[PAST EVENT] Reviving the Caliphate: Debating Just Governance in Islam

February 20, 2012
7pm - 8:30pm
"Caliphate" among certain Muslims has become a buzz-word with different connotations among different groups of Muslims. For most, it is a word that has become synonymous with just and proper governance, yet considerable differences exist among Muslims about the construction and bases of political authority. This lecture will explore some of the socio-historical reasons for these differences and their implications for the contemporary Muslim world and beyond.

Asma Afsaruddin is professor of Islamic Studies and chairperson of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at Indiana University, Bloomington. She received her Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from 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 and/or editor of six books, including the forthcoming 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 has also written over 50 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 U.S., Europe and the Middle East on these topics and frequently consults with U.S. governmental and private agencies and media outlets on contemporary Islamic movements, inter-faith and gender issues.

Afsaruddin is currently a senior editor of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Women (2012), 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 and a member of the academic council of the Prince al-Waleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University.

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.

This lecture is funded as part of the Kraemer Middle East Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence endowment. The Kraemer Scholar-in-Residence is selected around the scholar's proven knowledge of law and governance in Islamic states and societies.