Indiana University Bloomington
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People: Core Faculty

Asma AfsaruddinAsma Afsaruddin

  • Chair, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures
  • Professor, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures
  • Adjunct Professor, Department of Religious Studies


  • PhD, Johns Hopkins University, 1993 (Near Eastern Studies)

Research Interests

  • Pre-modern and modern Islamic religious and political thought
  • Qur’anic hermeneutics
  • Hadith criticism
  • Exegetical, legal, and ethical perspectives on jihad and martyrdom
  • Muslim attitudes towards the People of the Book
  • Islam and religious pluralism
  • Gender roles

Contact Information

Office: Memorial Hall M17
Phone: (812) 855-5993

Courses Recently Taught

  • Golden Age of Islamic Civilization
  • Islamic Texts: Tafsir
  • Islamic Texts: Hadith Sciences
  • Islam and Modernity
  • War and Peace in the Islamic Tradition
  • Islamic Feminisms
  • Jihad in Islamic Texts

Publication Highlights

  • Striving in the Path of God: Jihad and Martyrdom in Islamic Thoughts.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.
  • Senior Editor.  Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Women.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.
  • Editor. Islam, the State, and Political Authority: Medieval Issues and Modern Concerns. New York: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2011.
  • "“Where Heaven and Earth Meet: Remembering Muhammad as Head of State." In The Cambridge Companion to Muhammad, edited by Jonathan Brockopp, 180–98. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 2010.
  • The First Muslims: History and Memory. Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 2008
  • Excellence and Precedence: Medieval Islamic Discourse on Legitimate Leadership. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 2002.
  • Editor. Hermeneutics and Honor: Negotiating Female Public Space in Islamic Societies. Middle East Monograph series. Cambridge, MA: Center for Middle East Studies, Harvard University, 1999.
  • "“The Hermeneutics of Inter-Faith Relations: Retrieving Moderation and Pluralism as Universal Principles in Qur’anic Exegeses." Journal of Religious Ethics (2009): 331–45.
  • "”Obedience to Political Authority: An Evolutionary Concept." ”In Islamic Democratic Discourse: Theory, Debates, and Directions., edited by Muqtedar Khan, 37–60. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2006.
  • "”The ‘Islamic State’: Genealogy, Facts, and Myths." ”Journal of Church and State 48 (2006): 153–73.
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