Fri 16 - Sat 17 October 2015 | Conference "Moving in and out of Islam" | Radboud University

On Friday 16 and Saturday 17 October 2015 Radboud University organised the conference "Moving in and out of Islam". Time: 9.15-17.30. Venue: Huize Heyendaal, room “de Beelkamer” in Nijmegen. The conference dealt with key concepts of religious transformation processes such as conversion, (dis)affiliation, and apostay and explore the ”religious/secular” divide for the Muslim context.


Islam in present-day Europe and the Middle East shows complex trends and transformations that occur simultaneously: a number of Europeans are attracted to Islam and convert, whereas a number of Muslim-borns decide to leave this faith for another or no faith at all. Still other (converted) Muslims go through a stage of religious intensification, either of a radicalized nature or as a way to constitute a “pious self”. So far, most of the studies in Europe on changing religious identifications, such as conversion and “born-again”, are situated within the Muslim diaspora context. The indigenous European Muslim communities and their religious trajectories of (dis)affiliation have hardly received serious scholarly attention. In the Middle East, “piety” has received a lot of attention in the study of Islam whereas, leaving Islam is a topic hardly dealt with. Besides, many converts from Eastern Europe move to the UK, Ireland and elsewhere in Western Europe, whereas several converts from Western-Europe move to the Middle East and North Africa. Some of them return with revivalist Islamist ideas. Their impact on indigenous and migrant Muslims through a globalized discourse of “true” Islam can be substantial, setting off processes of revivalism. On the other hand, some ex-Muslims come to Europe out of fear for “reprisals”.

All these different movements “in”, and “out” of Islam as well as “between” Muslim communities in Europe and the Middle East are the central focus of this conference. The presentations will explore the trajectories of religiously motivated movements in order to understand unexplored dynamics of religious transformation processes of (ex) Muslims in Europe and the Middle East.


Preliminary programme


The conference contributions will be published in an edited volume ”Moving In and Out of Islam”.

Abstracts chapters

NISIS Training Programme

This conference was an optional course for the NISIS Training Programme.

Last Modified: 30-11-2015