Assoc. Prof. Richard Gauvain
Module Leader
Office 121 - Building G

Originally from the UK, Dr. Gauvain has lived and worked in the Middle East (Egypt and the UAE) for nearly twenty years. His academic background is varied; and he has taught courses in the fields of political science, sociology, cultural studies, anthropology, and comparative religion. He has published books and articles relating to Islamic reform movements (specifically Salafi organisations and the Muslim Brotherhood), but also, more generally, on religious ritual, gender and social media. 

In addition to working at a number of American universities in the region, he has been a research fellow at the universities of Heidelberg and Durham.  His current research interests focus on the workings of Egyptian Anglicanism, past and present. 


Ph.D. in Theology and Religious Studies, University of Glasgow, 2002.

CELTA certificate,1998.

M.Th. Masters in Theology, with distinction (Biblical Studies), University of Glasgow, 1997.

B.D. Bachelor of Divinity, New Testament Studies, University of Glasgow, 1995.


Research Interests
  • Modern Religio-Political Reform Movements
  • Political Islam
  • Post-Colonial Representations of Britain in the Middle East
  • Social Media & Politics
Journal Articles

Gauvain, R (2019): "Just Admit it Man: You're a Spy!: Fieldwork Explorations into the Notion of Salafi Oppositionality,"  Fieldwork in Religion, 13, 2, pp. 203-230: 

Gauvain, R. (2014).“The Marvel of Islam: Reconciling Muslim Epistemologies through a New Islamic Origin Saga in Naif al-Mutawa’s The 99” (36 pages), co-authored with Dr. James Clements (AUD), The Journal of Religion and Popular Culture, 26, 1,  pp. 36-70:

Gauvain, R. (2013).“Salafism as a Problematic for Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies,” Orient, III, 54,  pp. 35-47:

Gauvain, R. (2011).“Osama bin Laden as a Multi-Vocal Symbol,” Political Theology, 12, 5,  pp. 713-722:

Gauvain, R. (2011).“Be Careful What You Wish For: Spotlight on Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and Salafi movements after the uprising,” Political Theology, 12, 2, pp. 173-9:

Gauvain, R. (2010).“Salafism in Cairo: Panacea or Pest?” Political Theology, 11, 6, pp. 802-25:  

Gauvain, R. (2007).“Ritual Weapons: Purity Practices in Cairo,” ISIM, pp. 40-2:

Gauvain, R. (2005).“Ritual Rewards: A Consideration of Three Recent Approaches to Sunni Purity Law,” Islamic Law and Society, 12, 3, pp. 333-393:

Chapters in Books

Books and Translations:

Salafi Ritual Purity: In the Presence of God (London: Routledge, Kegan & Paul, 2013):

The Response. Online translation of al-Radd (2008), a compendium of fatwas by scholars of al-Azhar University commissioned by al-Hatef al-Islami:

Book Chapters:

"Nothing has Changed/Everything has Changed: Salafi Da'wa in Egypt from Rashid Rida to "The Arab Spring." Chapter in forthcoming publication, Culture of Da'wa: Preaching in the Modern World, Jamal Badawi and Itzchak Weissman(eds) (Salt Lake City, University of Utah Press, 2020)

“Egyptian Sufism Under the Hammer: A Preliminary Investigation into the Anti-Sufi Polemics of ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Wakil (1913-70).” Chapter in Sufis and Salafis in the Contemporary Age, Lloyd Ridgeon (ed.) (London: Bloomsbury Academic Press, 2015), pp. 33-57.

“Pure Blood and the Martyr: Ritual potential among modern Cairene Salafis.” Chapter in How Purity is Made, Petra Roesch and Udo Simon (eds.) (Heidelberg: Harrassowitz publishing house, 2012), pp. 285-308:

Encyclopedia Entries

"Salafi Ritual" (5000 words) entry in The Islamic Handbook of Ritual and Practice, Oliver Leaman (ed), New York: Routledge. Due publication date: 2021.

"Islam" (7000 words) entry in The Oxford Handbook of Ritual and Worship in the Hebrew Bible, Samuel Balentine (ed), Oxford University Press. (Due publication date: 2020)

"Islamic Rituals" (5000 words) entry in The Encyclopedia of Islamic Bioethics (EIB)Ayman Shabana (ed), Oxford University Press/Georgetown University. (Due publication date: 2020)

"Purity" (3000 words) entry in The Encyclopedia of Islamic Bioethics (EIB), Ayman Shabana (ed), Oxford University Press/Georgetown University. (Due publication date 2020)

“Salafism” (1000 words) entry in Mohammed in History, Thought, and Culture: An Encyclopedia of the Prophet of God(2 volumes), Fitzpatrick and Walker (eds.), ABC Clio, 2014: 

“Salafi Devotional Practices (2000 words)” entry in Mohammed in History, Thought, and Culture: An Encyclopedia of the Prophet of God(2 volumes), Fitzpatrick and Walker (eds.), ABC Clio, 2014: 

Hadarah” (2000 word) entry in J.L. Esposito (ed.), The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World:, 2009.


Research Methods in the Social Sciences I - Final Year Project - Humanities - Issues in Political Sociology - Modern Political Theory - Contemporary Ideologies
Teaching and Learning Officer (2019-2020)