Ingvild Flaskerud

Image of Ingvild Flaskerud
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Academic Interests

Trained as an historian of religion, I have done extensive ethnographic field research among Twelver Shia communities in Iran and Northern Europe. My research focusses on aspects of Islam as lived religion, with attention to lay-people's belief, ritual practices, material culture, relationship to religious authorities, and religious transformation in migrancy.

My reception-oriented studies of the visual and material culture’s significance to devotion, emotions and ethics is ground-breaking.

Another field of interest is Muslim women as ritual leaders. Research from Iran and Norway demonstrates that women in gender-specific rituals are responsible for their management, organisation and financing, and are involved in mediating and interpreting religion.

A related topic is what happens when religious traditions, in particular rituals, is adapted to the migration context. How does one deal with internal cultural pluralism and generation differences? What is the role of non-Muslims and the society at large in shaping rituals? Does this change the meaning of the rituals?

In relation to religious continuity and renewal, I have also looked at Muslims’ pilgrimage practices in Europe. Studies suggest that Muslims continue to travel to long-established pilgrimage sites outside Europe, there is a revival of pilgrimage practices at old Muslim pilgrimage sites in the South-Eastern parts of Europe, new Muslim pilgrimage sites and practices are established in Western Europe, and Muslims express interest in visiting long-established Christian pilgrimage sites in Europe.

Another topic of interest is religious authority and the role of clerical guides, marja´ taqlid, in the everyday life of the Western emulator, muqallid. As a follow up to the authority issue, I am interested in how the younger generation contribute as renewers of tradition, interpreters and new leaders. Research suggests ethics to be more important than law.

Currently, I am part of a research project called “Place, Space and Practice. Religious Service that people want.” The PI is Elisabeth Tveito Johnsen, at the Faculty of Theology.

Latest publications:

2020 Hansen, Tina and Ingvild Flaskerud. “Familiens betydning for ungdoms religiøse identitetsutvikling. Ungdom med muslimsk bakgrunn i fosterhjem.” Nordisk tidsskrift for ungdomsforskning. No- 1. S.42-56.

(The importance of the family to youths’ religious identity development. Youth with Muslim background in foster care.)

2019 “The Quran as an Efficacious Text: Contemporary Iranian Twelver Shi´i Women Making the Quran Alive.” Ed. Alessandro Cancian.  Approaches to the Quran in Contemporary Iran. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 421.443.


Higher education and employment history

I hold a Ph.D. from The Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion at the University of Bergen (2008). My dissertation title was Visualizing Belief and Piety. Representation, Reception and Function of Imagery in Iranian Shiism.  The project was funded by the Norwegian Research Council. (Project Manager: Ingvild Flaskerud).

Between 2013 and 2016 I held a Post-doctoral position at The Faculty of Theology. I was member of Scandinavian project, Authority in Contemporary Shi’ite Thought and Practice. The project was funded by Vetenskapsrådet.

Between 2010 and 2013, I held a Post-doctoral position at The University of Bergen. I was member of an international research project, Muslim devotional practices, aesthetics and cultural formation in migrancy. The project was funded by the Norwegian Research Council.

I have previously been employed as Programme Fellow at The Centre for Peace Studies, University of Tromsø, and as Assistant Professor at the Department of Religious Studies, University of Tromsø (1997-2008).


Editorial Advisory Board

  • Since 2015 Book series: The Shi´ah Institute Symposia Series. London: The Shi´ah Institute Press

Editorial Board

  • Since 2013 Journal of Anthropology of the Contemporary Middle East and Central Eurasia. (ACME) Leiden: Brill.

  • Since 2010 Book series: “Anthropology of Persianate Societies”. Wantage: Sean Kingston Publishing.



Honorary fellow at The Shi'ah Institute. Bloomsbury House, London.

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Published Aug. 5, 2013 4:53 PM - Last modified Mar. 15, 2020 2:41 PM