Lukens-Bull has written significant works on the Anthropology of Islam. His 1999 theoretical article, “Between Text and Practice: Considerations in the Anthropological Study of Islam,” Marburg Journal of Religion 4 (2): 10-20, 1999 has been reprinted and widely cited. Lukens-Bull addressed methodological and ethical issues in his 2007 article “Lost in a Sea of Subjectivity: The Subject Position of the Researcher in the Anthropology of Islam,” Contemporary Islam: Dynamics of Muslim Life. 1(2):173-192. His ethnographic research has focused on Islamic education in Indonesia starting with traditional Islamic education in A Peaceful Jihad: Negotiating Modernity and Identity in Muslim Java (Palgrave McMillan, 2005), which examines how this community is engaging globalization through curriculum revisions. More recently, Lukens-Bull has held a Fulbright Senior Scholar grant which allowed him to examine Islamic higher education and the debates surrounding curriculum shift which in the current political climate leads to accusations of apostasy and in extreme cases barely veiled death threats. Theoretically, this work is important in understanding counter-radical discourses within the context of other Islamic discourse. This was published in 2013 as Islamic Higher Education In Indonesia: Continuity and Conflict (Palgrave McMillan, 2013).
His current research looks at the history and contemporary practices of GP Ansor, a youth movement with militia elements associated with Nahdlatul Ulama, the largest Islamic organization in Indonesia.
Lukens-Bull regularly mentors undergraduates on research projects. Five have received University of North Florida funding to conduct their research; two have presented at the American Anthropological Association meetings; and one has published their research in a venue outside the university.