Nicholas Lorenz: Salafi Ruqya in England

Dear Colleagues,

Please join us this Friday, February 15th from 2-3:30pm at Islamic Studies Workshop for a discussion with Nick Lorenz (Divinity) on his paper titled:

Salafi Ruqya in England: The Role of Evidence in the Ethical Formation of the Pious Self


In this paper, I analyze a series of British Salafi preachers’ YouTube videos on jinn possession and sorcery, highlighting the way that these preachers orient their audience towards evidence of the reality of the jinn, in such a way that allows this audience to recognize and internalize a certitude of the dangerous presence of these figures– a recognition which in turn is thought to aid viewers in reforming their everyday religious practice. In elucidating the perspective of British Salafis towards the realm of the unseen I provide a perspective that conceptualizes jinn as localizable entities that incite reflexive discernment and can be used to demonstrate, clarify, and reinforce proper Islamic belief and practice. In an examination of this perspective, I reveal the ethical, affective, and embodied dimensions of the intellectual process of seeking knowledge within a Salafi framework, in the process highlighting the centrality of epistemological inquiry within the ethical formation of the pious self.

Magda El-Ghitany (Divinity) will be responding. Please e-mail the coordinators ( or for a copy of the pre-circulated paper. Hope to see you there!

Zahra & Allison
Islamic Studies Workshop co-coordinators, 2018-19

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