RSIS Seminar Series on Muslim Societies in Asia by Dr Ebrahim Moosa, Professor of History and Islamic Studies, University of Notre Dame
What is a Madrasa?”
The post-9/11 years have witnessed numerous journalistic and popular writings on the threat to civilization posed by the traditional madrasas (Islamic seminaries) that litter the physical and intellectual landscape of the Muslim world. In his book What is a Madrasa?, Dr. Ebrahim Moosa, Professor of History and Islamic Studies at the University of Notre Dame, challenges such stereotypical narratives with a nuanced and richly textured account of the place and importance of madrasas in Islam by referencing both the historical and the contemporary contexts. He examines madrasas on their own terms rather than approach them from a policy studies viewpoint that sees madrasas as institutions requiring reform and modernization. This seminar, chaired by Dr. Farish Noor, discusses the ideas in Dr. Moosa’s book, and will be held in an in-conversation format.
About the Speaker:
Dr. Ebrahim Moosa is a Professor of History and Islamic Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Ebrahim Moosa’s interpretative and historical research on questions related to Islamic tradition, ethics and law includes two monographs as well as several edited and co-edited books. His prize-winning book Ghazali and the Poetics of Imagination (University of North Carolina Press, 2005) was awarded the Best First Book in the History of Religions by the American Academy of Religion. And, is the author What is a Madrasa? (University of North Carolina Press, 2015. His publications include several co-edited books, among them The African Renaissance and the Afro-Arab Spring (Georgetown University Press 2015); Islam in the Modern World (Routledge 2014) and, Muslim Family Law in Sub-Saharan Africa: Colonial Legacies and Post-Colonial Challenges, (Amsterdam University Press, Spring, 2010). He is also the editor of the last manuscript of the late Professor Fazlur Rahman, Revival and Reform in Islam: A Study of Islamic Fundamentalism (Oxford: Oneworld, 2000). Moosa has published influential essays on Islamic law, theology as well as contemporary Muslim ethics, bioethics, biotechnology and political thought. Moosa is also regarded as a prominent public intellectual. In 2007 he was invited to deliver the 2007 King Hasan Lecture (Durus Hasaniyya) to his Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco in Arabic.