Erik Meinema

Assistant Professor of Religion and Heritage, Utrecht University

Year of birth: 1988

Current position: Assistant Professor of Religion and Heritage, Utrecht University

Past positions: PhD candidate in Religious Studies in the Religious Matters project, Utrecht University; Junior Researcher at the Knowledge Center for Religion and Development, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Personal Profile:

Erik Meinema is Assistant Professor of Religion and Heritage at Utrecht University. His research focuses on religious diversity, youth, and political secularism in East Africa. As a member of the research group ‘Religious Matters in an Entangled World’, Erik has conducted his PhD research on the regulation of religious coexistence and religious diversity in the coastal region of Kenya, in which he has studied Christianity, Islam, and indigenous African religious traditions within one conceptual framework. Currently, he continues to develop his research interests by pursuing projects that focus on youth culture and religion in Kenya, policy efforts to ‘build peace’ and ‘counter violent extremism’ in East Africa, and questions about materiality, religion, and violent conflict together with Lucien van Liere.

Recent scholarly papers/books:


Lucien van Liere and Erik Meinema (eds.) 2022. Material Perspectives on Religion, Conflict, and Violence: Things of Conflict. Supplement to Theory and Method in the Study of Religion’ series, Leiden: Brill.

Special issue:

Margreet van Es, Nina ter Laan, and Erik Meinema (eds.) 2021. ‘Beyond “Radical” versus “Moderate”? New Perspectives on the Politics of Moderation in Muslim Majority and Muslim Minority Settings.’ Religion 51 (2). Open Access.


Meinema, Erik. 2021. ‘Countering ‘Islamic’ violent extremism? The implementation of programs to prevent radicalization by Muslim-led civil society organizations in Malindi, Kenya’ Religion, 51 (2), 259-279.

Meinema, Erik. 2020. ‘“Idle Minds” and “Empty Stomachs”: Youth, Violence, and Religious Diversity in Coastal Kenya. Africa 90 (5), 890-913. Open Access.

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