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I am interested in collaborating with scholars across the social sciences and humanities who have a regional interest in Turkey and the Middle East, or a general interest in contemporary Islam.

Research Interests

I am a social anthropologist looking at how Islam is lived in the contemporary world. I use immersive ethnographic fieldwork to explore Muslim engagement with major institutions of modernity such as secular politics, civil society, and scientific education. To date, most of my work has focused on Turkey and I have carried out extended fieldwork in various parts of the country and with different religious groups – namely, the Alevis (a large minority Muslim group) and the Gülen Movement (a religious-political organisation). In recent years I have been developing an emerging research interest in Islam in the UK.

I am interested in collaborating with scholars across the social sciences and humanities who have a regional interest in Turkey and the Middle East, or a general interest in contemporary Islam. I am also available for expert media consultations on religion and politics in Turkey. 

Latest / Proudest Achievement

In March 2019 I was awarded a research grant of £151,559 by the Templeton Religion Trust, for a project entitled “A Hermeneutics of Civic Engagement? Reading the Qur’an and Sunna in British Islam”.

The project will employ immersive ethnographic research methods to explore the ways in which Muslims in the UK read, digest and apply the teachings of their sacred texts – namely, the Qur’an and Sunna (the sayings, customs and example of the Prophet Muhammad). The focus of the investigation is on whether there is a connection between the interpretation of scripture and Muslim participation in British civil society. The project’s ethnographic approach to studying Muslim scripture holds considerable promise, and is an approach that has recently been used to good effect in the study of the Bible. We hope to improve understanding of the role of the Qur’an and Sunna in daily life, and to do this by gathering and analysing empirical data at a local level. The results of the project will be disseminated through peer-reviewed journal articles, conference presentations and research seminars in the UK, mainland Europe and the USA.

Further Information

Following my PhD, I was awarded a postdoctoral grant of £119,000 by the John Templeton Foundation, which I held from 2013-2015 in the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Bristol. The project was entitled “Cultural Contingency in the Science and Islam Debate: The Case of the Gülen Movement”. It resulted in my ethnographic monograph, The Gülen Movement in Turkey: The Politics of Islam and Modernity (London: IB Tauris, 2016), as well as various peer-reviewed journal articles. 

Other recent publications can be found here https://www1.chester.ac.uk/departments/theology-and-religious-studies/staff/caroline-tee

Contact 

Dr Caroline Tee

Senior Lecturer in Islamic Studies

Department of Theology and Religious Studies

Faculty of  Arts and Humanities

Email: c.tee@chester.ac.uk

Website: https://www1.chester.ac.uk/departments/theology-and-religious-studies/staff/caroline-tee