Safi, Omid

Omid Safi

Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion,
Director, Middle Eastern and Islamic Civilizations Studies (MIST)Program

Colgate University. (1999-)  I am currently the co-chair of the Study of Islam section at the American Academy of Religion.  I have been nominated each of my first four years at Colgate University for the “Professor of the Year” award.  Promoted to Associate Professor, Fall 2004.

Mailing Address:

Omid Safi
13 Oak Drive
Department of Philosophy and Religion
Colgate University
Hamilton, NY 13346

Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Office Phone: (315) 228-7690
Office Fax: (315) 228-7998

I have three primary areas of research, which do overlap to some extent:

My first line of inquiry involves contemporary Progressive Islamic Thought. I have been particularly interested in liberal Muslim intellectuals and activists who seek to engage modernity (and post-modernity) from within an Islamic framework. Key areas of concern for these activists include gender equality, social justice, and religious/ethnic pluralism.  I have recently edited a collection of essays, titled Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender, and Pluralism, that deals with this topic. This book was published by Oneworld Publications in February 2003.

A number of my articles dealing with progressive Islam have appeared in the The International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World Review and other sources. In addition, I am editing a second volume of the writings of recent contemporary Muslims, titled Voices of Diversity and Change, in Voices of Islam [5 vol series] edited by Omid Safi.  (Praeger, 2006).  My accepted article on “Islamic Modernism” will be featured in the next series of the Encyclopedia of Religion.  I have a number of essays dealing with the Muslim critiques of the “Clash of civilizations” thesis. Lastly in this facet of my scholarship, I am preparing a single-authored volume on Progressive Islam, which is being submitted to a number of different publishers for consideration.

My second line of research is studying the social and intellectual history of pre-modern Islam, particularly as it relates to the interaction between political and intellectual institutions. I am interested in questions of patronage and devotion among political figures, jurists, philosophers, jurists, and Sufis. I also explore the myriad ways in which political situations impact the framework of religious knowledge. My manuscript The Politics of Knowledge in Premodern Islam, is forthcoming in January 2006 from UNC Press. 

A number of my essays dealing with this facet of my scholarship have been translated to other languages such as Persian and Turkish as well.
My third first line of research revolves around the study of Islamic Mysticism, particularly those from a pre-modern period from 11th to 13th century. I mainly work on mystical figures such as Ayn al-Quzat Hamadani, Ahmad Ghazali, Mawlana Jalal al-Din Rumi, and Shams-e Tabrizi.  I have four forthcoming volumes under contract, all related to Sufism. I have been translating the Tamhidat of Ayn al-Quzat Hamadani for a number of years. This work is under contract with the Classics of Western Spirituality Series of Paulist Press, edited by Bernard McGinn. I also have another volume under contract on Ayn al-Qudat Hamadani, in the “Makers of the Muslim World” series. My volume analyzing Rumi’s main hagiography, the Manaqib al-‘arifin, is being submitted to Fons Vitae in late 2005, for publication in 2006.  For more info, see Reading Rumi’s Life.

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