Institute for Philosophical Studies

Phone: +386 5 663 77 00

Research Areas:

  • Study of Religion
  • Study of Islam
  • Intellectual History


Prof. Dr. Carool Kersten is Research Professor (BOF) in Islamic Studies at KU Leuven in Belgium. Specializing in the intellectual history of the modern Muslim world, he has also worked on Islamic political and legal thought, philosophy and literature. He is the author and (co-)editor of eleven books, including four single-authored research monographs and multi-volume anthologies on Caliphate & Islamic statehood and on the place of Fatwas in  Islamic law. He is the founding editor of the book series Contemporary Thought in the Islamic World for Routledge.

Before joining KU Leuven, Kersten worked at King’s College London (2007-2022), lastly as Reader (Associate Professor) in the Study of Islam & the Muslim World. He has also been a tutor in the Divinity Programma of the University of London Worldwide (UoLW), a guest lecturer at the Institute of Ismaili Studies in London, and an associate lecturer at the Open University in the UK. Before moving to London, he was a faculty member of the Centre for Graduate and International Studies at Payap University in Chiang Mai and Academic Director (Thailand) of an American Study Abroad Programme. Prior to his career as a scholarly researcher and tertiary educator, Kersten worked for fifteen years as a manager, consultant and translator in the corporate world, including more than a decade as an expatriate in the Persian Gulf States.

Prof. Kersten has a PhD in the Study of Religions from SOAS, University of London (2009); an MA (cum laude)  in Arabic Language and Culture with specializations in Islamic Studies and Modern Middle Eastern Studies (Radboud University Nijmegen, 1987); and a Certificate (with distinction) in Thai & Southeast Asian Studies from Payap University in Thailand. He also has a Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP with merit) from King’s College London (2010).

Research activity:

At the Institute for Philosophical Studies ZRS Koper, Carool Kersten is a co-investigator in the Project »Ustvarjena bitja, ljudje, roboti: teologija stvarjenja med humanizmom in posthumanizmom« [Creatures, Humans, Robots: Creation Theology between Humanism and Posthumanism] (J6-1813; 2019-present). Previously he was a research associate in the Project »Med politiko in etiko: K novi svetovni kulturi gostoljubja in nenasilja« [Between Politics and Ethics: Towards A New World Culture of Hospitality and Non-violence] (J6-5565; 2014-2016).

Prof. Kersten is also a member of the DFG-funded Scholarly Network for Philosophy in the Modern Islamic World, hosted by Free University Berlin.  Previous research affiliations include the Institute of Middle Eastern Studies and the Centre for the Study of Divided Societies at King’s College London, the Centre of Southeast Asian Studies at SOAS, University of London; and the Asia Research Institute (ARI) at the National University of Singapore (NUS). He is founding member of the British Association for Islamic Studies (BRAIS), serving as council member (2014-2020) and member of the advisory board (2014-present). He is the founding editor of the book series Contemporary Thought in the Islamic World for Routledge (2012-present), and serves on the editorial boards of Theory and Method in the Study of Religion (Brill), Advances in the Study of Islam (EUP), Contemporary Islam and Sophia Studies in Cross-Cultural Philosophy of Traditions and Cultures (Springer).