Markha Valenta is a scholar, teacher and writer in the Netherlands. She holds an appointment at University College Utrecht in the department of Social Sciences, where she is developing community engaged learning related to issues of (migrant) sanctuary, planetary cultural politics, and urban nature. Her current research addresses public religion in democracies; the US Sanctuary movement, and religious building in world cities. Her work is interdisciplinary and comparative, with a focus on Western Europe, North America and India. She has also worked for the Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR) and is a regular participant in Dutch debates on these issues. She has a column at openDemocracy, entitled Inter Alia, for the discussion of politics, religion and culture.