Abdelmajid Charfi, Professor Emeritus of Arab Civilization and Islamic Thought, University of Tunis (Tunisia)
Abdelmajid Charfi is Professor Emeritus of Arab Civilization and Islamic Thought at the University of Tunis. Prior to this, he was Professor of Arab civilization and Islamic Thought first at the École Normale Superior in Tunis and then at the University of Manouba from 1969 to 2002. Between 2003 and 2005, he served as a member of the Council of the Arab Foundation for Modern Thought. He was a fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin from 1999 to 2000 and held the Chair of Comparative Religions at UNESCO from 1999 to 2003. He is currently the Director of the collection “Ma’alim al Hadatha“ and is a member of the editorial board of several journals including IBLA (Tunis); Revue Arabe des Droits de l’Homme (Tunis); Islamochristiana (Rome); and Prologues, Etudes Maghrébines (Casablanca). Charfi is the author of numerous internationally acclaimed works including: L’Avenir de l’ islam en Occident et en Orient; Damas, Dâr al–fikr (2008, in collaboration with Murad W. Hofmann); L’Islam un et multiple (Beirut, 2006–2009); L’islam entre le message et l’histoire (Beirut, 2001, 2nd ed. 2008; French translation, Paris: Albin Michel; Tunis: Sud Editions, 2004; English translation, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2010; German and Persian language translations in progress); Modernisation de la pensée islamique (Casablanca, 1998 ; 2nd ed. Beirut, 2009; Persian translation, Tehran, 2003); and Islam et modernité (Tunis, 1990; 5th ed. Beirut, 2009; Persian translation, Tehran, 2005). He has also published several articles on modern Islamic thought in various journals in both French and Arabic and has lectured extensively at universities throughout Europe.
Robert Lee, Professor of Political Science, Colorado College (U.S.)
Professor Robert Lee has taught in the Political Science Department at Colorado College since 1971. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University in 1972, having previously received an M.S. in Journalism and an M. A. in Political Science from Columbia, and a B.A. with a major in history from Carleton College. He is a member of the Middle East Studies Association, the American Institute for Maghrib Studies, and the Middle East Institute. His specialty is comparative politics, especially the politics of the Middle East and North Africa, but he also teaches courses on the international relations of the region and other courses in Political Science. Lee’s first book, Overcoming Tradition and Modernity: The Search for Islamic Authenticity (Boulder: Westview, 1997), treats the thought of Muhammad Iqbal, Sayyid Qutb, Ali Shariati, and Mohamed Arkoun. Lee also edited and translated Mohamed Arkoun’s Ouvertures sur l’Islam (Paris: Grancher, 1992), which was published as Rethinking Islam: Common Questions, Uncommon Answers (Boulder: Westview, 1994). His most recent book, Religion and Politics in the Middle East (Boulder: Westview, 2010), surveys comparative approaches to the understanding of religion and politics, focusing on four countries: Egypt, Turkey, Iran, and Israel.
Andreas Christmann, Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Islam, University of Manchester (U.K.)
Andreas Christmann received his M.A. (1993) and Ph.D. (1999) from the University of Leipzig where he studied Arabic, Islamic Studies, and Comparative Religion. During his Ph.D. period he was awarded the Volkswagen–Research–Fellowship and prepared at St. Antony’s College in Oxford (1995–1997) to do field work in Syria. Since 1999, he has taught in the Department of Middle Eastern Studies at Manchester University and is currently Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Islam and Director of Postgraduate Studies. He has participated in several national and international research groups including a two–year research project on “The Islamic World and Modernity“ organized by the Social Science Research Council and the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin, where he took part in the working group on “Islamic Discourse and Modern Muslim scholarship.” He was also a participant in the workshop “Multiple Modernities: Between Nation–Building and Muslim Traditions’ sponsored by the German–American Research Network and co–organized by the working group on “Muslims, Practices, and the Public Sphere” (Florence, 1999). He is a member of the German Association for the History of Religion (DVRG) and the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES). He has been a member of the Journal of Semitic Studies (JSS) editorial board since the year 2000. His most recent publications are The Qur’an, Morality and Critical Reason: The Essential Muhammad Shahrur (Leiden, 2009) and Der Fastenmonat Ramadan und das Fastenabschlussfest ’id al–fitr in Damaskus (Munich, 2009). He has worked intermittently on the writings of Muhammad Shahrur since his first stay in Damascus in 1995, and in a more focused and systematic way since their first meeting in 2001. The Qur’an, Morality and Critical Reason is the first comprehensive introduction in English of Muhammad Shahrur’s writings on Islam and the Qur’an, resulting from close collaboration with Muhammad Shahrur since the autumn of 2006.
