Sophie is a PhD candidate at the Department of Divinity, History and Philosophy at the University of Aberdeen.

She is funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie POLITICO programme at the Centre for Citizenship, Civil Society and Rule of Law (CISRUL).

Her PhD project investigates to which extent political secularism in Europe is still influenced by its Christian past, and the consequences of a potential Christian bias for religious and racial minorities. She focuses primarily on the work of Gil Anidjar and Charles Taylor, bridging debates in critical secularism studies and normative political philosophy. Her project is supervised by Dr. Brian BrockDr. Nadia Kiwan, and Dr. Tamas Gyorfi. As part of her PhD, Sophie did a research placement at the Race-Religion Constellation Project (RRC) at Radboud University Nijmegen, with which she remains affiliated.

Sophie holds master’s degrees in Political Science from Radboud University Nijmegen (The Netherlands), and Political Philosophy from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium). Prior to her PhD, Sophie was an intern at the Dutch Green Foundation, assisting a European project on Religion and Green Values, and a research intern at the Dutch Scientific Council for Government Policy, where she worked on migration diversity. She also edited and translated columns on racism and social exclusion.

Sophie recently presented her research at various conferences including the Britain and Ireland Association for Political Thought (APT), the Implicit Religion Conference, the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR), and the European Academy of Religion. In 2020 and 2021, she was co-organiser of the 4 day conference and event series “Conceptualizing Difference” at the University of Aberdeen.


Lauwers, A. S. (2022) “Religion, secularity, culture? Investigating Christian privilege in Western Europe”, Ethnicities.

Lauwers, A. S. (2019) “Is Islamophobia (Always) Racism”, Critical Philosophy of Race, volume 7, Issue 2, pp. 306-322.


  • Social and political exclusion
  • Racism
  • Secularism
  • Religious diversity
  • Political community
  • Difference


  • How Should One Live?
  • Life, Death and Meaning
  • Controversial Questions


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research & Innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 754326.