The following distinguished scholars and public intellectuals are keynote speakers and panelists at the public launch event for Contending Modernities, November 18-19, 2010, in New York.
Shaykh Ali Gomaa, Grand Mufti of Egypt
A preeminent expert in Islamic law and jurisprudence, Shaykh Ali Gomaa is one of the most widely respected jurists in the Sunni Muslim world. He holds a Ph.D. in Juristic Methodology from al-Azhar University in Cairo, where he served as a professor before his appointment in 2003 as Grand Mufti. His office, the Dar al Ifta, a government agency charged with issuing religious legal opinions on any question to Muslims who ask for them, issues some 5,000 fatwas a week. Shaykh Gomaa has spoken and written on a wide range of topics, including the basis of Islamic law, the Danish cartoon crisis, the problem of religious extremism, and the need for peace and understanding between religions. He is a prolific author and writer on Islamic issues.
Jane Dammen McAuliffe, President of Bryn Mawr College
Jane McAuliffe is an internationally known scholar of Islamic studies. Before becoming Bryn Mawr’s eighth president, she served as Dean of Arts and Sciences at Georgetown University and professor in the departments of history and Arabic and Islamic Studies. She received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and classics from Trinity College, Washington, D.C., and a master’s degree in religious studies and Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from the University of Toronto. Her numerous publications have focused on the Qur’an, early Islamic history, and the relations between Islam and Christianity. She is the editor of the six-volume Encyclopedia of the Qur’an. A member of the American Philosophical Society and the Council on Foreign Relations, she also is past president of the American Academy of Religion and has served on the Vatican’s Commission for Religious Relations with Muslims.
John T. McGreevy, I.A. O’Shaughnessy Dean of the College of Arts and Letters, University of Notre Dame
John McGreevy is a leading scholar of American Catholicism. A professor of history, he came to Notre Dame in 1997 from his position as Dunwalke Associate Professor of American History and History and Literature at Harvard University. He received his bachelor’s degree in history at Notre Dame and his master’s and doctoral degrees in history from Stanford University. McGreevy is the author of two prize-winning books: Parish Boundaries: The Catholic Encounter with Race in the Twentieth Century Urban North and Catholicism and American Freedom: A History. His current research examines the intersection of religion and politics in the United States since the 1960s, as well as the transatlantic dimensions of American religion as revealed through the experience of 19th-century Jesuits.
Ingrid Mattson, Director, Duncan Black Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, Hartford Seminary
A professor of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim relations at Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut, Ingrid Mattson recently finished two terms as president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the largest Muslim organization in the United States. She studied philosophy and fine arts at the University of Waterloo, Ontario. She converted to Islam after college and traveled to Pakistan where she worked with Afghan refugees for a year. Mattson earned her Ph.D. in Islamic studies from the University of Chicago and then became Director of Islamic Chaplaincy and Professor at the Macdonald Center for Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations at Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut. She is the author of The Story of the Qur’an: Its History and Place in Muslim Life, as well as articles on slavery, women, poverty, and Islamic legal theory. She is well known as a public voice encouraging North American Muslims to become active and engaged citizens in American and Canadian society.
M. Cathleen Kaveny, John P. Murphy Foundation Professor of Law and Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame
Cathy Kaveny joined the Notre Dame Law School faculty in 1995 and was named the John P. Murphy Foundation Professor of Law in 2001. She holds four graduate degrees from Yale University, including a J.D. and Ph.D. A member of the Massachusetts Bar since 1993, Kaveny clerked for the Honorable John T. Noonan Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and worked as an associate at the Boston law firm of Ropes & Gray. A professor of theology as well as law, Kaveny teaches a number of seminars that explore the relationship between theology, philosophy, and law. She has published more than 40 articles and essays in journals and books specializing in law, ethics, and medical ethics. She is a member of the Steering Committee of the Catholic Common Ground Initiative, which was founded by the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin to help overcome polarization within the Catholic Church.
Shahla Haeri, Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Boston University
Shahla Haeri is director of the Women’s Studies Program and an Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Boston University. She has conducted research in Iran, Pakistan, and India, and has written extensively on religion, law, and gender dynamics in the Muslim world. She is the author of No Shame for the Sun: Lives of Professional Pakistani Women and Law of Desire: Temporary Marriage, Mut’a, in Iran. Haeri received her Ph.D. in anthropology from UCLA, and she has been awarded several postdoctoral fellowships. She produced a video documentary entitled "Mrs. President: Women and Political Leadership in Iran."
Jacqueline Moturi Ogega, Director of the Women’s Mobilization Program, Religions for Peace
Jackie Ogega is the Director of Women’s Mobilization at Religions for Peace, where she serves as an expert in the strategic gender program and partnership development and manages the Global Women of Faith Network. She is completing her Ph.D. in peace studies from the University of Bradford in England, focusing on gender and peacebuilding. Ogega was previously a lecturer in Gender and Development Studies at the University of Nairobi in Kenya. She has extensive experience and skills in gender, peacebuilding, and development. Ogega has worked extensively with partners in the United Nations, civil society, academic institutions, and governments, and has coordinated gender and development programs in more than 30 countries around the world.
R. Scott Appleby, Professor of History; John M. Regan Jr. Director of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame
Scott Appleby is the director of Contending Modernities. A graduate of Notre Dame, he received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. A historian of Catholicism who also specializes in religion and conflict in the modern period, Appleby is the author of The Ambivalence of the Sacred: Religion, Violence and Reconciliation, and the co-editor of The Fundamentalism Project, an award-winning series of volumes on global religious resurgence. He recently co-chaired the Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ Task Force on Religion and the Making of U.S. Foreign Policy, which released the influential report “Engaging Religious Communities Abroad: A New Imperative for U.S. Foreign Policy.” A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, Appleby holds honorary doctorates from Fordham University, the University of Scranton, and St. John's University, Collegeville, Minnesota.