Teren Sevea

Teren Sevea

Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies
Teren Sevea

On Leave

Fall 2022, Spring 2023


  • AB, National University of Singapore
  • MSc, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • PhD, University of California, Los Angeles


Teren Sevea is a scholar of Islam and Muslim societies in South and Southeast Asia, and received his PhD in History from the University of California, Los Angeles. Before joining HDS, he served as Assistant Professor of South Asia Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Sevea is the author of Miracles and Material Life: Rice, Ore, Traps and Guns in Islamic Malaya (Cambridge University Press, 2020), and co-edited Islamic Connections: Muslim Societies in South and Southeast Asia (ISEAS, 2009). He is currently working on a forthcoming book entitled Singapore Islam: The Prophet's Port and Sufism across the Oceans.

Sevea is also the author of number of book chapters and journal articles pertaining to Indian Ocean networks, Sufi textual traditions, Islamic erotology and the socioeconomic significance of spirits, that have been published in journals such as Third World Quarterly and Modern Asian Studies. In addition to this, he is a coordinator of a multimedia project entitled “The Lighthouses of God: Mapping Sanctity Across the Indian Ocean,” which investigates the evolving landscapes of Indian Ocean Islam through photography, film and GIS technology.

Selected Publications:

  • Miracles and Material Life: Rice, Ore, Traps and Guns in Islamic Malaya, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020.
  • Islamic Connections: Muslim Societies in South and Southeast Asia (edited with Michael Feener), Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2009.
  • “Pawangs on the Frontier: Miracles, Prophets and Divinities in the Ricefields of Modern Malaya,” Modern Asian Studies, Volume 54, 2019.
  • “Writing a History of a Saint: Writing an Islamic History of Singapore,” NSC Working Paper, Number 27, 2018.
  • “Keramats Running Amok: Islamic Histories and Parahistories of Travel, Belonging, ‘Crimes’ and ‘Madness,'” Belonging Across the Bay of Bengal: Religious Rites, Colonial Migrations, National Rights, Michael Laffan ed., London and New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2017.
  • “Sex to the Next-World: Esoteric Science for the Penis-bearing Mualad,” Shi'ism in South East Asia: 'Alid Piety and Sectarian Constructions, Michael Feener and Chiara Formaichi, eds., London: Hurst, 2016.
  • “Listening to Leaves: Historical Memory of a Keramat in Contemporary Singapore,” The Sufi and the Bearded Man: Re-Membering a Keramat in Contemporary Singapore. Singapore: NUS Museum, 2011.
  • “Making Medinas in the East: Islamist Connections and Progressive Islam,” Islamic Connections: Studies of Muslim South and Southeast Asia, Feener and Sevea, eds., Singapore: ISEAS, 2009.
  • “Islamist Intellectual Space: 'True Islam' and the Ummah in the East,” Asian Journal of Social Science, Volume 35, Numbers 4-5, 2007, pp. 575-607.
  • “Islamist Questioning of Colonialism: Towards an Understanding of the Islamist Oeuvre,” Third World Quarterly, Volume 28, Issue 7, 2007, pp. 1375-1399.


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Contact Information

Divinity 406B


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