Dr. N.M. Dessing - Anthropology of Islam

  • Lecturer Anthropology of Islam
  • Anthropology of Islam, Islam in Europe, and ritual studies

Telephone number: +31 (0)71 527 1690
E-Mail: n.m.dessing@hum.leidenuniv.nl
Faculty / Department: Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen, Leiden Institute for Area Studies, LUCSoR
Office Address: Witte Singel-complex
Matthias de Vrieshof 1
2311 BZ Leiden
Room number 1.05a

Dr. Nathal M. Dessing is university lecturer in Religious Studies. Her expertise is in anthropology of Islam, Islam in Europe, and ritual studies.

Dessing received her training in Islamic Studies at the Faculty of Religious Studies of Leiden University and earned her Ph.D. at the same department in 2001. She was a researcher and education coordinator at the International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World (ISIM), Leiden, from 1998 to 2008. She is the author of Rituals of Birth, Circumcision, Marriage, and Death among Muslims in the Netherlands (Leuven: Peeters, 2001).

Dessing is the programme leader of a four-year research programme funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) titled "Individualization, Fragmentation of Authority, and New Organizational Forms among Muslims in Europe" (€485,000). This programme aims at defining forms and elements of Islam in Europe by analyzing the interplay between the individual, communality, and religious authority. Her research within this programme focuses on Muslim women’s organizations in the Netherlands. The programme also includes two Ph.D. projects studying two other organizational forms: Muslim student associations (Loubna El Morabet) and institutions of Islamic higher education (Firdaous Oueslati).

Dessing is secretary of the Vereniging tot bestudering van het Recht van de Islam en het Midden Oosten (RIMO, Dutch Association for the Study of Islamic Law and the Law of Muslim Countries).


  1. Methoden en technieken 3: veldwerk (BA)
  2. Theologie en filosofie van de islam (BA)
  3. Religie en geweld (keuzevak)
  4. Piety, Modernity, and Gender in Islam: Anthropological Perspectives (MA)

Last Modified: 11-12-2015