Rearticulating Islam: A New Generation of Muslim Religious Leaders

Muslim religious authority structures are changing, in Denmark as well as globally. A new generation of Muslim religious leaders are facing particular challenges, possibilities and audiences, which demands a continuous rearticulation of Islam.

The research project Rearticulating Islam explores central aspects of this process by dealing with three questions:

  • How do Danish-speaking Muslim preachers and teachers articulate and embody Islam in religious discourse, and how can these expressions be understood?
  • Why do Scandinavian Muslims pursue Islamic education abroad, and what impact does this have?
  • How does the Danish public sector accommodate and use Muslim religious actors, practices and norms?

The project’s researchers will investigate these questions through e.g. interviews, document analyses and participant observation. 










Lyngsøe, Maria Lindebæk (2022). Engaged subjects: Danish Muslim women's Islamic educational activities. PhD dissertation, Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen.

Lyngsøe, Maria Lindebæk & Simon Stjernholm (2022). ”Nearness to God: Danish Muslims and Taqwa-infused faith frames.” Contemporary Islam, 16(2–3), 173–191. 

Lyngsøe, Maria Lindebæk (2022). “Digitizing the Field of women's Islamic Education. Changing Infrastructures during Coronavirus lockdown in Denmark.” Approaching Religion, 12(1), 184-200. 

Netterstrøm, Kasper Ly. (2021). Denial and Pragmatism: Islam and the Danish State, Journal of Religion in Europe, 14(1-2), 133-161. doi: 

Netterstrøm, Kasper Ly & Matlak, Michał (2023). Between Anti-Islamic Sentiment and Liberal Secularism: Muslim Organizations and the EUJournal of Church and State, Volume 65, Issue 1, Pages 46–66.

Stjernholm, Simon. Att höra röster: Tre faser av lyssnande, Religionsvidenskabeligt Tidsskrift 70, 1–14. 

Stjernholm, Simon. Brief Reminders: Muslim Preachers, Mediation and Time, in Muslim Preaching in the Middle East and Beyond: Historical and Contemporary Case Studies, edited by Simon Stjernholm and Elisabeth Özdalga. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2020, 132–151. 

Stjernholm, Simon: DIY Preaching and Muslim Religious AuthorityJournal of Muslims in Europe, vol. 8, 2, pp. 197–215, 2019.

Stjernholm, Simon. Islamisk uddannelse med globale ambitioner, in Religion i en globaliseret verden, edited by Margit Warburg & Annika Hvithamar. Aarhus: Forlaget Univers, 163–178. 

Stjernholm, Simon: Muslim Religious Oratory on Swedish Public Service Radio, Journal of Contemporary Religion, vol. 34, 1, page 57-73, 2019.

Stjernholm, Simon (2020). Muslim Youth, Education, and Islam in Britain, Journal of Muslims in Europe 9 (3): 413-422. doi:  

Stjernholm, Simon: Sounding Sufi: Sufi-oriented messages on Swedish Public Service Radio. In Piraino F, Sedgwick M, editors, Global Sufism. Hurst & Co. London. 2019

Stjernholm, Simon & Elisabeth Özdalga (eds), Muslim Preaching in the Middle East and Beyond: Historical and Contemporary Case Studies, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2020. 

Stjernholm, Simon (2021). NÄRMRE ALLAH: Muslimska predikanter om privat duʿa. Tidsskriftet Antropologi, (84).












Project workshop: Islamic Learning and European Muslims, University of Copenhagen, 28–29 November 2019.

Panel on the topic: Continuations and Disruptions in Muslim Religious Leadership in Europe at the European Association for the Study of Religion (EASR) annual conference in Tartu, Estonia, on 25–29 June 2019.

Online conference panel, 19 March 2021. Project participants will present their research as part of the BRAIS (British Association for Islamic Studies) 2021 Online Series. The title of the panel is "Teaching and Learning Islam: Case Studies from Denmark, Sweden and Germany". 

Online research seminar, 4 May 2021. The title of this seminar is "Muslim Women's Engagement in Islamic Educational Activities". In addition to project participants and advisory board members, a group of international researchers from Britain and The Netherlands will participate. Only for invited participants. 

PhD Fellow Max Lasa has been awarded a research grant from the Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul, allowing him a three-month stay at the institute (if possible due to the pandemic situation). 

Production of podcast series. During the autumn of 2022, we jointly produced a four-episode podcast series, which was made public in January 2023. 

PhD defense. On 16 December 2022, Maria Lindebæk Lyngsøe successfully defended her dissertation Engaged Subjects: Danish Muslim Women’s Islamic Educatoinal Activities. The assessment committee consisted of: Professor Catharina Raudvere, University of Copenhagen (chair); Professor Christian Suhr, Aarhus University; and Senior Researcher David Kloos, Royal Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV) in Leiden.

Two individual paper presentations at the Deutscher Orientalistentag (DOT) conference at the Freie Universität Berlin, 12–17 September 2022.

Project workshop: “Negotiating Relevant Islamic Knowledge for European Muslims”, at the Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul, 16–18 March 2022.

International academic seminar on Islamic education, University of Copenhagen, 7 June 2022.

Conference panel on the topic “Higher Islamic Education and a New Generation of Muslim Religious Leaders in Europe”, at the International Conference of the German Middle East Studies Association for Contemporary Research and Documentation (DAVO), University of Osnabrück, Germany, 16–18 September 2021.

Conference panel on the topic “Speaking for Islam in Europe: Local and Transnational Dimensions”, at the European Association for the Study of Religion (EASR) annual conference in Pisa, Italy, 30 August to 3 September 2021.











Name Title Phone E-mail
Stjernholm, Simon Associate Professor +4551300701 E-mail