Religious dimensions of violence

A seminar with Senior researcher Mona Kanwal Sheikh, Danish Institute for International Studies.

Free admission and open to all.

Mona Kanwal Sheikh

How does religion matter for explaining violent insurgencies? How do we measure religion and how do we know it is there “for real” and not just a rhetorical gloss over something “more real”? These are some of the questions that Mona Kanwal Sheikh has grappled with since she first met with Taliban militants in Pakistan in 2008. In this talk Sheikh will describe what she has learned from her interviews with Taliban activists and leaders, and through her continues research on religious violence. Part of the talk will focus on the question of conceptualizing religion and describe her own personal journey from being a student of “narratives” to increasingly becoming aware of the significance of religious experience, also for a field like security studies and International relations. 


Senior researcher Mona Kanwal Sheikh has a PhD in Political Science from the University of Copenhagen. She works for the Danish Institute for International Studies as research coordinator for the International Security research unit and heads an ERC funded research project on “Transnational Jihad – Explaining Patterns of Escalation and Containment (2019-2023). She is a former visiting scholar at the Orfalea Center for Global and International studies at UC Santa Barbara and the Center for South Asia Studies at UC Berkeley.  Sheikh has published widely on the topic of religion and violence, including Guardians of God – Inside the Religious Mind of the Pakistani Taliban (Oxford University Press, 2016), How does Religion Matter? Pathways to Religion in International Relations (Review of International Studies, 2012), A Sociotheological Approach to Understanding Religious Violence (Co-authored with Mark Juergensmeyer, Oxford Handbook of Global Studies, Oxford University Press, 2013) and latest, Entering Religious Minds – The Social Study of Worldviews (co-edited with Mark Juergensmeyer, Routledge, 2019)



If you have any questions concerning the seminar, please contact our CIMS coordinator, Alexandra H. Koritzinsky, either by email:, or at: (+47) 957 21 103.

Published Aug. 27, 2019 11:55 AM - Last modified Mar. 17, 2022 1:12 PM