Professor Jagbir Jhutti-Johal BA (UCL), DPhil (Oxford)

Photograph of Dr Jagbir Jhutti-Johal

Department of Theology and Religion
Professor of Sikh Studies

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I have been an academic at the University of Birmingham since 2002.  My teaching and research focuses on Sikh theology, inter-faith dialogue, gender inequality, Sikh identity in the diasporic community, racialization and mistaken identity and other contested issues that confront the Sikh community nationally and globally.  My work in the Edward Cadbury Centre for the Public Understanding of Religion looks at public policy, social and political engagement issues as they affect and are effected by the British Sikh community. 

I am a presenter on the Thought for the Day segment on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, and a board member and trustee on a number of organisations and am very involved in voluntary work within the community, especially around representation, gender and children issues.

I was awarded an OBE for services to Higher Education, Faith Communities, and the Voluntary Sector (2019).


I studied in the Department of Anthropology and History at University College London where I completed my undergraduate degree in Ancient History and Social Anthropology.  I then went to Oxford University where I completed my DPhil in Social Anthropology entitled A study of changes in marriage practices among the Sikhs of Britain.

Before coming to Birmingham in 2002, I was working at the University of Oxford has a Research Assistant on a project commisioned by the Department of Constitutional Affairs (now Ministry of Justice) looking at public law proceedings concerned with the care and protection of children focusing, in particular, on race and ethnicity in the Family Justice System.



  • Introduction to Sikhism
  • Lived Religion Birmingham and Beyond A and B
  • Dharmic Religions and Traditions
  • Placement ModuleReligion in Contemporary Society

Postgraduate supervision

I have supervised a thesis on
• Issues of Religious Diversity affecting Visible minority ethnic personnel in the workplace
• A historical and theological evaluation of the Sikh Gurdwaras Act, 1925
Currently supervising
• Religion and Development – Faith-based organisations in Bosnia and Herzegovina
• Sikh Identity and practice: Re-examining the reconstruction of Sikh Identity and practice during 1880-1886
• ‘Dharam Nibhoana: The Duty of a Sikh’

I am happy to supervise in a range of topics:

Sikh Studies
Ethnic Minorities, Religion and Law
South Asian Diasporas
Gender Studies
Religion, Racialization and Mistaken Identity
Religion in Contemporary Society
Religion and Peacebuilding

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


My main research areas:

  • Sikhs and the Law, especially with reference to the impact on identity
  • Gender Studies and Sikhi - focus on gender inequality and contemporary issues of such as female foeticide, sexual abuse and domestic violence
  • Racialization and mistaken identity post 9/11.
  • Sikhi and Science, especially questions about scientific advances in reproductive technologies, cloning and genetic engineering, but also how the body is viewed, especially within Sikhism.

Other activities


  • Co-Founder  Women’s Faith Forum
  • Steering Group Member of UK FORB Forum
  • Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology – Women’s Network
  • Trustee of Faith for the Climate
  • Interfaith Advisory Board Member for Ozanne Foundation
  • Sikh presenter on BBC Radio 4 Thought for the Day
  • British Sikh Report - Academic Advisor and Writer
  • Appointed Commissioner on the Commission on Religion and Belief in British Public Life: community, diversity and the common good) convened by The Woolf Institute, Cambridge (2013-15)
  • Board member - ‘The European Society for Intercultural Theology and Interreligious Studies’
  • Faith Advisor for the Faith in Birmingham Gallery Exhibition
  • Auckland Castle Faith Galleries Advisory Panel (County Durham)
  • West Midlands Area Ethnic Community Engagement Board Advisory Member
  • Family Justice Council Domestic Violence Working Group Was Working Group Member


  • Expert on Panel of Experts on Freedom of Religion and Belief - OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR)
  • Editorial Board Member Journal Sikh Formations: Religion, Culture, Theory
  • Editorial Board Member Journal Sikh Research Journal
  • Board member - ‘The European Society for Intercultural Theology and Interreligious Studies’


Recent publications


Jhutti-Johal, J & Singh, H 2019, Racialization, Islamophobia and Mistaken Identity: The Sikh Experience. Routledge Studies in Religion and Politics, 1st edn, Routledge.

Jhutti-Johal, J 2011, Sikhism Today. Continuum.


Gatrad, A, Jhutti-Johal, J, Gill, P & Sheikh, A 2005, 'Sikh Birth Customs', Archives of Disease in Childhood, vol. 90, pp. 560-563.

Jhutti-Johal, J, Brophy, J, Owen, C & Duncan, A 2003, 'Assessing and documenting child ill-treatment in minority ethnic households', Family Law, pp. 756-764.

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Jhutti-Johal, J 2017, Sikh Dharam. in VR Howard & RD Sherma (eds), Dharma: The Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Sikh Traditions of India. Library of Modern Religion, I.B. Tauris, UK.


Jhutti-Johal, J 2012, Sikhism and Mental Illness: Negotiating Competing Cultures. in D Cave & R Sachs Norris (eds), Religion and the Body: Modern Science and the Construction of Religious Meaning. Brill, pp. 235-255.

Jakobsch, D & Jhutti-Johal, J 2011, The Role of Women in their Religious Institutions: A Contemporary Account. in Sikhism and Women: History, Texts and Experience.

Jhutti-Johal, J 2010, Sikh Women's Voices. in DR Jakobsh (ed.), Sikhism and Women: History, Texts and Experience. Oxford University Press, pp. 234-251.

Jhutti-Johal, J, Johal, SS & Gatrad, AR 2005, The Sikh Grand Narrative. in Pallative Care Amongst South Asians.

Gill, P, Jhutti-Johal, J & Gumber, A 2004, Ethnic and cultural diversity. in Genetic Disorders of the Indian Subcontinent (by Kumar D).

Commissioned report

Commission on Religion and Belief in British Public Life 2015, Living with difference: community, diversity and the common good. The Woolf Institute, Cambridge. <>

Brophy, J, Jhutti-Johal, J & McDonald, E 2005, Minority ethnic parents, their solicitors, and child protection litigation. DCA Research Series 5/05.

Brophy, J, Jhutti-Johal, J & Owen, C 2003, Significant Harm: Child Protection in a Multicultural Setting. Lord Chancellor's Department Research Unit.

Other contribution

Jhutti-Johal, J 2007, What makes a 'Good City'? A Sikh Perspective: An extract was then published in the Birmingham Post..

View all publications in research portal


Sikhi in Contemporary Society

Sikhs and the Law, especially with reference to identity (legal cases protecting articles of faith; Census and fight for a separate Sikh Ethnic Tick Box)

Sikhs and Mistaken Identity (particular focus on anti-Sikh hate crime in the UK)

Gender Studies and the Sikh faith, focusing on gender equality/inequality and issues such as female foeticide and honour violence

Sikhi and Science, especially questions about scientific advances in reproductive technologies, cloning and genetic engineering, but also how mental health and how the body is viewed

Sikhs and Education - The growth of Sikh Faith Schools