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Carool Kersten

Dr Carool Kersten

Carool KerstenReader in the Study of Islam & the Muslim World

Tel +44 (0)20 7848 1795
Address: Dept of Theology & Religious Studies
King's College London
Room 3.31, Virginia Woolf Building,
22 Kingsway



Originally from the Netherlands, Dr Kersten has been with King’s College London since 2007. He has studied Arabic, Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies, International Relations, Philosophy and Southeast Asian Studies at universities and higher education institutions in his home country, Egypt, Thailand and the UK.

He has aPhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and an MA (with distinction) in Arabic & Middle Eastern Studies from Radboud University Nijmegen.

Before joining King’s, Dr Kersten was a faculty member at the Center for Graduate and International Studies (now the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies) at Payap University in Chiang Mai (Thailand), while also working as academic director in Thailand for Lexia International, a US-based higher education organisation study-abroad programmes. Prior to his academic career, Dr Kersten worked for more than ten years in the Middle East. In addition, he has thirty years of experience as a professional translator.

Research interests and PhD supervision

  • Intellectual history of the modern and contemporary Muslim world
  • Islam in global and inter-regional contexts
  • Religion in international relations
  • The Study of Religion as an Academic Discipline

Selected publications


  • A History of Islam in  Indonesia: Unity in Diversity (Edinburgh University Press, 2017)
  • Islam in Indonesia: The Contest for Society, Ideas and  Values (Hurst/Oxford  University Press, 2015)
  • Cosmopolitans and Heretics: New Muslim Intellectuals and the Study of Islam (Hurst/Oxford University Press, 2011)

Edited volumes:

  • Poesis of Peace: Narratives, Cultures, Philosophies (Routledge, 2017)
  • Alternative Islamic Discourses and Religious Authority (Routledge, 2013)

For a complete list of publications, please see Carool's full research profile.


Dr Kersten offers undergraduate modules on the history of Islam since its inception, on Islam and politics in the modern era, and on contemporary thinking in the Muslim world. On the postgraduate level he teaches a module on the intellectual history of the contemporary Muslim world.

Public engagement

Dr Kersten is a regular commentator on current affairs and developments in the Muslim world in the international media. He also featured in a 2-part documentary made by Islam Channel on the history of Islam in Indonesia and worked as a consultant to the BBC for the development of online content about Islam and Muslims.

Dr Kersten is the founding editor of the book series Contemporary Thought in the Islamic World for Routledge and a founding member of BRAIS, the British Association for Islamic Studies, serving a second term on its council and advisory board.

Dr Kersten has taken part in briefings, seminars and workshops at the British, Dutch and Indonesian Ministries of Foreign Affairs, both Houses of Parliament, the European Parliament, and units of the British Armed Forces.

He has been an invited delegate to The World Forum for Muslim Democrats in Malaysia (2014) and Japan (2016). 












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