Episode 32: Islam, Feminism, and Interfaith Dialogue w/Dr. Celene Ibrahim
“Those who look for seashells will find seashells; those who open them will find pearls.”
Dr. Celene Ibrahim is an accomplished scholar, chaplain, and consultant. She has been published in numerous media outlets from The New York Times to BBC Persian. Her recently published book is One Nation, Indivisible: Seeking Liberty and Justice from the Pulpit to the Streets, an anthology of inter-religious voices on the transformative power of ecumenism in America. Her current book project examines female figures in the Qur’an (forthcoming in 2020 from Oxford University Press).
Dr. Ibrahim is a public voice on issues of religious pluralism and civic engagement. She teaches religious studies and philosophy on the faculty of Groton School and served as the Muslim Chaplain at Tufts University. Previously, she held a joint faculty appointment as Islamic Studies Scholar-in-Residence at Hebrew College and Andover Newton Theological School where she co-directed the Center for Inter-Religious and Communal Leadership Education (CIRCLE).
Dr. Ibrahim earned a PhD in Arabic and Islamic Civilizations and a master’s degree in women’s and gender studies and Near Eastern and Judaic studies from Brandeis University. She earned an MDiv from Harvard Divinity School and completed her bachelor’s degree in Near Eastern studies with highest honors from Princeton University. She is a graduate of the United World College of the American West (a boarding high school for a diverse and international student body).
Dr. Celene is a humble, brilliant, and vulnerable seeker of truth and justice. She joins me in this latest episode talk about her journey into Islam and Islam’s journey throughout the ages.
One of the core areas of Dr. Ibrahim’s focus of study is women in Islam. We discuss the pivotal figures from the Islamic tradition and what young women of the Islamic faith can learn from their spiritual fore-mothers. One key take away is not only the emotional support of these women but also the political and financial capital that they were able to leverage in order to help their families and communities flourish.
We concluded our conversation by pointing out some areas of the Islamic community that are often misunderstood by the Western public at-large. Be sure to stick around until the end of the episode to find out what this is.
For a book recommended by Dr. Celene Ibrahim – be sure to check out:
“The Alchemy of Happiness“ by Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali
To watch Dr. Celene Ibrahim speak about the importance of cultivating an inner life in doing the important and holy work of social justice activism , click on the video below!
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