Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Berlin Institute for Islamic Theology

Buesra Oenay M.A.

Associated member


Buesra completed her master’s with a thesis whose title translates as “A Suitcase of Memories for Elderly Migrants with Dementia: Development and Conception.” From August 2019 to October 2020, she was a doctoral candidate in the junior research group Islamic Theology in Context: Scholarship and Society at the Berlin Institute for Islamic Theology. Her dissertation project, currently paused, deals with the religious practice of Muslim older adults. Buesra Oenay is presently an associated member of the junior research group. Her research focuses are in the following areas: age(ing) and religious practice, migration, participation and social inequality and ageing bodies and identity development.

Research project:
Religious Practices among Muslim Older Adults

Research background: The ageing of people with Muslim faith presents the society in Germany with new opportunities and challenges. This research in the context of gerontology and theology is primarily focused on the biological and cognitive affects of religion and systematically incorporates previously absent approaches from practice sociology. This is the lacuna to be addressed by the doctoral research project “Religious Practices of Muslim Seniors in Germany” within the junior research group “Islamic Theology in Context: Scholarship and Society”.

Research aim: The research aim is to analyse the religious practices of older Muslims in light of possible age-related changes. Core questions include the role played by religion in the daily lives of Muslim older adults and the degree to which age-related biological, cognitive, social and ecological changes affect Muslim religious practice.

Target group and study design: The project’s target group is people over age 65 who observe a Muslim religious practice. In addition, other members of the subjects’ social milieus are also included in the data collection (e.g. family members, institutions). The aim is to conduct field work comprised of open-ended participant observations, ethnographic interviews and expert interviews.