Stefan Wild, Professor Emeritus of Semitic Languages and Islamic Studies, University of Bonn (Germany)
Stefan Wild was Director of the German Oriental Institute in Beirut, Lebanon from 1968 to 1973, Professor of Semitic Languages and Islamic Studies at the University of Bonn from 1974 to 1977, and is now Professor Emeritus at Bonn University. He has written a study on Lebanese place names, has worked on classical Arabic lexicography, on classical and modern Arabic thought and literature, and worked extensively on the Qur’anic text. He was editor and co–editor of Die Welt des Islams: International Journal for the Study of Modern Islam (Leiden) from 1982 to 2009. In 2003–2004 he was a Fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin and in 2005 was awarded the Prize of the Helga and Edzard Reuter Foundation. In October 2010, he gave the H.A.R. Gibb–Lectures at the Center of Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University on the topic of the Qur’an.
Mohammad Amin Abdullah, Professor of Islamic Studies, Universitas Islam Negari Sunan Kalijaga, Yogyakarta (Indonesia)
Mohammad Amin Abdullah is currently serving his second term as the Rector of Sunan Kalijaga Islamic State University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia — the first of all the Islamic State Universities, and one of the leading Islamic universities in Indonesia. Dr. Abdullah is well known as an Islamic philosopher who distinguishes normative Islam from historical Islam. Internationally recognized for his role in promoting a modern, pluralistic and tolerant understanding of Islam, Dr. Abdullah helped lead the world’s second–largest Muslim organization, the Muhammadiyah, from 2000–2005, when he served as Vice Chairman of its governing board. Born in the regency of Pati, Central Java in 1953, Dr. Abdullah received his Baccalaureate degree from Pesantren Gontor Ponorogo; his Ph.D. in Islamic Philosophy from the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey; and conducted his post–doctoral study at McGill University in Toronto, Canada. He is the author of numerous books, including Religious Education in a Multi–Cultural and Multi–Religious Era; Between al–Ghazali and Kant: Islamic Ethical Philosophy; The Dynamism of Cultural Islam; and Islamic Studies in Higher Education. He is also the author of dozens of articles, and frequently speaks at international seminars in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Dr. Abdullah is currently engaged in the process of modernizing his institution’s curriculum, and expanding its relationships with other leading universities worldwide, while maintaining its links with the past.
Mahmoud Hussein: Adel Rifaat and Bahgat El Nadi, Political Scientists and Islamologists (France)
Mahmoud Hussein is the shared pseudonym of Bahgat El Nadi and Adel Rifaat, Egyptian–French political scientists and Islamic scholars born in Egypt, in 1936 and 1938 respectively. El Nadi and Rifaat met for the first time in 1955 during the student demonstrations that shook Egypt after the Bandung Conference. They were both active in the Egyptian democratic leftist movement from 1959 to 1964 and were subsequently incarcerated in Nasser’s concentration camps in 1966. Arriving in France, where they established themselves as political refugees, they proceeded to enroll in the Sorbonne and at the école des Hautes études en Sciences Sociales. In 1975 they jointly received their doctorate in Political Philosophy. From 1978 to 1998, El Nadi and Rifaat were senior officials at UNESCO, first as members of the cabinet of the Director General, then as co–directors of UNESCO Courier, an international cultural monthly published in 30 languages. They are the authors of several internationally–renowned books including: La luttes des classes en Egypte (Paris: Maspéro, 1969); Arabes et Israéliens, un premier dialogue: avec Saül Friedlander et Jean Lacouture (Paris: Le Seuil, 1974); Versant sud de la liberté: essai sur l’émergence de l’individu dans le Tiers–Monde (Paris: La Découverte, 1989); Sur l’expédition de Bonaparte en Egypte (Paris: Actes Sud, 1998); and AL–SÎRA, le Prophète de l’islam raconté par ses compagnons (2 vol.) (Paris: Grasset, 2005 and 2007); and Penser le Coran: La Parole de Dieu contre L’Intégrisme (Paris: Grasset et Fasquelle, 2009). They have also participated in the creation of several film documentaries including: “Versant sud de la liberté” (France2, 1993); “Sur l’expédition de Bonaparte en Egypte” (France3, 1998); “Lorsque le monde parlait arabe, ou l’âge d’or de l’islam” (France5, 2000).
Dale F. Eickelman, Professor of Anthropology and Human Relations, Dartmouth College (U.S.)
Dale F. Eickelman is Ralph and Richard Lazarus Professor of Anthropology and Human Relations at Dartmouth College. He has a M.A. in Islamic Studies from McGill University (Montréal) and a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Chicago. Among his publications are Public Islam and the Common Good, co–edited with Armando Salvatore (Boston: Brill, 2004); Muslim Politics, co–authored with James Piscatori (Princeton: Princeton University Press, new ed. 2003); The Middle East and Central Asia: An Anthropological Approach (Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 4th ed. 2002); and New Media in the Muslim World: The Emerging Public Sphere, co–edited with Jon Anderson (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2nd ed. 2003). Eickelman is also a former President of the Middle East Studies Association, and since 2003 has served as Senior Advisor to Kuwait’s first private liberal arts university, the American University of Kuwait. He was named a Carnegie Scholar in 2009 for a two–year project, “Mainstreaming Islam: Taking Charge of the Faith,” and for the first part of 2010 was concurrently a Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study, Berlin.