An upcoming international workshop co-organised by the university of Leuven and Yunnan University will take place on May 15th.


Additional details of the event can be found here.

SOAS, University of London

Salary: £32,862 – £38,795 p.a. inclusive of London Allowance

Fixed Term (36 months): 15th September 2014 to 14th September 2017

Vacancy No: 000628

The project ‘Sounding Islam in China’ aims to provide new, ethnographically grounded research into the changing nature of Islamic belief and practice in contemporary China. We argue that a focus on the local production of meaning provides clearer insights into the nature and ideology of religious practice. The project is essentially interdisciplinary in nature, crossing boundaries between ethnomusicology, anthropology, history, religion, and sinology. The approach indicates a fieldwork-based approach to sound, experience and meaning, seeking to move beyond the habitual academic focus on text-based and visual narratives. The project will focus on sounded religious practices, including the call to prayer, Qur’anic recitation, prayers, sermons, life-cycle and calendrical rituals, and other forms of religious expressive culture, encompassing ‘live’ practices and the mediated transmission of religious sounds and ideologies.

A series of questions are core to the enquiry: as new visions of transnational ethics become increasingly dominant in Muslim communities across China, by what channels do these new ideologies flow into China, and what actors take on the role of propagating them?  As the state seeks to orchestrate the Chinese Islamic soundscape, through controls, competitions and campaigns, or by promoting religious practices as ‘intangible cultural heritage’, what changes are occurring in ways of listening to these reconfigured practices? How are practitioners of local forms of Islam responding to the twin pressures from reformists and the state?

We are seeking a post-doctoral research fellow, familiar with approaches in the anthropology of sound, to work independently on a three-year ethnographic study of a defined aspect of Islam in China with the focus on sound as the key medium of enquiry. The successful candidate is likely to have a background in anthropology or ethnomusicology, although other disciplinary expertise will be considered. Applicants should propose a research plan as part of their job application, and should expect to revise and refine it in collaboration with the project leaders.

For an informal discussion of the requirements of these positions please contact Dr Rachel Harris, Senior Lecturer in Ethnomusicology: Email:  website:

To apply for this vacancy or download a job description, please visit  No agencies.

Closing date: 30 April 2014

Interviews will be held on 2 June 2014

SOAS values diversity and aims to be an equal opportunities employer.


MESA members are invited to submit nominations for the newly established MESA UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION AWARD which has been created to recognize outstanding scholarship on teaching or other material contributions to undergraduate education in Middle East studies. Examples of such contributions include:


  • WRITTEN MATERIAL:  books, journal articles, conference papers, or published essays on pedagogy or undergraduate curriculum development
  •   PEDAGOGOCAL MATERIAL: innovations in course design or instructional technology.


  • SERVICE: service contributions to undergraduate education in Middle East studies

    (The winner will be presented with an award of $250 and hand-calligraphed certificate at the MESA Awards Ceremony to be held during the MESA annual meeting in October 10-13, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.)


Nominations must be made by current MESA members, who should include the following:



  • Three copies of the material examples (e.g., copy of the conference paper, syllabus)



  •  CV of the nominee


  • Nominations should be mailed to:

    Undergraduate Education Award
    Middle East Studies Association
    The University of Arizona
    1219 N Santa Rita Ave
    Tucson AZ 85721
    sent by fax to 520-626-9095
    emailed to<>

    The deadline for receipt of nominations is August 30, 2013.

 Submissions form

JOURNAL OF SHI‘A ISLAMIC STUDIES – (Journal info found here)

  • Spring 2013, Volume VI, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1748-9423 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2051-557X (Online)


Conversion to Shi‘ism in East Africa [131-154]
Abbas Jaffer

Pirship in Badakhshan: The Role and Significance of the Institute of the Religious Masters (Pirs) in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Wakhan and Shughnan [155-176]
Abdulmamad Iloliev

The Role of Dreams in the Political Affairs of the Safavid Dynasty [177-198]
Nozhat Ahmadi

The Symbolic Expression of Power and Religion in the Public Buildings in Safavid Iran: A Conceptual Interpretation [199-218]
Rafooneh Mokhtarshahi Sani


Islamic Philosophy, Science, Culture, and Religion: Studies in Honor of Dimitri Gutas, ed. Felicitas Opwis and David Reisman, 2012 [219-223]
Taneli Kukkonen

Avicenna’s Deliverance: Logic, trans. and notes by Asad Q. Ahmed, 2011 [224-231]
Wilfrid Hodges

Gender, Sainthood, and Everyday Practice in South Asian Shi‘ism by Karen G. Ruffle, 2011 [232-234]
Clinton Bennett

Foucault and the Iranian Revolution: Gender and the Seductions of Islamism by Janet Afary and Kevin B. Anderson, 2005 [235-238]
Mohammad Samiei

Political Islam, Iran, and the Enlightenment: Philosophies of Hope and Despair by Ali Mirsepassi, 2011 [239-241]
Ali Mortazavian

Sufi Bodies: Religion and Society in Medieval Islam by Shahzad Bashir, 2011. [242-248]
Paul Ballanfat

BOOK NOTES [249-253]

The Alwaleed Centre is pleased to announce a fully-funded PhD studentship in Islamic Studies. The closing date for applications is Friday 24th May 2013. Please forward to those you think may be interested.


