Professor Bryan S. Turner

ACU Researcher

Areas of expertise: religion and secularization; sociology of religion; sociology of Islam; citizenship and human rights; globalization and religion; religious conflict and the modern state; human rights and religion; vulnerability, welfare and ageing; ageing and rejuvenative medicine; vulnerability, happiness and welfare

HDR Supervisor accreditation status: Full

Phone: +612 9465 9056


Location: North Sydney Campus

ORCID ID: 0000-0001-6378-7144

Professor Turner is one of the world’s leading sociologists of religion. His research interests include globalisation and religion, religious conflict and the modern state, and human rights and religion. He has received several honorary degrees recognising his contributions to Sociology, most recently Doctor of Letters from the University of Cambridge. Professor Turner received the Max Planck Research Award at Potsdam University and is a Visiting Professor at the same University.

Select publications

  • Turner, B. S. (2023). Understanding Islam. Positions of knowledge. Edinburgh University Press
  • Turner, B. S. (2022). ‘Vulnerability and existence theory in catastrophic times’, Journal of Classical Sociology, 22(1):90-94
  • Turner, B. S. (2022). ‘Marshall and Dahrendorf: Theories of citizenship 1945-1922’, Citizenship Studies, 26 (4-5):702-711
  • Turner, B. S. (2022). ‘Vulnerability and entitlements’, International Journal of Law and Semiotics (online access)
  • Turner, B. S. (2022). ‘The history of changing concepts of health and illness: Outline of a general model of illness categories’, in Susan C. Schrimshaw, Sandra D. Lane, Robert A. Rubinstein and Julian Fishers (eds), The Sage Handbook of Social Studies in Health and Medicine, 2nd Edition, London: Sage 82-102
  • Stones, R. & Turner, B. S. (2020). ‘Successful societies: Decision-making and the quality of attentiveness’, British Journal of Sociology, vol. 71 (1): 183-202
  • Turner, B. S. (2019). ‘Preface’ to Emile Durkheim, Professional Ethics and Civic Morals.London: Routledge Classics, pp. vii-xxiv
  • Roose, J. & Turner, B. S. (2019). ‘Islamophobia, science, and the advocacy concept.’ In Society: Social science and modern society, (56) pp. 210-221
  • Turner, B. S. (2019). ‘A Nineteenth-century turning point: Nietzsche, Weber, Freud and Mill’ in Yuri Contreras-Vejar, Joanna Tice Jen, and Bryan S. Turner (eds), Regimes of Happiness. Comparative and Historical Studies. London: Anthem Press, pp.234-248
  • Turner, B. S. & Yilmaz, Z. (2019). ‘Turkey’s deepening authoritarianism and the fall of electoral democracy’, British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies. 46(5):691-698
  • Turner, Bryan S. (2019). ‘Saba Mahmood: Secularization, practice, and the ethical turn’ Journal of the American Academy of Religion 87(4):990-998
  • Turner, B. S. (2.019). ‘Max Weber and the Tragedy of Politics’ Journal of Classical Sociology, 19(4):377-390.
  • Forlenza, R. & Turner, B. S. (2019). ‘Das Abendland: The politics of Europe’s religious borders’, in Critical Research on Religion, 7(1), pp. 6-23
  • Possamai, A., Dagistanli, S., Turner, B. S., & Voyce, M. (2019). ‘Shari‘a in Sydney and New York: A perspective from professionals and leaders dealing with Islamic Law.’ In Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations. 30(1), pp. 69-85
  • Turner, B. S. (2019). ‘Trump, religion and populism.’ In Fitzi, G., Mackert, J. & Turner, B. S. (eds.) Populism and the Crisis of Democracy. Routledge
  • Turner, B. S. (2019). ‘Introduction: Demography, democracy, and right-wing populism.’ In Fitzi, G., Mackert, J. & Turner, B. S. (eds.), Populism and the Crisis of Democracy. Routledge

Current projects

Australian Research Council (ARC), Discovery Project Grant DP200102013: ‘Far Right in Australia: Intellectuals, Masculinity and Citizenship’, (2020-2023). $327,521.
  • This project explores why men are drawn in increasing numbers to far right groups. Moving beyond the simple stereotype of disenfranchisement, it examines how tropes of masculinity are used to recruit and retain members and how bonds of citizenship have weakened amongst men who define themselves at the margins.

Accolades and awards

  • Max Planck Award (2015) Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Germany
  • Honorary Professor, Potsdam University

Appoinments and affiliations

  • Honorary Fellow, The Edward Cadbury Centre for the Public Understanding of Religion, Birmingham University UK
    Australian Social Science Academy: Fellow; Member, Membership Committee (1996)
  • Deans of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities in Australia: Member
  • Fellow, The Newhouse Center for the Humanities, Wellesley College, USA (2010)
  • Presidential Professor of Sociology, The Graduate Center, The City University of New York

Editorial roles

British Journal of Sociology (since 2000); Canadian Review of Sociology (since 2008); Citizenship Studies (since 1997); Contemporary Islam (since 2007); Ethnicities (since 2000); European Journal of Social Theory (since 2006); Health Risk & Society (since 1998); Journal of Classical Sociology (since 2000); Journal of Social Archaeology (since 2000); Journal of Historical Sociology (since 1987); Journal of Human Rights (since 2002); Social Science & Medicine (1996-2008); Social Theory & Health (since 2003); Society (since 2007); Sociological Analysis (since 2009); The Sociological Quarterly (2012-16); The Sociological Review (1985-2014); The Turkish Review (since 2013)

Public engagement

  • Turner, B. (Speaker). (2018). The Political Relevance of the Sociology of Religion. The Religious Studies Project [Audio podcast.]
  • Public lecture (2019) ‘Populism, Intellectuals, and the Crisis of Masculinity.’ Selwyn College, University of Cambridge.


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East Melbourne, Victoria, 3002

Mailing address

115 Victoria Parade
Fitzroy, Victoria, 3065