Leif Stenberg


Dean of the Aga Khan University Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations (AKU-ISMC)

Telephone: 020 7380 3840



Professor Stenberg received his PhD in History of Religions from Lund University, Sweden, in 1996. The title of his thesis was 'The Islamization of Science: Four Muslim Positions Developing an Islamic Modernity'.

Research interests

Islam and modern science, various aspects of contemporary Sufism, Muslims in Europe, Islamic movements, questions concerning theory and method in the study of Islam.


In 1996-1997, Stenberg was an Assistant Professor in History of Religions at Uppsala University. From 1997 to 1999, he was a visiting scholar at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University. The following year (1999-2000), Stenberg was a visiting scholar at the Institut Français d’Études Arabes de Damas (IFEAD) in Damascus, Syria.

He also worked at Växjö University (today Linné University), but since 2001 he held a position at Lund University in Islamology and then became an Associate Professor in 2003. From 2005 until 2007, Stenberg was the Head of Islamology at Lund University. However, in 2007 he was appointed Director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES) at LU. After being appointed Director, he built and expanded the CMES dramatically in regard to the increase of employees, external funding and annual turnover. In October 2011, he was appointed full Professor in Islamology at LU.

On 1 April 2017, Stenberg took up the position as the Director of the Aga Khan University (International) in the U.K. - Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations in London. In February 2017, he was also appointed as a full Professor in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at the Aga Khan University.

Since 2010, Stenberg has been the President of the Nordic Society of Middle Eastern Studies and he is a member of the World Congress of Middle Eastern Studies (WOCMES) Council. He has also been the Vice-President of the European Association for Middle Eastern Studies (EURAMES) since 2014.

Since 2013, he has also been serving at the Expert Committee of Humanities and Social Sciences, Research Council of Norway. One of his most recent publication is an edited volume (co-edited with Christa Salamandra) entitled 'From Reform to Revolt Vol. II: Culture Society and Religion' (Syracuse University Press, 2015).

Created on:06/16/2017 Last modified:01/27/2021