PhD Studentship in Islamic Studies

Islamic Civilisation, Muslims in Britain, or The World of Islam and the West

  • Full time, fixed term
  • SALARY SCALE: Tuition fees plus stipend of £13,726 p.a. rising with inflation

The HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Centre for the Study of Islam in the Contemporary World is offering a PhD studentship, for research on any of the three themes on which it works, namely Islamic Civilisation, Muslims in Britain, and The World of Islam and the West, for a September 2013 start. Preference may be given to research proposals focusing on the History of Science in the Islamic World.

Context: The Alwaleed Centre

The HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Centre for the Study of Islam in the Contemporary World is a Centre within the University of Edinburgh, established in 2010, devoted to research, and outreach and knowledge transfer, in the field of Islamic Studies. It is part of a network of Centres established by the HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Foundation, currently two in the United States (Harvard and Georgetown), two in the United Kingdom (Edinburgh and Cambridge), and two in the Middle East (the American University of Beirut and the American University in Cairo), which are devoted to the improvement of mutual understanding between the Muslim World and the West. The Centre’s Director is Professor Hugh Goddard.

The six key objectives of the Centre are:

  • To improve radically knowledge and understanding of Islamic civilisation and of Muslims in Britain among policy-makers, the general public, and students of all ages in the UK through a comprehensive educational outreach programme, and by helping to integrate the study of Islamic civilisation into the school curriculum
  • To advance tolerance, mutual understanding and cross-cultural dialogue between Islam and the West by building new partnerships with institutions in the Muslim world, and with mosques and madrasas within the UK
  • To foster intellectual curiosity and build educational excellence among young Diaspora Muslims in the United Kingdom
  • To create the UK’s leading resource for expertise on Islam in the modern world, based on the integration of the study of Islamic civilisation and issues relating to Islam in modern Britain
  • To produce, on a self-sustaining basis, a world-class cadre of researchers at the postgraduate and post-doctoral levels by providing studentships and fellowships designed to feed into the next generation of academics as well as the public and private sectors
  • To establish a model partnership network with Muslim and other universities around the world, both within and outside the Arab world, that creates new opportunities for knowledge transfer and fosters collaborative research

These objectives are realised through a combination of research and outreach at the local, national and international levels, involving activities such as conferences, workshops, lectures, study days, summer schools, and courses, for policy-makers, business leaders, the media, teachers, and members of the public, with a focus on (a) Islamic civilisation; (b) Muslims in Britain; and (c) the relationship between the World of Islam and the West.

Job description:

The Centre is now offering a PhD studentship, for research on any of the three themes on which it works, for a September 2013 start. Research proposals focusing on the History of Science in the Islamic World are particularly encouraged.

This is a fixed, three-year, studentship, ideal for students who have recently completed a Masters degree in a relevant discipline (e.g. history, Middle Eastern languages, Islamic Studies, Religious Studies, sociology, anthropology). The successful candidate will be expected to be Edinburgh-based, and as well as undertaking research will be expected to contribute to the Centre’s Outreach Programme, in schools, among the general public, and among policy-makers and the media. This will be through lectures and presentations at study days, conferences and symposia, both within and beyond the university, and also through the preparation of material for the Centre’s website.

Supervision will be provided jointly by the Director of the Centre, Professor Hugh Goddard, through the Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, and a co-supervisor in the relevant cognate discipline within which the students have previously worked (e.g. sociology, anthropology, history, theology and religious studies). The successful candidate will also work closely with the Centre’s Post-Doctoral Fellows who are working in the fields of Islamic Civilisation (Dr Yuka Kadoi) and Muslims in Britain (Dr Timothy Peace), and also with its Outreach Projects Manager (Mr Tom Lea) and Administrative and Outreach Officer (Ms Rosie Mellor). There may also be opportunities to contribute to teaching within the university.

For applicants who do not already have a Masters-level qualification, funding may also be available for the payment of the fees for a suitable preparatory Masters level course at the University of Edinburgh.

