“Encountering the Divine as Beauty: Rethinking Islamic Origins”
Ali S. Asani Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic religion and cultures, Harvard University
Ali S. Asani is professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic religion and cultures at Harvard. He provides instruction on a variety of courses on the Islamic tradition such as Understanding Islam and Contemporary Muslim Societies; Religion, Culture and Identity in South Asian Muslim Societies; and Muslim Voices in Contemporary World Literatures. A specialist on Islam in South Asia, he is particularly interested in the arts, broadly defined, as the primary means by which Muslims have experienced their faith, and their potential as pedagogic bridges to foster better understandings of the Islamic tradition.
For more than 30 years, Professor Asani has dedicated himself to eradicate what he calls "religious illiteracy" and to helping others better understand the rich subtext and diverse influences that make religion — in particular, Islam — a complex cultural construction. A recipient of the Harvard Foundation medal for his efforts in improving intercultural and interracial relations by fostering a better understanding of Islam, he also received the Petra C. Shattuck award for excellence in teaching.
(Note: This biography was current as of the date of the lecture. Biographies are not updated over time.)