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About Dr Caroline Tee

My research is interested in the diverse ways in which Islam is lived in the contemporary world. It focuses on the intersection between religion, democratic politics and other major institutions of modernity such as modern science, secular education, and civic engagement. I have carried out extensive ethnographic fieldwork over the course of six years in Turkey, and have published primarily on the subject of the Alevi minority and the socio-religious movement led by the US-based imam Fethullah Gülen. I am series editor (with Ashraf Hoque) for the Edinburgh Studies in Anthropology of Islam book series at Edinburgh University Press.

I also work on Islam in the UK and am currently Principal Investigator on the project ‘A Hermeneutics of Civic Engagement? Reading the Qur’an and Sunna in British Islam’, which is funded by Templeton Religion Trust between 2019-2023.

I joined the department in Chester in 2018, having previously held postdoctoral positions at the Universities of Cambridge and Bristol. My PhD in Social Anthropology (2012) was also undertaken at Bristol, and followed a MA in Islamic Studies (2008) in the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter.


Undergraduate modules:

  • TH4068 Global Islam
  • TH5065 Studying Contemporary Religion: Anthropological and Sociological Approaches
  • TH6069 Religion, Violence and Nationalism
  • TH6051 Dissertation

Postgraduate modules:

  • TH7059 Contemporary Islam
  • TH7025 Research Dissertation



  • Anthropology and ethnography of Muslim societies
  • Islam, politics and society in modern Turkey
    • Gülen Movement
    • Alevis
  • Ethnography of sacred texts

PhD supervision:

I welcome enquiries for research at doctoral level that relate to any of the above research interests, or from students wishing to explore other areas within the anthropology of Islam or the study of modern Turkey.



2019-2023 Templeton Religion Trust (£175,230)

‘A Hermeneutics of Civic Engagement? Reading the Qur’an and Sunna in British Islam’. Principal Investigator.


2013-15 The John Templeton Foundation (£119,473)

‘Cultural Contingency in the Science and Islam debate: The Case of the Gülen Movement’.

Main grant writer and full-time postdoctoral researcher.


2015-16 The Firebird Foundation for Anthropological Research ($10,000)

“The Oral Histories of the Alevis: The Çepnis of Western Anatolia”. Co-investigator with Dr David Shankland.


2015-16 British Academy Small Research Grant (£10,000)

“Saints and Followers: a comparative study of the distribution of Alevi ocaks in Anatolia”

Member of research team. PI, Dr David Shankland


2013-15 The Firebird Foundation for Anthropological Research ($10,000)

“The Oral History of the Alevis”. Co-investigator with Dr. David Shankland. 


2007-11 The Spalding Trust (£8,000)

MA and PhD tuition fees scholarship.


2009-11 University of Bristol Alumni Foundation (£1,800)

Academic bursary, Faculty of Arts


2008 Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter (£250)

‘The Tom Fattorini Award for Best Overall Performance in a M.A.’


2008 British Institute at Ankara (£500)

Small Research Grant for enrolement on “Türk Halk Edebiyatı” (Turkish Folk Literature) module at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul.


Elsewhere on the Web:

Published Work


2016 The Gülen Movement in Turkey: The Politics of Islam and Modernity (London: I.B. Tauris)

Edited Work

2023 (forthcoming) Tee, Caroline, Fabio Vicini and Philip Dorroll (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Religion in Turkey (NY and Oxford: Oxford University Press)

2019. Tee, Caroline and Hilary Marlow (eds.) “Qur’anic Hermeneutics and Modern Science” Special Issue of Journal of Qur’anic Studies (Edinburgh University Press).

Peer-reviewed journal articles

2019.      Tee, Caroline. “Creating Charisma Online: The Role of Digital Presence in the Formation of Religious Identity” in Journal of Contemporary Religion 34.1, pp.75-96.

2018       Tee, Caroline. “The Gülen Movement in Exile: The Dialogue Society in London and the Politics of Public Engagement”, in Politics, Religion and Ideology, vol.19 issue 1.

2014       Tee, Caroline and Shankland, David. “Said Nursi’s Notion of Sacred Science: Its Function and Application in Hizmet High School Education” in Sociology of Islam 1:3-4, pp. 209-232.

2013       Tee, Caroline. “The Sufi Mystical Idiom in Alevi Aşık Poetry: Flexibility, Adaptation and Meaning” in European Journal of Turkish Studies (Online publication date: 29-01-13).

2010       Tee, Caroline. “Holy Lineages, Migration and Reformulation of Alevi Tradition: A Study of the Derviş Cemal Ocak from Erzincan” in British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, vol 37(3), pp. 335-392.

Book chapters

2021       Tee, Caroline. “The Gülen Movement: Between Turkey and International Exile”. Islamic Sects and Movements (Brill Handbooks on Contemporary Religion series, eds. Carole Cusack and Benjamin E. Zeller) Leiden: Brill. 

2018       Tee, Caroline. “The Gülen Movement and the AK Party: The Rise and Fall of a Turkish Islamist Alliance” in Turkey’s July 15th Coup: What Happened and Why, (eds. M. Hakan Yavuz and Bayram Balcı) Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press. 

2014       Tee, Caroline. “On The Path of Pir Sultan? Engagement with Authority in the Modern Alevi Movement” in Contemporary Turkey at a Glance. Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Local and Translocal Dynamics (eds. F. Keyman, A. Kaya, O. Onursal, K. Kamp) Wiesbaden: Springer, pp.25-39.

2013       Tee, Caroline. “Seyfili Dede: The Life History of an Alevi Dede-Aşık” in Archaeology, Anthropology and Heritage in the Balkans and Anatolia: The Life and Times of F.W. Hasluck (ed. David Shankland) Istanbul: Isis Press, pp.155-169.

Other Articles/Blogs

2016       Tee, Caroline. “The Bible and Qur’an in the Light of Modern Science”. Guest blog post for Science and Religion: Exploring the Spectrum ( April 12, 2016.

2012       Tee, Caroline. ‘Derviş Cemal Ocak’ı: Batı Anadolu’da kutsal bir tarihi yeniden hatırlamak’ (The Derviş Cemal Ocak: Reclaiming a Sacred History in Western Anatolia), in Alevilerin Sesi 160. Sayı Özel Dosya: ‘Alevi Coğrafyası (The Voice of Alevis, Vol. 160, Special Issue: ‘Alevi Geography’).


2010       Turkish to English translation of Amed Gokçen’s, “Notes from the Field: Yezidism: A New Voice and an Evolving Culture in Every Setting” in British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, vol 37(3), pp. 405-427.


2015       Tee, Caroline. İren Özgür, Islamic Schools in Modern Turkey: Faith, Politics, and Education (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), reviewed in International Journal of Turkish Studies, vol. 21.

2013       Tee, Caroline. Hakan M. Yavuz, Towards an Islamic Enlightenment: The Gülen Movement (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), reviewed in American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences (AJISS), Winter 2013.



BA (Hons) (Dunelm); MA (Exon); PhD (Bristol); FHEA.