Niels Valdemar Vinding

Niels Valdemar Vinding


My primary research is on Islam and Muslims in Denmark and Europe. As a relatively new religious minority from the middle of the 20th century and onwards, 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; sharia, law and religion, religion and politics, history of Christianity and Middle East studies.

I will gladly give a talk, a class or some sound counselling if needed, and I would love to advice on papers and theses, if relevant to my reserach interests.

Current research

Currently, my research is part of the project 'Danish Mosques – Significance, Use and Influence,' sponsored by the Danish Independent Research council from 2017 to 2020. 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. 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

    In what sense is Islamic religious law legally recognised in Denmark?

    Vinding, Niels Valdemar, 2020, In : NAVEIÑ REET: Nordic Journal of Law and Social Research. 9

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  2. Published

    Martin Luther og mødet med islam

    Vinding, Niels Valdemar, 1 Mar 2017, In : Religion. Tidsskriftet for Religionslærerforeningen for Gymnasiet og HF. 2017, 1, p. 38-48 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearch

  3. Published

    Islamforskning og Islamiske Studier på Københavns Universitet

    Vinding, Niels Valdemar, Oct 2016, In : Tidsskrift for Islamforskning. 2016, 1, p. 21-35 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  4. Published

    Muslim Positions in the Religio-Organisational Fields of Denmark, Germany and England

    Vinding, Niels Valdemar, 2013, København: Det Teologiske Fakultet. 279 p. (Publikationer fra Det Teologiske Fakultet; No. 42).

    Research output: Book/ReportPh.D. thesis

  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/ReportReport


  1. Guldmedalje, Københavns Universitet

    Vinding, Niels Valdemar (Recipient), 12 Nov 2009

    Prize: Prizes, scholarships, distinctions

ID: 13185733