Dr David Tittensor



Lecturer, Studies of Religion


Faculty of Arts and Education


SHSS Arts & Education


Melbourne Burwood Campus


Doctor of Philosophy, Monash University, 2011
Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Monash University, 2005
Bachelor of Arts, Monash University, 2005



David's research interests are Muslim movements, Turkish politics and society, religion and development, and the Middle East. He has written and presented widely on the Gülen Movement, and has since converted his dissertation into a book entitled The House of Service: The Gülen Movement and Islam's Third Way (Oxford University Press, April, 2014). Upon completing this project he expanded his research agenda to explore the wider domain of religion and development, with a particular focus on Islam. An outgrowth of the broader focus has been an edited volume (with Prof. Matthew Clarke) entitled Islam and Development: Exploring the Invisible Aid Economy, which is due out in June 2014 with Ashgate. 

David undertook his PhD at Monash University (2007-11) where he completed an ethnography of the Turkish Muslim transnational education movement known as the Gülen Movement. During the course of his studies he won the prestigious Endeavour Award for Turkey ($50,000), which enabled him to spend a year in Turkey between 2008 and 09. His dissertation explored the movement's religious ideo-theology and its impact on the movement's educational activities, and whether the movement should be characterised as a philanthropic/civil society organisation.

Read more on David's profile

Research interests

Muslim movements, Turkish politics and society, religion and development, and the Middle East. 


Tittensor, David (forthcoming, 2013) ‘Making Modern Muslims: The Gülen Movement and the Ideal of Altin Nesil’ Inaugural Australasian Conference on Islam,  November 25-26 Charles Sturt University, Sydney.

Tittensor, David (2012) ‘Gülen’s Schools and the Changing Nature of Islamic Mission: Exploring the Teacher-Student Dynamic’ MESA Annual Meeting, November 17-20,Denver, Colorado.

Tittensor, David & Michael, Michális (2012) ‘Turkey, Australia and the Middle East Quandary: Looking East, Looking West’ The Oceanic Conference on International Studies, July 18-20, University of Sydney.

Tittensor, David (2011) ‘The Changing Nature of Islamic Mission’. Paper presented at the Islam and Development Roundtable, December 13, Deakin University, Burwood Campus, Melbourne.

Tittensor, David (2011) ‘Towards the Fourth Sector: Gülen’s Schools Between Philanthropy and Capitalism.’ Paper presented at ACFID - Universities Linkage Network Conference: An Australian Approach to Development? People, Practice and Policy, December 12-13, Deakin University, Burwood Campus, Melbourne.

Tittensor, David & Anderson, Flora (2011) ‘European Identity and Turkey:
Reconstituting the Symbolic Order/Other. Paper presented at the Globalization, Illiberalism, the West and Islam: European and Australian Perspectives Conference, June 16-17 Prato, Italy.

Tittensor, David (2010). ‘An alternative pilgrimage: teachers doing hizmet abroad’.Paper presented at The Significance of Education for the Future: The Gülen Model, October 19-21  State Islamic Univerity of Indonesia

Tittensor, David (2009). ‘The Gülen Movement: Muslim Educational Activism in Turkey and Abroad’. Paper Presented at the PSI Postgraduate Symposium: Connecting Conversations, October 28 , Monash University, Melbourne.

Tittensor, David & Anderson, Flora (2009). ‘Turkey and the EU: Who’s the sick mannow?’ Paper presented at Young Researchers Conference: East and West together: Twenty Years After the Fall of Communism in Europe, September 23 , Monash University, Melbourne.

Tittensor, David (2009). ‘Essentially Evil? Takkiya and the New Muslim Dissemblers?’ Paper presented at the Islamophobia Conference,  July 18-19, Monash University, Melbourne.

Tittensor, David (2009). ‘Not Just Talking Heads: The Gülen Movement Translating Rhetoric into Action’ Paper presented at the From Dialogue to Collaboration: the Vision of Fethullah Gulen & Muslim-Christian Relations Conference, 15-16 July, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne.

Tittensor, David (2008). ‘Fethullah Gülen’s Schools of Love: A Muslim Model for the Future?’ Paper presented at the Second International Peace Conference, Philosophical Perspectives on Peace: Turkey, Germany & Europe,  October 23-26, Technische Universität Berlin.

Tittensor, David (2007). ‘US-Australia Alliance: asymmetry breeds symmetry’. Paper presented at the Australia in the Middle East & Central Asia: Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan Workshop,  November 21-22, Australian National University, Canberra.