Essential qualifications:

  • An undergraduate and normally a Masters degree in a relevant subject
  • Proven research skills
  • Ability to undertake research which may involve both the study of texts and engaging with individuals and communities
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Diplomacy, including religious, cultural and political sensitivity
  • The ability to work to deadlines
  • A willingness to be flexible and work non standard hours, if required

Desirable Qualifications:

  • Experience in conducting and explaining research to a wide variety of audiences, both within and beyond a university context
  • Knowledge of a relevant language (e.g. Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Urdu)
  • Excellent presentation and communication skills
  • Ability to communicate with a wide variety of audiences
  • Experience in designing material for websites
  • Experience of working with the media

Start Date:

1st September 2013.

Financial Arrangements:

Each studentship includes the payment of the required fee to the University of Edinburgh, plus a living allowance (for 2013-2014) of £13,726.

Application Procedure:

Informal enquiries may be directed to Professor Hugh Goddard, the Director of the Alwaleed Centre (

Formal applications should be submitted by email to:

Formal applications should include a covering letter, a curriculum vitae, and an outline research proposal.

The provisional interview date for the studentship is Thursday 20th June. Candidates invited for interview will be required to make a 5-minute presentation on their research project, and also to outline the contribution which they would make to the Centre’s Outreach Programme.

Applicants who have not heard from the Centre by Monday 3rd June can assume that their application was unsuccessful.


42nd Annual Conference of the Association of Muslim Social Scientists of North America (AMSS)

“Constitutions and Islam”

Cosponsored By:

Department of Near Eastern Studies & Program of Near Eastern Studies Princeton University, NJ

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Abstracts: May 15, 2013
Papers: August 23, 2013

The rise of Islamist parties and politics in the aftermath of the Arab Spring has brought new attention to the issue of Shari’a, and its relevance to governance. And while this attention has focused on how Islamist parties intend to implement provisions in new constitutions in which Shari’a is specified as a source, the issue itself has many precedents. This conference will seek to broaden the scope of debates about recent developments by soliciting papers which address the role of Shari’a not only in the regimes that have emerged post-Arab Spring, but also in other areas and the West.

We invite a diverse range of papers from scholars in the humanities and social sciences that address the following sub-themes:

  • Shari’a and the State in Islamic History
  • Shari’a as Constitution in Iran and Saudi Arabia
  • Constitutional Debates in Turkey
  • Shari’a and the Arab Spring: Defining the Revolution in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Bahrain and Yemen
  • The Maqasid Debate and the Role of al-Azhar in Egypt
  • Women in the Shari’a State: Constitutional Debates and Women in Tunisia and Egypt
  • Shari’a Activism in Southeast Asia: Civil Society Islamism in Indonesia and Malaysia
  • Islamophobia and Shari’a in the West: Sharia Law in Canada and Europe
  • Shari’a Militancy in West and East Africa: al-Shabab in Somalia, Boko Haram in Nigeria, Ansar el-Din in Mali
  • Shari’a and Sectarianism in South Asia: Sunni Shi’i Relations in Pakistan
  • Shari’a and the Opposition in Central Asia: Afghanistan and the Central Asian Republics

Abstracts (250 words) are due by May 15, 2013. Abstracts will be evaluated according to the following categories: originality of theme, clear methodology, clarity and relevance of the proposal to the conference theme, and sound academic scholarship. Final papers must be submitted by August 23, 2013.

Program Chair: Prof. Sukru Hanioglu (Princeton University)

Send abstracts and final papers to Director of Academic Affairs, Layla Sein, at

Dear All,

Dr Oliver Scharbrodt has kindly gotten in touch to share news regarding the upcoming annual conference of the Irish Society of the Academic Study of Religions at UCD, please find event details below (or here):


Dear colleagues,

Full details are now available of the 2013 conference of the Irish Society for the Academic Study of Religion (UCD Clinton Institute, May 10 – 12) on the theme “Ireland, America and Transnationalism”. This topic highlights the ways in which religion in Ireland has always had a transnational dimension and encourages us to see both the religious past and the present as situated within networks of wider global relationships, both in Ireland and among the Irish diaspora.

The keynote speakers will be Prof. Crawford Gribben (QUB) on “Ireland, America and the End of the World” and Prof. Alicia Turner (York U Toronto) on “Religion, the Study of Religions and Other Products of Trans-locative and Trans-colonial Imaginations”. Prof. Brian Victoria (Antioch) will give a public lecture on “Reflections in a Catholic Mirror: the Struggle to Create a Buddhist Chaplaincy in the US Military”.

A further 38 presenters from Ireland, India, the UK, Sri Lanka, the US, Israel and Argentina will give papers on Catholicism and Protestantism, Islam and Buddhism, Pentecostalism and Mormonism, Theosophy and Paganism, Hinduism and folk religion, covering topics from political religion to religious origins, religious diversity to transnational religion, sacred landscapes to religious education and from gender and religion to religions in translation.

The ISASR website has full details of the programme, registration (EUR75 waged / EUR35 unwaged for the weekend) and practicalities at:

Please circulate this to anyone you know who might be interested.

