Dr Stephen Jones

Dr Stephen Jones

College of Arts and Law

Contact details

ERI Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I am a sociologist specialising in the study of Islam and Muslims in the UK and religious and non-religious publics’ perceptions of science. My research has focused on themes including Islam and liberalism; Islamophobia in contemporary Britain; Muslims’ perceptions of science; and religious diversity and inclusion in STEMM institutions and disciplines

Feedback and office hours

During this academic year all my office hours will be online and by appointment. My usual office hours are 13:00-14:00 on Wednesdays and Thursdays.


  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, 2020
  • PhD, Sociology, 2010 (University of London)
  • MRes, 2006 (University of London)
  • MGeog (Arts), 2000 (University of Leeds)


I completed my doctorate in Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London, and subsequently held positions at York St John University, the University of Bristol and Newman University and before joining the University of Birmingham as Lecturer in 2018.


I teach on LM Approaches to Islamic Studies; LM Political Islam; LI Science and Belief in Society; and LC Lived Religions.

Postgraduate supervision

Islam in the West, the governance of Islamic institutions, sociology of religion, religion and public policy, religion and politics, liberalism and religion, science and belief, science and Islam, STEMM and religious diversity

Find out more - our PhD Theology and Religion  page has information about doctoral research at the University of Birmingham.


Sociology, Science and Belief

Fundamentally, I am interested in the formation and public negotiation of religious and non-religious moral convictions. I have two areas of expertise linked to this core interest. One is in the negotiation of the Islamic tradition in Western contexts, including debates about Islam and multiculturalism, secularism, liberalism and rationalism. The other is in religious and non-religious publics’ perceptions of science, and how these perceptions impact upon diversity and inclusion in STEMM disciplines and institutions, as well as in wider society.

I have a background in sociology and have worked on a wide range of social research projects, most associated with one or the other of these two specialisms. These include: ‘Religious Literacy Leadership in Higher Education’ (HEFCE, 2009–2011); ‘Muslim Participation in Contemporary Governance’ (ESRC/AHRC, 2010–2012); ‘Public Spirit’ (AHRC, 2012–2013); ‘Public Faith and Financial Services Industry’ (Barrow Cadbury Trust, 2014–2015); and ‘Science and Religion: Exploring the Spectrum’ (TRT, 2014–2017). I am presently Co-Investigator on a major 6 country multi-disciplinary study, ‘Science and Religion: Exploring the Spectrum Global Perspectives’ (TRT, 2018–2022) and Co-Primary Investigator on a new project developing the International Research Network for the Social Study of Science and Religion (TRT, 2019-2022). I am also Primary Investigator on the project 'Science and the Transmission of Islamic Knowledge in Britain’ (Rice University, 2020-2023) and a British Academy-funded Small Grant project entitled ‘The Nature of Contemporary Islamophobia’ (2020-2022).

Other activities

  • General Secretary of the Muslims in Britain Research Network (2017–present)


Highlight publications

Jones, S 2020, Islam and the Liberal State: National Identity and the Future of Muslim Britain. I.B. Tauris, London. <https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/islam-and-the-liberal-state-9781838605858/>

Jones, S, Elsdon-Baker, F, Catto, R & Kaden, T 2020, 'What science means to me: understanding personal identification with (evolutionary) science using the sociology of (non)religion', Public Understanding of Science, vol. 29, no. 6, pp. 579-596. https://doi.org/10.1177/0963662520923110

Jones, S, Catto, R & Kaden, T (eds) 2019, Science, Belief and Society: International Perspectives on Religion, Non-Religion and the Public Understanding of Science. Policy Press, Bristol.

Jones, S, Catto, R, Kaden, T & Elsdon-Baker, F 2019, '‘That’s how Muslims are required to view the world’: race, culture and belief in non-Muslims’ descriptions of Islam and science', The Sociological Review, vol. 67, no. 1, pp. 161-177. https://doi.org/10.1177/0038026118778174

Jones, S, O'Toole, T, Nilsson DeHanas, D, Modood, T & Meer, N 2015, 'A ‘system of self-appointed leaders'? Examining modes of Muslim representation in governance in Britain', British Journal of Politics and International Relations, vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 207-223. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-856X.12051

Recent publications


Catto, R, Jones, S, Kaden, T & Elsdon-Baker, F 2019, 'Diversification and internationalization in the sociological study of science and religion', Sociology Compass, vol. 13, no. 8, e12721, pp. 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1111/soc4.12721

Kaden, T, Jones, S, Catto, R & Elsdon-Baker, F 2018, 'Knowledge as explanandum: disentangling lay and professional perspectives on science and religion', Studies in Religion-Sciences Religieuses, vol. 47, no. 4, pp. 500–521. https://doi.org/10.1177/0008429817741448

O'Toole, T, Meer, N, Nilsson DeHanas, D, Jones, S & Modood, T 2016, 'Governing through prevent? Regulation and contested practice in state–Muslim engagement', Sociology, vol. 50, no. 1, pp. 160-177. https://doi.org/10.1177/0038038514564437

Jones, S 2015, 'The ‘metropolis of dissent’: Muslim participation in Leicester and the ‘failure’ of multiculturalism in Britain ', Ethnic and Racial Studies, vol. 38, no. 11, pp. 1969-1985. https://doi.org/10.1080/01419870.2014.936891

Jones, S 2013, 'New Labour and the Re-Making of British Islam: The Radical Middle Way and the “Reclamation” of Islam', Religions, vol. 4, no. 4, pp. 550-566. <https://www.mdpi.com/2077-1444/4/4/550/pdf>

Dinham, A & Jones, S 2012, 'Religion, Public Policy and the Academy: Brokering Public Faith in a Context of Ambivalence', Journal of Contemporary Religion, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 185-201. https://doi.org/10.1080/13537903.2012.675687

Jones, S & Clarke, D 2006, 'Waging Terror: The Geopolitics of the Real', Political Geography, vol. 25, no. 3, pp. 298-314. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.polgeo.2005.12.009

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Jones, S & Hamid, S 2018, United Kingdom. in O Scharbrodt (ed.), Yearbook of Muslims in Europe: 2017. vol. 10, Brill, Leiden, pp. 703.

Jones, S 2015, Religious Literacy in Higher Education. in A Dinham & M Francis (eds), Religious Literacy in Secular Society: Theories, Policies and Practices of Faith in the Public Realm. Policy Press, Bristol, pp. 187-206.

Jones, S 2012, Knowledge, Tradition and Authority in British Islamic Theology. in M Guest & E Arweck (eds), Religion and Knowledge: Sociological Perspectives. Ashgate, Aldershot, pp. 133-148.

Commissioned report

Jones, S & Unsworth, A 2022, The Dinner Table Prejudice: Islamophobia in Contemporary Britain. University of Birmingham, Birmingham. <https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/documents/college-artslaw/ptr/90172-univ73-islamophobia-in-the-uk-report-final.pdf>

View all publications in research portal