Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Berlin Institute for Islamic Theology

Dr. Aydın Süer

Post-Doc Research Fellow


Office: Hannoversche Str. 6, 10115 Berlin, Germany

Telephone: +49 (0)30 2093-98091



Dr. Aydın Süer studied Sociology and Social Sciences at Trier University and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. After his graduate degree with a thesis “The Discursive Construction of Boundaries: Turkey as Europe’s Cultural Other”, he completed his doctorate at the Berlin Graduate School of Social Sciences (BGSS). His dissertation, whose German title translates as “Discourses of Decline: Reflections on the Self and the Alien in Ottoman and Turkish Travelogues”, was published by VS Springer Verlag in 2019. He is currently a research associate at the Berlin Institute for Islamic Theology and is conducting his post-doc research project on art as an Islamic religious practice as part of the junior research group Islamic Theology in Context.
Together with Prof. Naika Foroutan, Aydın Süer is a co-principle investigator of the research project “German Islam as an Alternative to Islamism? Responses to Islamist Threats in Muslim Associations, Communities and Lived Experiences” at the BIM (Berliner Institut für empirische Integrations- und Migrationsforschung).


Research project:
Art as a Form of Islamic Religious Practice

Using the conceptual tool-kit of sociological practice theory, this research project is an attempt to analytically describe Muslim-religious forms of artistic and cultural expression and situate them in relation to forms of religious practice more generally. Despite the growing interest in artistic activities and programmes among Muslims in Germany, especially among the younger generation, this field remains largely unaddressed by both Islamic theology and Islamic studies. This is surprising considering that the actors themselves view their encounters with or personal involvement in various art forms as genuinely religious experiences. Thus, literature, music, painting, theatre, film and dance become sites of religious production of meaning.

Building on a praxeological investigation of Muslim religious practices in art and culture – two areas that theology and the sociology of religion both situate outside religiousness – this project aims to shed light comprehensively on processes of transformation within the practice formation of religion. The project will systematically endeavour to avoid the pitfalls and shortcomings of a universalistic concept of religion and thus also move away from an essentialist understanding of Islam as a religion.