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afsaruddinASMA AFSARUDDIN is Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures in the School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington, USA.  She received her PhD in Arabic and Islamic Studies from the Johns Hopkins University and previously taught at Harvard and Notre Dame universities.  Her research interests include Islamic religious and political thought (both modern and pre-modern); Islamic intellectual history; Qur’an and hadith; and gender in Islam.  Professor Afsaruddin is the author and editor of seven books, including Contemporary Issues in Islam (Edinburgh University Press, 2015); the award-winning Striving in the Path of God: Jihad and Martyrdom in Islamic Thought  (Oxford University Press, 2013) which won the World Book Award in Islamic Studies from the Iranian government (2015) and was a runner-up for the British-Kuwaiti Friendship Society Book award (2014); and The First Muslims: History and Memory (OneWorld Publications 2008), which was translated into Turkish as Ilk Müslümanlar:  Tarih ve Bellek (Tuti Kitap, 2014).  She has also written over fifty research articles and book chapters on topics as diverse as Qur’anic hermeneutics, hadith criticism, pluralism in Islamic thought, inter-faith relations, war and peace in the Islamic tradition; Islamic feminisms, and modern reform movements in Muslim-majority societies. Her popular essays have appeared in WorldPost/Huffington Post, Newsweek, the Christian Science Monitor, Religion Dispatches, Review of Faith and International Affairs, and the Islamic Monthly, among others.

Professor Afsaruddin is currently a member of the academic council of the Prince al-Waleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University and of the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Religion and serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy in Washington DC.  She was previously the Kraemer Middle East Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the College of William and Mary (2012) and a visiting scholar at the School of Oriental and African Studies (2003).  She has also been a fellow with the American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE) based in Cairo and the American Research Institute of Turkey (ARIT) based in Istanbul.  She has served on a number of editorial boards, including, most recently, of the Oxford Encyclopedia on Islam and Women (2013) and the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World (2008).  Afsaruddin lectures widely on various aspects of Islamic thought in the US, Europe, and the Middle East and has served as a consultant for the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life as well as a number of other governmental and non-governmental agencies.  Her research has been funded by the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, which named her a Carnegie Scholar in 2005.


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