John R. Bowen
Washington University in St. Louis
Archaeology, Anthropology, Sociology, Geography, and Demography
Specialist of Islam within the institutional structures of the nation-state order, both in Southeast Asia and in Northwestern Europe. Conducted early work in the Gayo Highlands of Indonesia (Aceh Province, Sumatra), where Islam first took hold in the country, then urban France and Great Britain, where in recent years, observant Muslim practices have received heightened political scrutiny from both government and general society. Developed a subtle view of the multiple contexts of Islam, particularly in cases at the margins: the Gayo people minoritized as ethnics among Acehnese, and observant Muslims in Marseilles, Paris, and London suburbs contending with schools, courtrooms, and other institutions of professedly secular, though historically and still residually, Christian Europe. Work includes award-winning books and a wealth of scholarly articles, as well as some popular pieces that articulate ethnographically and anthropologically based interpretations of the politics of religious culture in the context of conflicting norms and values.