifting the Veil: An Analysis of the Influence of the Media on the Treatment of Islam and Muslims in Britain and the West', ASREC 2013, Association for the Study of Religion, Economics, & Culture Twelfth Annual Conference, Arlington, Virginia, USA

'Identity and Media Portrayals: Religious migrants living in diaspora and their relationship with media.', Annual Conference of the Global Studies Association, University of Roehampton, London, UK.

'Legally Recognised Islamic Education in British Higher Education as the locus of both recognition and integration.', Collaborative partnerships between universities and Muslim institutions: dismantling the roadblocks, University of Birmingham, UK.

' Multicultural society and the increasing reaching back to Christianity and its heritage in the populist rhetoric of right-wing political figures and groups in Europe', Sacred & Secular: Researching the Role of Religion in Contemporary Europe, University of Leicester, UK.

' Legally recognised Islamic education in European education systems as the locus of both recognition and integration.', RE21 Conference, University College Cork, Ireland.

'News Media Consumption in Britain and Its Effect on Muslim Identity Construction and Public and Private Practices', Everyday Life Practices of Muslims in Europe, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

'Islam in the British education system as the locus of both recognition and integration.', Socrel/HEA Teaching and Studying Religion symposium Islam and the University Curriculum, London, UK.

' The media and its effect on religious identity construction in light of globalisation and cosmopolitanism.', Media and Religion: The Global View conference, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA.

Publications

Journal Articles

'Looking Behind the Mirror: An analysis of the reception of media reports and the consequences for the understanding of Islam in Britain', 2015. (Forthcoming, Journal of Arab and Muslim Media Research)

‘The effect of social class on the religious practices of Muslims in Britain and the United States of America’, 2015 (Forthcoming, Social Compass)

‘Where now?’ Critical Muslim, no. 10: The War in Syria (2014), p 171-178.

’Tariq Ramadan and Islam in Europe.’ Critical Muslim, no. 14: Radical Muslim Thinkers (2015).

'Lifting the veil on the subjectivity of objective reporting of the Qur’an and its themes by the British media', 2015. (Forthcoming)

‘The Convergence of Religion, Politics and Ethnicity in the Responses to ‘Zwarte Piet’ and ‘Sinterklaas’ by the Africana Diaspora of the Netherlands and Belgium’, 2015 (Forthcoming, Journal of Africana Religions).

Edited Book Sections

'Many in One: Malaysia’s Religious Pluralism behind Growth and Development on Economic and Political Levels', in 'Religious Transformation in Modern Asia: A Transnational Movement', ed. by Kim, D. (Leiden: Brill, 2015), p 233-249.

'The King and his Cult: Thailand's Monarch and the Religious Culture ', in 'Religious Transformation in Modern Asia: A Transnational Movement', ed. by Kim, D. (Leiden: Brill, 2015), p 274-296.

'Islamic identity in the secular environment of Post-colonial Indonesia ', in 'Religious Transformation in Modern Asia: A Transnational Movement', ed. by Kim, D. (Leiden: Brill, 2015), p 195-213.

'News Media Consumption in Britain and Its Effect on Muslim Identity Construction and Public and Private Practices', in Everyday Life Practices of Muslims in Europe, ed. by Leman, J., Toguslu, E. and Özdemir, S. ( Leuven University press, 2015).

Encyclopeadia Entries

"Liberation Theology" (with Joanildo Burity) and "Transnational Culture", "Stereotyping" & "Stereotype Threat" (with Nabil Echaibi) and "Television", "National Football League (NFL)" & "ESPN (Entertainment and Sports Programming Network)" (with Stewart M. Hoover) and "Buddhism", "Frequent Flyer Programs" & "World War II- Effects on Immigration" (with Zsoka Koczan) and "Islam" (with Sophia Shafi) In Encyclopedia of Economics and Society, edited by Frederick F. Wherry and J. Geoffrey Golson: SAGE Reference, 2015

Research Interests

  • Religious Studies
  • Islamic Studies
  • Interreligious/Interfaith Dialogue
  • Anthropology of Religion
  • Sociology of Religion
  • Hermeneutics
  • Religion and Media
  • Philosophy of Identity
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Television
  • Media Studies
  • Religion and Praxis
  • Weak Theology
  • Humanism