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"I completed my Doctorate research in late 2021 and passed my oral defense (viva) in early 2023.  With my thesis This is the sound of my soul I became the first Muslim to obtain a Doctorate in Practical Theology/Critical Studies in the UK. As a result of my research in belonging, culture, and identity I have delivered seminars and workshops at well known corporate companies, world class academic institutions, and internationally recognised business schools. An evidence based facilitated presentation typically consists of a keynote lecture followed by an interactive experiential workshop.

In my research I use conversation as a methodology and I write autoethnographically using a relational and co-constructed approach. Despite initially being a somewhat reluctant academic, I am proud to call myself an independent research practitioner.

I continue to participate in British Practical Theology as an active Committee Member and non-executive Trustee of the  British and Irish Association for Practical Theology (a UK charity), and am an advisor to the AHRC funded Communities of Inquiry project based in London, UK.

Currently I am undertaking research, or involved in research projects, looking at leadership for the future, conversation as a method, and belonging and business ethics."

— Saiyyidah Zaidi

Published articles below are in chronological order...

The story of my shoes: an exploration of hospitality and welcome

This article explores the way that the shoes we wear are a symbol of our identity, the context we are in, and what we are communicating consciously and unconsciously. By using an autoethnography method the author explores how she expresses her own identity through the shoes she wears. The primary objective of this paper is to explore expressions of identity thorough choice of footwear. 


The messy art of conversation in practical theology: explorations and reflections.

Using autoethnography, the authors (a Muslim woman and a Christian man) reflect on their co-creation of a podcast series, ‘Conversations in Practical Theology’ which they commenced in 2017. Locating the precipitating factors in their experiences of the British and Irish Association for Practical Theology conference that year, and their respective faith contexts of Islam and Christianity, they test Stephen Pattison’s 2020 proposal that practical theology is fundamentally a practice of conversation.


The Future of Practical Theology: From ‘a tale of two cities’ to a global approach.

In her article ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ (2017) respected American Practical Theologian Bonnie Miller-McLemore describes the ‘two cities’ as: (1) intellectual advancement and stature; and (2) diversity, inclusivity, and representation (2-9). A situation where ‘the conflicts are real; they revolve around power, knowledge, and the forging of a legacy; and there have been casualties’ (2) is portrayed. This paper is a personal reflection on ten years in British Practical Theology. The aim is to consider the future of practical theology beyond inclusion and internationalisation. This article makes a call for increased conversation, compassion, and collaboration locally and globally.

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Exploring the expansion of British Practical Theology: An enquiry using Critical Intersubjectivity, conversation & autoethnography as a methodological approach.

Can I, as a Brown British Muslim Woman, belong in British Practical Theology? Deploying conversational and autoethnographic methods, and using Courtney Goto’s c/Critical i/Intersubjectivity approach, I
reflect on an eight-year doctoral journey. Unexpected insights and deeper awareness into the challenges encountering those engaging in intercultural bridge building are generated.

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Pilgrimage as connective tissue: what you see is not always what you get

This paper is based on a keynote presentation given at the British and Irish Association of Practical Theology (BIAPT) 2022 online conference with the theme ‘Flesh & Blood: Embodiment & Practical Theology.’ First, to avoid misunderstandings and miscommunication I will explore brief definitions. I will then turn to author reflexivity and methodology. Second, I share four autoethnographic vignettes written to explore the theme of embodiment and Practical Theology from the perspective of a Brown-British-Muslim-Woman. Third, I discuss themes of intersectionality and embodiment, and offer some thoughts on what we may do to get to know one another.

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Conversation as a Methodology for Human Flourishing, Belonging & Understanding

Despite the subtle differences, the terms conversation and dialogue are frequently used interchangeably. Conversation is an informal exchange of ideas, thoughts, and opinions between two or more people; it occurs in a range of settings from formal to informal, without a specific goal or objective. 

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Integrating Psychological Safety: Using The All-in Method to Cultivate Belonging & Understanding in Diversity & Inclusion

Many current training initiatives in diversity and inclusion fail. This article addresses how we can curate real psychological safety to be able to convene and participate in the vital, complex and nuanced discussions in the diversity and inclusion arena using facilitative practices.

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