Laurence Cox

Islam & Democracy


Event Details:

  • Date   : Thursday, 28 February
  • Time  : 18.00-20.00
  • Venue: Trinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute

Islam and Democracy

Democracy, throughout time, has developed and evolved into its current shape & state as it is widely used as the most common way of governing ourselves or our countries; however it looks as though it will continue to evolve further into many different stages and forms to be shaped into a more humane and just system. An endeavour of human beings to find a perfect way of governing themselves will continue till it satisfies their basic needs in both the mortal and the spiritual world.

Islam is a religion that aims to perfect human beings as much as it can, to the level of being good people.  Muslims believe that God and his message using the Quran is incomparable and the purpose of human beings is to know, love and serve God.  Muslims also believe that Islam as practiced and shown by the Prophet Muhammad is the complete, final and universal version of previous faiths that were revealed at many times and places previously thorough many other prophets. Islamic concepts and practices include 6 key beliefs and 5 pillars of Islam which are the basic concepts and obligatory acts of worship, and following Islamic law, which touches on virtually every aspect of life and society, providing guidance on various topics such as economy, welfare, environment, family, warfare and governance.

On the other hand democracy is a form of governing in which all eligible citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Democracy allows eligible citizens to participate equally in the proposal, development, and creation of laws. The term comes from Greek origin meaning the “rule of the people”.

In this lecture, Mustafa Kasim Erol will explore if Islam can be compatible with democracy? Can democracy accommodate Islamic life or is democratic governance possible in a Muslim country? Can we see an Islamic society as a democratic one? What are the common points between Islam and Democracy? What are the differences between these two? Of course Islam and democracy have many dimensions; theory of this general issue, the perception of academics/people and the practice of Muslims in Islamic countries can lead us to different directions.

Mustafa Kasim Erol, graduated from the Department of Theology, Selcuk University, Turkey. He obtained an MA in Islamic Studies; Christian Muslim Relations, University of Birmingham in 1999. He taught Religious Education and Citizenship in various schools 7 years. He was a head-teacher at Coral College. He was a founding member of several educational and dialogue organisations and has acted as chairman in UK. He worked for an interfaith NGO, The Journalists and Writers Foundation, in Turkey between 2008 and 2010 and has also worked part time as an Examiner and Team Leader at Cambridge University (2002-present). In January 2011 Mustafa became the Director of the Dialogue Society in Oxford. He is also a part-time PhD Candidate at Kings College, University of London, at the Department of Education. His areas of interest include Islamic theology, intercultural and interfaith dialogue, education, and human rights. He speaks at conferences and public events on the above topics in the UK and overseas. He is the co-author of the book titled Dialogue in Islam.


Shaheed Flyer

Trinity College’s Department of Near and Middle Eastern Studies, in association with Front Line Defenders is delighted to host Dr. Ahmed Shaheed for a public talk where he will discuss his ongoing work on the human rights situation in Iran.

FaceBook Event Page



Dr. Ahmed Shaheed is an internationally-recognized expert on foreign policy, international diplomacy, democratization, and human rights reform. He has twice held the Office of Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Maldives, a position he used to strengthen the country’s compliance with international human rights standards and norms.

Throughout his tenure as Chief Government Spokesperson and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Shaheed was a leading advocate of a new modern country founded upon liberal democratic principles, strong human rights protections, and openness and engagement with the outside world and international human rights mechanisms; work which culminated in 2008 with the country’s smooth transition to a 21 st -century constitution, the creation of a national human rights commission, and accession to the vast majority of international human rights conventions, including the two Core Covenants.

As a result of Dr. Shaheed’s efforts, in 2010 the Maldives was elected to the UN Human Rights Council with a record number of votes. It was the first time the Maldives had been elected to a UN body. Shortly afterwards, a Maldivian candidate was also elected to the UN Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture (SPT). Dr. Shaheed also led the national consultation process for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).

In 2011, Dr. Shaheed was elected by the United Nations’ Human Rights Council to serve as Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran. In that capacity, he has conducted path-breaking research and issued authoritative reports on that country’s human rights record and compliance.

Dr. Ahmed Shaheed graduated from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, with a bachelor’s degree in International Politics and Strategic Studies in 1989, and obtained his PhD in 1995 from the University of Queensland, Brisbane, in the field of International Relations. He is an avid writer and academic, and has presented numerous papers at various international conferences covering topics as diverse as economic development, terrorism, diplomacy, and democracy.

The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) is currently accepting applications for the position of League of Arab States Advocacy Officer as part of their Arab Regional Advocacy Program. The contract is for 8 months with the possibility of extension upon completion of the initial contract. The deadline for applications is on the 17th of January.

Additional information can be found here.


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