Dr Ian Draper BA (Bristol UWE), PGCE, MA PhD (Birmingham)

Dr Ian Draper

Department of Theology and Religion
Honorary Research Fellow in Islam and Contemporary Religion

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

My primary research and writing is in the area of contemporary Sufi movements and western esotericisms, particularly from an ethnographic perspective and especially in the British context. I am currently working for a publishing house while studying part-time for an MA in Buddhist Studies.  


  • BA (Hons) in Humanities (Bristol UWE)
  • MA in Theology (Islam) (Bham)
  • PGCE Secondary RE (Bham)
  • PhD in Islamic Studies (Bham)


I have a BA in Humanities from the University of the West of England (Bristol) and an MA and PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Birmingham; my doctoral thesis was on ethnography and contemporary Sufism in Europe. I worked from 1995 until 2016 at the University of Birmingham, initially as a Research Assistant on the British Muslims Monthly Survey, and then subsequently as a Research Fellow on an ESRC project on Transnational Sufism and as a Teaching Fellow. I was appointed as Lecturer in Islam and Contemporary Religion from 2006, teaching on a range of modules at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, including: Sufism, Contemporary Sufi Movements, CyberReligion, New Age & Alternative Spiritualities, and Buddhism. From January 2017 until December 2018, I worked as a part-time adviser/consultant on an educational project at the Université Mohammed VI Polytechnique in Morocco. I am currently engaged with an academic publishing project while completing an MA in Buddhist Studies at the University of South Wales.


I am currently researching and investigating the practice of magic and healing within Muslim communities in Britain.