Having recently graduated from SOAS, University of London with a First class BA (Hons) in Religion, Esmé Lily Katherine Partridge is a researcher, writer and religion consultant. She specialises in Islamic thought, Neoplatonic philosophy and mystical theology, as well as contemporary issues pertaining to secularism, spirituality in a digital age, and the Freedom of Religion or Belief.
Her work is bound together by an overarching interest in religion and secularity; tradition and modernity; and metaphysics and materialism. She addresses these topics in essays for such publications as Renovatio (The Journal of Zaytuna College), Alif, ArabLit Quarterly, Muslim Institute, Traversing Tradition, Athwart Magazine, Genealogies of Modernity, Theos Think Tank, The Royal Society of Arts, UnHerd and The Critic.
Esmé’s undergraduate dissertation on social media witchcraft and its relationship to secular modernity was awarded Top Student Thesis in Digital Religion Studies for 2021 by the Texas A&M University. Her paper on the mysticism of Ibn ‘Arabi was awarded a commendation in the Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi Society’s 2019 International Young Writers Award, and was subsequently published in the Society’s academic journal. She also appears in the latest volume of the Temenos Academy Review with her study on the mystical symbolism of pearls in Syriac Christian and Sufi literature.
In addition, Esmé regularly presents her research at conferences such as those hosted by the Abu Dhabi Forum For Peace, the Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi Society and the Temenos Academy. She also participates in discussions and podcasts on subjects ranging from the theology of artificial intelligence to the Freedom of Religion or Belief in the UK, and was the writer and presenter of Everyday Muslim’s podcast ‘Stories From The Archives’.
Esmé works as an Interfaith Coordinator for the Good Faith Partnership, a social consultancy and incubator at the intersection of religion, politics and civil society. In her role, she works primarily on interfaith and Freedom of Religion or Belief initiatives such as the development of a Religion and diplomacy training programme for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, and is on the secretariat for the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Christianity in the Holy Land.
Through her current role and freelancing work, Esmé has extensive professional experience in consulting, communications, writing and editing, and actively applies these skills to a range of projects. Her work has been featured by SOAS, Church Times, Jewish News, The Irish Catholic, The Week, Atlantico, Front Porch Republic and the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art.