Dr Stephen Jones

Dr Stephen Jones

Department of Theology and Religion

Contact details

ERI Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I am a sociologist of religion specialising in the study of Islam and Muslims in the UK and religious and non-religious publics’ perceptions of science.

Feedback and office hours

By appointment


  • PhD
  • MRes
  • MGeog (Arts)


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.


  • Political Islam for the MA in Islamic Studies

Postgraduate supervision

Islam in the West, sociology of religion, religion and public policy, religion and politics, liberalism and religion, science and belief

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 a specific interest in the negotiation of the Islamic tradition in secular contexts, including debates about Islam and multiculturalism, secularism, liberalism and rationalism. In recent years my research has focused on public interactions between science and (non-)religion, both in the UK and, more recently, internationally.

I have a background in sociology and have worked on a wide range of social research projects, most looking at different aspects of religion and public policy. 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, 2018–2012), and will begin work as Primary Investigator on a new British Academy-funded research project, ‘The Nature of Contemporary Islamophobia’, in spring 2020.

Other activities

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


Highlight publications

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

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

Recent publications


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.

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

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.

View all publications in research portal