Mission and Objectives
As one of the world’s largest and fastest growing religions, Islam exerts significant global influence in politics, culture, and society. The Center for Global Islamic Studies’ mission is to deepen our understanding of the diversity of Muslim cultures and societies in the contemporary global context. The center is inter-disciplinary in nature and includes faculty from the departments of Religion, Anthropology, History, Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, and Political Science, as well as the Center for African Studies and the Center for European Studies.
Why Global? The name Global Islamic Studies highlights the center’s broad scope of focusing on Islam in different corners of the contemporary world. This means to move beyond the more “traditional” areas of the Middle East and to recognize that Islam is present in areas stretching from South Africa in the south to Sweden in the north, and from China in the east to Chile in the west. Islam is truly a global religion, and the Center for Global Islamic Studies seeks to enhance our knowledge and understanding about this rich diversity.
More specific, the aims of the Center of Global Islamic Studies are to produce new and much-needed research on Islam as it intersects with broader social, cultural, political and economic dynamics. The center also offers courses that enable our students to enhance their understanding of Islam and prepare them to become informed citizens in an increasingly diverse reality. In addition, the center engages local communities in activities that will contribute to broadening inter-religious engagement and dialogue.