Workgroup for Empiric Research of Religion (AGER)

Dr. Silvia Martens

Silvia MartensI am a researcher in religious studies and Islamic studies with a focus on Islam and Muslims in Europe. In my dissertation — using both qualitative and quantitative research methods — I analyzed conceptions and practices of charity work and volunteering among Muslims in Switzerland. Alongside perspectives from religious studies and Islamic studies I applied approaches that are commonly used in ethnology, sociology and political science. My research focus is on present-day movements in Islam and religious practices of Muslims in Europe, the research on migration and integration as well as on volunteering and charitable giving and civil society. I also work in the area of research promotion and research evaluation. My current work centers around the 3 following topics: 1. The relationship between religiosity and prejudice, Islamophobia and racism; 2. How Muslim youths make use of which religious authority(ies), and 3. research evaluation in the humanities and the social sciences.

Contact: e-mail

Curriculum Vitae

ince January 2015: research assistant at the Chair of Empiric Research of Religion and Theory of Interreligious Communication of the University of Berne (research project: „Xenosophia and Xenophobia in and between the Abrahamic Religions”) Since November 2014: research assistant at the Institute of the Study of Religions, University Lucerne (research project: “Imame, Rapper, Cybermuftis. Islamische Autoritäten, muslimische Jugendliche und gesellschaftliche Kohäsion in der Schweiz”)

Since July 2013: research assistant for the Academic Services at the University of Lucerne (research project: ‘Resource-based instrument for documenting and assessing research in the humanities and the social sciences as exemplified by theology’)

April 2013 to July 2013: Project assistant at the Institute for Practical Theology, University of Berne

August 2012 to January 2013: Lectureship at the Theological Faculty of the University of Berne

2011 to 2012: Assistant at the “Institute of Advanced Study in the Humanities and the Social Sciences”, University of Berne (including a six-month maternity leave)

October 2011: PhD in Islamic studies, University of Berne

2009-2011: Research assistant at the Institute of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Berne (funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation)

August 2007: Master of Arts in religious studies/science of religion with a focus on the cultural history of Islam, University of Erfurt


Martens, Silvia: “Muslim charity in a non-Muslim society — the case of Switzerland”. In: Journal of Muslims in Europe, 3:1, 2014

Martens, Silvia: “Muslimische Wohltätigkeit in der Schweiz”. Würzburg : Ergon-Verlag, 2013

Martens, Silvia: “Ratgeber für Doktorierende in den Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaften”. Institute of Advanced Study in the Humanities and the Social Sciences (IASH), 2013 → online lesen

Martens, Silvia: “Wohltätiges Engagement von Muslimen in der Schweiz”. In: Allenbach, Birgit & Sökefeld, Martin (Hrsg.): Muslime in der Schweiz. Zürich : Seismo, 2010

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Prof. Dr. Stefan Huber
Faculty of Theology
Länggassstrasse 51
3012 Berne