ELISABETH BECKER is an ethnographer of religious communities in Europe, she is currently completing her PhD in Sociology at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. For the past several years Elisabeth has been travelling between the US and Europe, researching Muslim communities in Europe. She speaks German and Spanish fluently, and also can speak Turkish moderately. Her dissertation will be published as a book, Unsettled Islam, an ethnography of European mosques, which is under contract with University of Chicago Press (expected publication is in 2019). She is also a fellow/affiliate at thinktanks, such as the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding and the New America Foundation.
Her academic articles have been published in Global Dialogue, Ethnic & Racial Studies, Social Science & Medicine and The Journal of the American Academy of Religion, and she has written articles for popular media outlets including:
Elisabeth is writing a memoir chronicling the cross-cultural marriage between herself, a Jewish American from New York City and her husband, a Turkish German Muslim from Berlin (provisionally titled: “On the Edge of the Worlds: Finding Faith in a Jewish-Muslim Marriage”). With warmth, humour, and honesty, she shares her experiences from when they met as student activists to the moment she told her family of their decision to marry (including why she never informed her 100 year old Jewish grandmother), to the difficult decisions such as whether she would convert to Islam, and to the birth and early upbringing of their son. The mundane becomes heart-wrenching and at times hilarious, from her Muslim mother-in-law begging to re-name her Fatmah, to her agnostic mother suddenly rekindling her Jewish faith as a response to her marriage. While grappling with the unique ups and downs of a cross-cultural marriage in an increasingly divided world, she also explores the universal experience of our individualist, often un-rooted age: Can love overcome all obstacles? Who am I and where do I belong?