Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Berlin Institute for Islamic Theology

Dr. Ayşe Almıla Akca

Post-Doc Research Fellow

Head of the Junior Research Group


Office: Hannoversche Str. 6, 10115 Berlin, Germany

Telephone: +49 (0)30 2093-98065



Dr. Ayşe Almıla Akca studied Islamic studies and political science at Albert-Ludwigs-University in Freiburg before working as a research associate at the Academy of Rottenburg-Stuttgart Diocese in a project on interfaith and local dialogue formations of Muslim communities in Germany. She then worked at the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research in Braunschweig on the development of teaching materials regarding Muslim cultures. With a scholarship from the Hans Böckler Foundation, she completed her doctorate in Islamic Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin in 2018 which was honoured with the 2019 DAVO Dissertation Award. In this ethnography, Akca intensively examined forms of Islamic religious knowledge and associated actors at mosques in Germany, gender aspects of community life and intra-Muslim critiques of Islamic traditions. (It was published in 2020 with transcript Verlag under the German title Moscheeleben in Deutschland: Eine Ethnographie zu Islamischem Wissen, Tradition und religiöser Autorität, or “Mosque Life in Germany: An Ethnography of Islamic Knowledge, Tradition and Religious Authority”). Akca’s post-doctoral research project (Habilitation) focuses on the theoretical basis of practical theology in light of various forms of religious practice in Germany from the perspective of practice theory. Since 2019, she has been the head of the junior research group “Islamic Theology in Context: Scholarship and Society” at the Berlin Institute for Islamic Theology at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

Research project:
Islamic festivities, Muslim Environmentalism and Social Work: Approaches to a Theology of Practice (Working Title)

This research project, situated at the intersection of theology, ethnography and cultural studies, investigates forms, ascribed meanings and discourses regarding Islamic religious practices among Muslims in Germany and the discursively linked countries of reference. It adopts a practice-theory perspective in analysing selected religious practices such as practices in Ramadan, environmentalist practices, and practices of social work. The research has an explicit focus on religious activities and practices that to date have scarcely been perceived or studied as such. Beyond the act of practising religion on a prescribed occasion, the project views religious practices as habitual, embodied forms of religiosity, hold together by implicit knowledge and socially shared meanings Therefore, the research investigates concrete doings and sayings of people, aspects of rituals (prayers, Qur’ān recitations, shared meals, etc.), and communality.  Leading research questions are related to thereligious meanings ascribed to these practices, the relation between practice and religious norms, and to the issue of how practices guide norms and vice versa. .  The research objective is to make a theoretically and empirically sound analytical contribution to the concept of religious practice in Islamic theology.