PhD Johns Hopkins University 1993


Asma Afsaruddin is Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures in the School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington, USA. She previously taught at Harvard and Notre Dame universities. She 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. 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.

Academic interests

Islamic religious and political thought, pre-modern and modern; Qur'an exegesis and hadith criticism; War and peace in Islamic thought and tradition; Inter-faith relations; Islamic feminism(s); Pluralism and reform in Islamic thought; Contemporary Islamic movements


Islam and Modernity; War and Peace in the Islamic Tradition; Islamic Feminism(s); Islamic Texts: Tafsir; Islamic Texts: Hadith Sciences


Carnegie Corporation Scholars Grant; Harry Frank Guggenheim Fellowship; American Research Institute of Turkey research grant; Center for Arabic Study Abroad III Fellowship for professors


BOOKS: Striving in the Path of God: Jihad and Martyrdom in Islamic Thought and Practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012, forthcoming; The First Muslims: History and Memory. Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 2008; Excellence and Precedence: Medieval Islamic Discourse on Legitimate Leadership. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 2002; (Editor) Hermeneutics and Honor: Negotiating Female Public Space in Islamic/ate Societies. Middle East Monograph Series. Cambridge, Mass. Harvard University, 1999; (Co-editor) Humanism, Culture and Language in the Near East: Essays in Honor of Georg Krotkoff. Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 1997; ARTICLES & BOOK CHAPTERS: Article “Martyrdom” in The Encyclopedia of Islamic Political Thought. Ed. Wadad Kadi et al. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2011 (forthcoming); “Early Women Exemplars and the Construction of Gendered Space: (Re-)Defining Feminine Moral Excellence,” in Harem Histories, ed. Marilyn Booth. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2010. Pp. 23-48; “Where Heaven and Earth Meet: Remembering Muhammad as Head of State,” in The Cambridge Companion to Muhammad. Ed. Jonathan Brockopp. Cambridge, Eng.: Cambridge University Press, 2010. Pp. 180-198; “Demarcating Fault-Lines within Islam: Muslim Modernists and Hard-Line Islamists Engage the Shari‘a,” in Between Renewal and Tradition: Shari‘a as Discourse in Encounter with Europe. Ed. Jorgen S. Nielsen and Lisbet Christoffersen. London: Hurst, 2010. Pp. 29-44; “Debating Absolutism and Pluralism in Contemporary Islam,” in Debating the War of Ideas. Ed. Erik Patterson and John Gallagher. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. Pp. 207-27; “An Altered Terrain: Engaging Islam in Post-9/11 Academia and the Public Sphere,” in The Impact of 9/11 on Religion and Philosophy: The Day that Changed Everything? Ed. Matthew J. Morgan. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. Pp. 19-29; “Discerning a Qur’anic Mandate for Mutually Transformational Dialogue” in Criteria of Discernment in Interreligious Dialogue. Ed. Catherine Cornille. Eugene: Wipf & Stock, 2009. Pp. 101-121; “The Hermeneutics of Inter-Faith Relations: Retrieving Moderation and Pluralism as Universal Principles in Qur’anic Exegeses,” Journal of Religious Ethics 37,Wiley, 2009. Pp.331-54.

Website Feedback