Meet the Team

Professor Justin Jones, Project Co-ordinator

Justin is the coordinator of the Religion and the Frontier Challenges Programme. He is Associate Professor in the Study of Religion in the Faculty of Theology and Religion, and is Pembroke College’s tutorial fellow in Theology and Religion. He is a historian by training, and works in the social history of modern Islam, with particular reference to the Indian subcontinent. In recent years, he has been exploring contemporary Islamic family law. Drawing upon law and anthropology as well as history and Islamic studies, he is examining how shariah-based family laws are adjudicated in South Asia, both by courts and by community organisations. He has also worked on Islamic discourses of women’s rights, and has worked with grassroots Muslim women’s rights groups. Separately, he has interests in Muslim laws in comparative minority contexts, including in Britain and Europe. He has published a number of books, journal articles and other publications.


Rasangi Prematilaka, Project Administrator

Rasangi joined Pembroke in early 2020 to manage the newly established Religion and the Frontier Challenges Programme together with Professor Justin Jones. She has been with  the University of Oxford for many years and has a background of research facilitation/senior management and joins us from the Department of Politics and International Relations.  





Dr Barnabas Aspray,  Junior Research Fellow

Barnabas is a philosophical theologian interested in the way religious belief & practice interact with contemporary society. His PhD (University of Cambridge) explored human finitude and transcendence in the work of French philosopher Paul Ricœur. Barnabas also holds Masters degrees in Christian Theology and Biblical Studies from the University of Cambridge and Regent College. Before studying theology, he read computer science at the University of Exeter and worked as a software engineer for the BBC website.

Click here to read Barnabas's project outline.


Dr Imen Neffati,  Junior Research Fellow

Imen is a historian of modern France and the ‘Francophone world’ with broader interest in the histories of religion, secularism, and modernity.
Imen finished her PhD in 2019 at the History Department, University of Sheffield, on the history of the French satirical magazines Hara Kiri and Charlie Hebdo, and their discourses on religion, secularism, race and gender. Prior to that, she completed the Fulbright FLTA programme, the Erasmus Mundus Masters programme Crossways in Cultural Narratives, and holds an MA from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan in Gender Studies, an MA from the University of Sheffield in Cultural Studies, and an MA from Université de Perpignan in Approaches Hétérologiques du Monde Anglophone.

Click here to read Imen's project outline.