Professor Ron Geaves
Professor Ron Geaves has recently been appointed an Honorary Visiting Professor in the School of History, Archaeology, and Religion at Cardiff University. He held a Chair in Religious Studies at the University of Chester (2001-2007) and a Chair in the Comparative Study of Religion at Liverpool Hope University (2007-2013). He joined the Community Religions Project at the University of Leeds in 1988 where he began to work on the transmigration of South Asian religions to Britain, especially Islam. He completed his PhD thesis ‘Sectarian Influences within Islam in Britain’ which was published as a Community Religions Monograph. He has researched Islam in Britain since that time, publishing several books that explore British manifestations of Sufism.
He is an early member of the Muslims in Britain Research Network and chaired the body from 2006 to 2009 and remains a lifetime member of the committee. He has also been Secretary of AUDTRS, the scholarly body representing all departments of religion in the UK. His work remains focused on the application of religious knowledge to real life affairs and he is a passionate believer in advocacy. As a consequence he has involved in a number of projects bridging academia to government, law, architects and media.
Professor Geaves is a prolific writer and remains active in research. His research is contemporary in focus and involves ethnographic study, although recently he has embarked on historical study of the Muslim presence in Britain. He has written and edited nineteen books and contributed to around twenty-five edited collections and numerous journal articles. His works include Sectarian Influences in Islam in Britain (1994), Sufis in Britain (2000), Islam and the West Post 9/11 (2004), Aspects of Islam (2005), Islam Today (2010), Islam in Victorian Britain: The Life and Times of Abdullah Quilliam (2010), Sufis of Britain (2014). The biography of Abdullah Quilliam generated considerable media interest with documentaries on ITV1, BBC1, Jordanian, Malaysian and Indonesian TV channels, Radio 4 and BBC World News. As a result of the Abdullah Quilliam publication he has been invited to speak in public lectures to Muslim groups in the UK and sees these as opportunities to inspire as well as educate. As a result, in 2013 he was invited to open Ramadan on state television in Malaysia.
His work on the theory and method in the study of religion, The Study of Religion went to second edition in 2014 and he remains committed to advancing the subject discipline through promoting the study of lived religions. He has delivered papers in over one hundred conferences, including invitations to Russia, USA, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Switzerland, Mauritius and India. He is currently working on the history of Islam in Britain in the Edwardian era and is continuing his work on the Deobandi movement.