Universiteit Leiden

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Sara Bolghiran

PhD candidate

S. Bolghiran
+31 71 527 2727

Sara Bolghiran is a PhD Candidate in Islamic Studies at the Leiden University Centre for the Study of Religion and Society, and a Research Associate at the Leiden Delft Erasmus Centre for the Governance of Migration and Diversity. Starting from fall 2024, Sara will also be a Visiting Researcher at Oxford University's Department of International Development. Prior to joining LUCSOR, Sara has been a Visiting Researcher at Yale University's Department of of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, and is part of a Working Group on Decoloniality in Europe at Yale's Macmillan Center. Sara obtained her BA from Leiden University College majoring in World Politics with a concentration in Religious Studies, and has an MSc in Governance of Migration and Diversity from the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus cooperative track. Sara also has an MA in Religion in Global Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London.

More information about Sara Bolghiran


The overall theme of Sara's main research pertains to meaning-making, subjectivity, and ultimately the theorization of Islam through non-dogmatic and non-scriptural means. To that end, she is  interested in the ways in which young diasporic Muslims in the West are rethinking Islam and engaging spiritually through aesthetics, philosophy, Sufism, poetry, and art, and how they use these matters to create ethical socio-ethical imaginaries of their future. Tied into this, she is interested in how these developments are indebted to turath, Islamic traditions of knowledge production and meaning-making in order to see/make sense of how what was inhabits what is, and to what can become.

Additionally, Sara's work focuses on Islam and (post) modernity, and the role of ethics and its connection to beauty/the beautiful.

Lastly, Sara also works on postcolonial theory, methodologies and epistemologies of the study of religion, particularly aiming to contribute usefully to how contemporary Muslim subjectivity is studied in Europe. 

Grants and awards

NWO Mozaiek 2.0

PhD candidate

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Leiden Institute for Area Studies
  • LUCSoR
  • No relevant ancillary activities
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