Ian Linden

Tony Blair Faith Foundation, Senior Advisor

Ian Linden is a Senior Advisor at the Foundation, formerly director of the Social Action Programme, Faiths Act, and an associate professor in the Study of Religion at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in the University of London. He has published a number of books on religion in Africa and, recently, two major studies on faith and globalisation, "A New Map of the World and Global Catholicism". He was, for fifteen years, director of the Catholic Institute for International Relations and was awarded the CMG for work for human rights in 2000. He is a member of the Christian-Muslim Forum of the UK, worked in interfaith dialogue with Shi'a leaders in Iran and has acted as a DfID (UK government Department for International Development) consultant on matters of Faith and Development.


Foundation Update

Supporting Communities for Action

Despite great progress in recognising religious communities as partners in development work, it is an illusion to think that the argument that they should be is won. A lack of trust on both sides remains and serious work is needed to overcome this. Not least because when resources are at a premium there is no alternative to co-ordinated action, but also that the benefits of collaborative work and dialogue go far beyond development, building resources for conflict resolution and countering extremist narratives, writes Ian Linden for our Global Perspectives Series.

07 May 2015


Loyalty and Disavowal: Al-Wala Wal-Bara

Examining jihadi interpretations of the salafi ideology of "al-wala wal-bara", loyalty to all that is Islamic and disavowal of everything that is not, Ian Linden argues that in order to counter this narrative we must look more critically at the reality of the democratic values the West claims to be upholding.

Ian Linden

07 Nov 2014

Photo/Commonwealth Secretariat


Nigeria: Religious Leaders and Elections

As Nigeria’s election cycle begins, Ian Linden looks back at the elections in 2011, and the violence that occurred after the polls closed, and he looks forward at the role religious leaders can play in mitigating violence and promoting national unity.

Ian Linden

02 Oct 2014

Photo/Kipp Jones


Boko Haram: A Religious or Ethnic Insurgency?

As Boko Haram escalates its territorial expansion in northeast Nigeria, Ian Linden analyses the ethnic and religious motivations for conflict in Nigeria, and disentangles the base motivations for the group.

Ian Linden

15 Sep 2014

Photo/Marc Veraart


Times That Try Men's Souls

The crisis facing the Middle East and Africa is related to two failures: the failure to promote religion-friendly democracy and the failure to promote democracy-friendly religion. Facing this will test international commitments to religious freedom, writes Ian Linden.

Ian Linden

05 Sep 2014

Top of page >