Saleema Burney

Colleges, School and Institutes

Research interests

My research interests include ‘lived religion’ in the West, how individuals negotiate religious identities in post-secular societies and developing research approaches that break down misrepresentation and binary modes of thinking in the popular imagination. I believe that robust research on the role of religion in society can inform public policy and perceptions. To this end, I have devoted a significant part of my PhD study to studying the everyday, inter-community interactions between London residents originating from different cultural and religious backgrounds.

I have successfully conducted three independent studies:

  • ‘British Muslim Women Between Community, Country and God: A Case Study of Successful Identification’ (PhD fieldwork 2015- 2017);
  • ‘Matrimony, Matriarchy and the Quran: A Case Study of Muslim Women in West London’ (M.A., Distinction 2012);
  • ‘Nizari Ismailism, Past and Present: The London Community’ (B.A. Hons., First Class 1994).

Currently, I am working on a project entitled 'Science and the Transmission of Islamic Knowledge in Britain’ (Rice University, 2020-2023). This project will address a significant gap in the current sociology of science and religion by investigating how the relationship between Islam and science is understood and discussed by those involved in the transmission of Islamic knowledge and the establishment of Islamic authority in Britain. The project will be informed by my continuing interest in documenting unheard views, breaking down stereotypes fed by misinformation and studying lived realities for religious individuals in liberal societies.

Education/Academic qualification

  • Doctor of Social Science, SOAS, University of London

    British Muslim Women Between Community, Country and God: A Case Study of Successful Identification