skip to content

Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme

 
A white woman with a headscarf looks at the camera. To her left are the words "Being German".

Every year more and more Europeans are embracing Islam. In Germany, it is estimated that there are now as many as 100,000 converts, with similar numbers in France and the United Kingdom. What stands out about recent conversions is that they take place at a time when Islam is increasingly seen as contrary to European values.

The Being German, Becoming Muslim project explores how Germans come to Islam within this antagonistic climate, how they manage to balance their love for Islam with their society's fear of it, how they relate to immigrant Muslims, and how they shape debates about race, religion, and belonging in today’s Europe.

This project is funded by the German Academic Exchange (DAAD), the Fulbright Foundation, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and the American Academy in Berlin, Berlin Prize.

Principal Investigator

Professor Esra Özyürek

Publications

Esra Özyürek, Being German, becoming Muslim, Princeton University Press, 2015, 192 pages. (https://press.princeton.edu/books/hardcover/9780691162782/being-german-b...)

Esra Özyürek, “Convert Alert: Turkish Christians and German Muslims as Threats to National Security in the New Europe” Comparative Studies in Society and History 51(1): 91-116, 2009.

Esra Özyürek, “The Politics of Cultural Unification, Secularism, and the Place of Islam in the New Europe” American Ethnologist, 32:4, 509-12, 2005.

Esra Özyürek, “Giving Islam a German Face” In Moving in and out of Islam, edited by Karin van Niewkerk. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2018.

Esra Özyürek, “Turkish Converts to Islam and German Converts to Christianity Challenge National Identities” In Religion, Identity, and Politics: Germany and Turkey in Interaction, edited by Haldun Gülalp and Gunther Seufert. London: Routledge, 2013.

Esra Özyürek, “Converted German Muslims and Their Ambivalent Relations with Born Immigrant Muslims” in Islamophobia/Islamophilia: Beyond the Politics of Enemy and Friend, edited by Andrew Shryock. Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 2010.

Media

"Becoming Muslim", Cam Magazine 92, April 2021. With a companion collection of photography, "Konvertieren" by Lia Darjes. 

“Inheritance and Belief” The Immanent Frame: Secularism, religion, and the public sphere. Social Science Research Council, July 3, 2018.

“Converts often Play the Role of the Mediator” L.I.S.A Wissenschaftsportal Gerda Herkel Stiftung, March 29, 2018.

“Muslims are already German” Qantara.de. 2016.

“Konvertiten erfahren besonders viel Abneigung” Der Spiegel. September 14, 2016.

Latest news

Fostering dialogue, making connections: reporting from Inter Faith Week in Cambridge

21 November 2022

Dozens of people from the University of Cambridge and beyond joined the Cambridge Interfaith Programme for a series of events to mark Inter Faith Week (13-20 November 2022)...

CIP at the UNAOC Global Forum: Dr Marie Chabbert chairs discussion

17 November 2022

UN Interfaith Ambassador Dr Marie Chabbert is travelling to Morocco for the 9th United Nations Alliance of Civilisations (UNAOC) Global Forum. She will chair discussion...

CIP on Religion and the State (November 2022)

17 November 2022

CIP Academic Director Professor Esra Özyürek is pleased to participate in "The future of European religion-state regimes: a normative inquiry, with special reference to the...