Marten, Michael

Leader-Elect, Iona Community

Michael Marten

Michael Marten

Most recently a Visiting Research Fellow at Heythrop College, University of London, I am now Leader-Elect of the Iona Community, having previously been at the University of Stirling, the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London), the Institute of Advanced Studies (University of Pavia), and the University of Edinburgh. Before returning to academia with the writing of my PhD, I worked mostly in the NGO sector in the UK and the Middle East, including a period as a lobbyist for the UK churches on Israel/Palestine, Iraq and Sudan. I have also worked in business contexts in Scotland and the Middle East.

In terms of academic discipline, I am primarily a historian. My main research interests centre on European colonial engagement overseas, particularly in the Middle East. I have published widely on European missionaries in the Middle East, and in 2015 I received recognition for this work in being elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

Al-Aqsa Mosque, East Jerusalem

Al-Aqsa Mosque, East Jerusalem

My scholarly work seeks to address questions of culture, gender, politics in various contexts, with a particular focus on cross-cultural communication processes and connections between communities.

I have also worked on contemporary understandings of religion and politics, including political conflict transformation. I have interests in the ways in which concepts of ‘religion’ are used not only historically but also in the contemporary political sphere, in both the Middle Eastern and European contexts. To this end, I also write occasional comment pieces for Ekklesia, the UK’s premier religion think-tank, of which I am also an Associate. My membership of the Iona Community is also an expression of a desire to integrate the categories of ‘religion’ and ‘the public sphere’ in meaningful ways.

I have an academic website of my own that includes course information (especially for my undergraduates), but is also the home to an occasional blog about my research; this is linked to a Twitter account: @DrMMarten.

To see all my blog postings on the Critical Religion website, click here.

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