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May 31st, 2011

Area of Expertise: Religion, Women's Rights
Geographical Expertise - Region: North America
Languages: Arabic, English
Field of Work: Academia, Author/Novelist, Think tank/Research center
City: Bloomington
Country: USA
Continent: North America


asma Asma AfsaruddinAsma Afsaruddin is professor of Islamic Studies and chairperson of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at Indiana University, Bloomington.  She is also Adjunct Professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University.  Professor Afsaruddin received her Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from the Johns Hopkins University in 1993 and previously taught at Harvard and Notre Dame universities. Her fields of specialization are the religious and political thought of Islam, Qur’an and hadith, Islamic intellectual history, and gender.

Professor Afsaruddin is the author of Striving in the Path of God: Jihad and Martyrdom in Islamic Thought and Praxis (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012); The First Muslims: History and Memory (Oxford: OneWorld Publications 2008); and Excellence and Precedence: Medieval Islamic Discourse on Legitimate Leadership (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 2002).  She is also the editor of Islam, the State, and Political Authority (New York: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2011), Hermaneutics and Honor: Negotiation of Female “Public” Space in Islamic/ate Societies (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University, 1999), and co-editor (with Mathias Zahniser) of Humanism, Culture, and Language in the Near East : Essays in Honor of Georg Krotkoff (Eisenbrauns: Winona Lake, Ind., 1997).

She has also written over fifty research articles, book chapters, and encyclopedia entries exploring issues as diverse as pluralism and dialogue in the Qur’an, moderation in Islamic thought; exegetical, legal, and ethical approaches to war and peace in Islam, political Islam, hadith criticism, roles of Muslim women, and Muslim-Christian relations. She has lectured widely in the US, Europe, and the Middle East on these topics and frequently consults with US governmental and private agencies and media outlets on contemporary Islamic movements, inter-faith, and gender issues.

In fall 2003, she was a visiting scholar at the Centre for Islamic Studies at the School for Oriental and African Studies, London, UK, and has been a fellow of the American Research Center of Egypt in Cairo and the American Research Institute of Turkey in Istanbul. Afsaruddin is currently a senior editor of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Women (2012), an advisor to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life for the project “Global Survey of Muslims,” chair of the board of directors of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy; member of the advisory board of a new project called Intertwined Worlds based at the Woolf Institute, Cambridge University, a member of the advisory board of Karamah, and a member of the academic council of the Prince al-Waleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University.  Since 2007, she has been a frequent participant in the Building Bridges seminar, a Christian-Muslim dialogue convened annually by the Archbishop of Canterbury, England.

Her research has been funded among others by the American Research Institute of Turkey, the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, which named her a Carnegie Scholar in 2005.

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