Niels Valdemar Vinding

Niels Valdemar Vinding

Associate Professor

Member of:

    From early 2021, I continue my research as associate professor and research leader with a Sapere Aude grant from the Independent Research Fund Denmark. The project is called 'Producing Sharia in Context' and it demonstrates how sharia, framed as Islamic law, ethics and practice and observed amongst Muslims in Denmark and Europe, is substantially to be understood as a product of its context.

    In addition, my primary research is on Islam and Muslims in Denmark and Europe. Muslims have quickly to become the second largest religious community in Denmark and many other of the European countries. Here I investigate how Muslims are organizing and building sustainable, institutionalized structures. It is all about establishing professionalism, integration, representations and a continious negotiation of positions, ressources and status.

    Closely connected to this research there is plenty of occasion to work on a number of related issues; law and religion, religion and politics, history of Christianity and Middle East studies. I will gladly give a talk, a class or sound counselling if needed, and I would love to advice on papers and theses, if relevant to my reserach interests.

    Current research

    From 2021 to 2024, I will be leading a project called 'Producing Sharia in Context' which is made possible with a Sapere Aude grant from the Independent Research Fund Denmark. The project investigates how sharia is to be understood and observed as a product of its context. 

    Read more about the Sapere Aude project here.

    From 2017 to 2020, I did my research as part of the project 'Danish Mosques – Significance, Use and Influence,' sponsored by the Independent Research Fund Denmark. My subproject focuses on mosque leadership and power relations between mosques in Denmark. 

    Read more about 'Danish Mosques – Significance, Use and Influence' here.

    From 2014 to 2018, I conducted research in a project called, ‘Imams of the West,’ which was a qualitative sociological interview study of between 50 and 60 imams in Europe, Australia and North America (‘the West’) in order to document how the Islamic religious institution of the imam changes in the challenging encounter with a global, multicultural and post-migration ‘Western’ world.

    The three main research objectives are to produce;

    1. A clear sociological and Islamic studies profile of the institution of the imam in the Western context, in both its archetypical, classic form and in all its modern and contemporary varieties. Simply put; who is the imam and what does he think and do?
    2. An in-depth analysis of the reflection by the interviewees on the challenges facing Islam in the West today, leading to an assessment of the theological innovations of Islam in the West. Where is Islam headed and how does it respond to the West?
    3. A comparative analysis of the developments, positions and reflections of the imams in their geographical spread. While migratory, political, economic and historical circumstances diverge in the individual countries and states, there is a comparable and ongoing discourse about Islam and imams on all three continents.

    In the spring of 2018 the first results are published in Hashas, M., de Ruiter, J.J., & Vinding, N.V. (eds), The Imamate in Western Europe, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press

    Read more about the project here.


    Primary fields of research

    Islam in Europe and Denmark. Relations between religion, state and church. Organised and institutionalized Islam. Sharia and religious law. Multiculture, plurality of religions and multiculturalism. Imams in Europe, America and Australia.


    Islam and Imams in Denmark and Europe, MA, Spring 2017
    Islam in the 20th and 21st Century, MA Fall 2016
    Lived Islam, MA, Fall 2016
    Islamic Law, MA, Spring 2015
    Islam in Europe and Denmark, MA, Spring 2015
    History of Christianity, BA Fall 2014
    Classic Islamic Civilisation, BA Spring 2014

    Selected publications

    1. Published

      Når Medierne Sætter Dagsordenen

      Borberg, Vibeke (ed.), Borberg, Hjarn von Zernichow (ed.), Suhr, C. (ed.) & Vinding, Niels Valdemar (ed.), 2021, 1 ed. København: Djøf Forlag. 354 p.

      Research output: Book/ReportAnthologyResearchpeer-review

    2. Published

      Sharia og Samfund: Islamisk Ret, Etik og Praksis i Danmark

      Petersen, J. & Vinding, Niels Valdemar, 5 Oct 2020, 1 ed. København: Samfundslitteratur. 288 p.

      Research output: Book/ReportBookResearchpeer-review

    3. Published

      Annotated Legal Documents on Islam in Europe: Denmark

      Vinding, Niels Valdemar, 6 Aug 2020, Brill. 151 p. (Annotated Legal Documents on Islam in Europe, Vol. 18).

      Research output: Book/ReportBookResearchpeer-review

    4. Published

      Imams in Western Europe: Developments, Transformations, and Institutional Challenges

      Vinding, Niels Valdemar (ed.), de Ruiter , J. J. (ed.) & Hashas, M. (ed.), 15 May 2018, Amsterdam University Press. 430 p.

      Research output: Book/ReportAnthologyResearchpeer-review

    5. Published

      Danish Regulation of Religion, State of Affairs and Qualitative Reflections

      Vinding, Niels Valdemar & Christoffersen, Lisbet, Aug 2012, 1 ed. København: Det Teologiske Fakultet. 235 p.

      Research output: Book/ReportReportResearch

    Selected prizes

    1. Sapere Aude Forskningsleder

      Vinding, Niels Valdemar (Recipient), 20 Nov 2020

      Prize: Prizes, scholarships, distinctions

    2. Lærebogsprisen

      Vinding, Niels Valdemar (Recipient) & Pedersen, J. (Recipient), 26 Oct 2018

      Prize: Prizes, scholarships, distinctions

    3. Guldmedalje, Københavns Universitet

      Vinding, Niels Valdemar (Recipient), 12 Nov 2009

      Prize: Prizes, scholarships, distinctions

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