2008 Endeavour Award for Turkey ($50,000)


Filter by


Becoming secular, yet remaining religious: the Gülen movement and the 'engineering' of the golden generation

D Tittensor

(2020), pp. 1-16, Religion, Abingdon, Eng., C1

journal article

Hyper-Securitisation and Belonging: Understanding the Plight of Young Muslims in Melbourne, Australia

David Tittensor, Gerhard Hoffstaedter, Adam Possamai

(2020), Vol. 40, pp. 480-496, Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, Abingdon, Eng., C1

journal article

Secrecy and hierarchy in the Gülen movement and the question of academic responsibility

D Tittensor

(2018), pp. 217-236, Turkey's July 15th coup : what happened and why, Salt Lake City, Utah, B1

book chapter

Understanding Islamic aid flows to enhance global humanitarian assistance

D Tittensor, M Clarke, T Gumus

(2018), Vol. 12, pp. 193-210, Contemporary Islam, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, C1

journal article

The Gülen movement and surviving in exile: the case of Australia

D Tittensor

(2018), Vol. 19, pp. 123-138, Politics, religion and ideology, Abingdon, Eng., C1

journal article

The feminisation of migration? A critical overview

D Tittensor, F Mansouri

(2017), pp. 11-25, The Politics of Women and Migration in the Global South, London, Eng., B1

book chapter

The politics of women and migration in the global south

D Tittensor, F Mansouri

(2017), pp. 1-134, The Politics of Women and Migration in the Global South, A7

edited book

Doing political ethnography in a difficult climate: A Turkish case study

D Tittensor

(2016), Vol. 17, pp. 213-228, Ethnography, C1

journal article

Islam's Modern Day Ibn Battutas: Gülen teachers journeying towards the divine

D Tittensor

(2015), Vol. 42, pp. 163-178, British journal of Middle Eastern studies, London, Eng., C1

journal article

The house of service: the Gulen movement and Islam's third way

D Tittensor

(2014), New York, NY, A1


Introduction: The invisible aid sector

D Tittensor, M Clarke

(2014), pp. 1-11, Islam and development: Exploring the invisible aid economy, Farnham, Eng., B1

book chapter

The changing nature of Islamic mission: The cases of Tablighi Jama'at and the Gülen movement

D Tittensor

(2014), pp. 33-50, Islam and development: Exploring the invisible aid economy, Farnham, Eng., B1

book chapter

Conclusion: Invisible aid: Islam, Muslim NGOs and development

M Clarke, G Hoffstaedter, D Tittensor

(2014), pp. 197-205, Islam and development : exploring the invisible aid economy, Farnham, Eng., B1

book chapter

Islam and development: Exploring the invisible aid economy

M Clarke, D Tittensor

(2014), pp. 1-213, Islam and Development: Exploring the Invisible Aid Economy, A7

edited book

Religion and development: prospects and pitfalls of faith-based organizations

G Hoffstaedter, D Tittensor

(2013), pp. 402-412, Handbook of research on development and religion, Cheltenham, England, B1-1

book chapter

The Gülen movement and the case of a secret agenda: putting the debate in perspective

D Tittensor

(2012), Vol. 23, pp. 163-179, Islam and Christian - Muslim Relations, Oxford, UK, C1-1

journal article

Australia's burqa fallacy

D Tittensor

(2011), Vol. 21, Eureka Street, Richmond, Vic., C1-1

journal article

Fethullah Gülen's schools of love: a Muslim model for the future?

D Tittensor

(2010), pp. 220-232, Concerning peace: new perspectives on utopia, Newcastle upon Tyne, England, B1-1

book chapter

Social capital and public policy - The current challenge facing the victorian government

D Tittensor

(2007), Vol. 66, pp. 512-518, Australian Journal of Public Administration, C1-1

journal article

Funded Projects at Deakin

Other Public Sector Funding

Round Table - Democratic Transition in Tunisia and the Role of Civil Society

Prof Fethi Mansouri, Dr David Tittensor

  • 2015: $30,800

Democracy and Local Governance in Tunisia: Australian and Indonesian Perspectives

Prof Fethi Mansouri, Prof Greg Barton, Dr David Tittensor

  • 2016: $50,000

Revitalising Multiculturalism via Deliberative Interventions

Prof Fethi Mansouri, Dr David Tittensor

  • 2017: $21,000
  • 2016: $49,000


Principal Supervisor

Tezcan Gumus

Thesis entitled: Turkey's failure to consolidate democracy and the role of political leaders

Doctor of Philosophy, School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Associate Supervisor

Raden Yasin

Thesis entitled: The attitude of PKS on the implementation of Sharia in democratic Indonesia.

Doctor of Philosophy, School of Humanities and Social Sciences