Book Talk| Female Religious Authority in Shi'i Islam

28 Feb 2023


Announced by the University of Pittsburgh:

Female Religious Authorities in Shi’i Islam, Past and Present, edited by Mirjam Künkler and Devin J. Stewart, presents the first study, not only in English but also in Middle Eastern languages, on the role of female religious authority in the Shi’i tradition from Fatima and Umm Salama to contemporary female authorities such as Amina Bint al-Huda and Nosrat Amin. The volume brings together twelve original contributions that not only enhance our understanding of female religious authority in Shiʿi Islam across time and space, but also offers comparative reflection regarding the conditions and developments – whether theological, jurisprudential, social, economic, or political – that enhanced or stifled the flourishing of female religious authority. The volume is of importance not just to scholars of gender or Shi’ism, but of religious authority broadly constructed.


Mirjam Künkler is Research Professor at the Institute for Advanced Legal Studies (IALS) of the University of London. Her books include Female Religious Authority in Shiʿi Islam: Past and Present, Edinburgh University Press, 2021 (co-edited with Devin J. Stewart); A Secular Age Beyond the West, Cambridge University Press, 2018; Democracy and Islam in Indonesia, Columbia University Press, 2013; and the forthcoming The Rule of Law in the Islamic Republic of Iran: Power, Institutions, and the Limits of Reform, Cambridge University Press, among others. Besides articles in leading journals in religious studies, Islamic Studies, sociology, law, and political science, she has contributed to the Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Women, the Princeton Encyclopedia of Islamic Political Thought, and the Max Planck Encyclopedia of Comparative Constitutional Law. She is a co-editor of the Cambridge Journal of Law and Religion, co-editor of the Brill Research Perspectives in Religion and Politics, and a member of the editorial boards of the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion (Wiley), the International Journal of Islam in Asia (Brill), the Digest of Middle East Studies (Wiley), and Iranian Studies (Cambridge). Her books have been translated into Arabic and Persian.

Professor Shenila Khoja-Moolji is the Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani Associate Professor of Muslim Societies. Professor Khoja-Moolji researches and writes about the interplay of gender, race, religion, and power in transnational contexts. She explores this theme particularly in relation to Muslim populations in South Asia and in the North American diaspora. She is the author of award-winning books and articles.

Event Date: 
Tuesday, February 28, 2023 - 2:30pm to 3:30pm
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