This event occurred on October 30, 2008
The Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs
Felicitas Opwis of the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies spoke as part of the "Religion and Religions" seminar series sponsored by the Berkley Center's Program on the Church and Interreligious Dialogue. Over the course of the semester, Georgetown professors from a variety of fields addressed how religion and religions intersect. An ongoing theme was whether and how interreligious dialogue sheds new light on the category of religion, advances our understanding of it, makes it more complicated, or diminishes the claims of particular religions.
Felicitas Opwis joined the Georgetown faculty in 2005 as an Assistant Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies. Prior to Georgetown, she taught at Wake Forest University, Yale University, and Yale School of Law. She graduated with an MA degree in Islamic Studies from the University of Freiburg, Germany, and received her Ph. D. in Arabic and Islamic Studies in 2001 from Yale University. At Georgetown she is teaching predominantly graduate courses on Islamic law, hadith (the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad), and the biographical literature of Islam. Her primary research looks at the development of legal theory in its historical context and the relationship between religious law and political authority. Recent publications include articles on the concept of public interest in classical and contemporary Islamic legal theory; legal change and the construction of authority within the schools of law; and whether the changes that Islamic legal theory underwent in the modern period amount to a “reformation.” She is currently working on a book that traces the development of the concept of public interest in Islamic legal theory from the 9th to the 14th century.
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