URI Honors Colloquium features author, Islam expert

Kecia Ali to present Oct. 22 on the topic of Islam in America

Media Contact: Tracey Manni, 401-874-2145 |
Islam expert Kecia Ali
Islam expert Kecia Ali

KINGSTON, R.I. — October 8, 2019 — Islam is the fastest growing religion in the United States, with an estimated 3.4 million Americans practicing the faith. Pew Research Center estimates that Islam will overtake the number of Americans who identify as Jewish by religion by the year 2040, and will rank second in numbers after Christians at that time.

Kecia Ali, a professor of religion at Boston University and an expert on religion, gender and ethics, will speak as part of the University of Rhode Island’s Honors Colloquium on Religion in America, Tuesday, Oct. 22. A prolific author who writes primarily on the Muslim tradition, Ali analyzes modern intersections of Muslim and Western discourses about gender and sexuality.

The author of Sexual Ethics in Islam, The Lives of Muhammad, and Marriage and Slavery in Early Islam, Ali is currently writing Women in Muslim Traditions. Her most recent published book uses popular fiction to discuss gender and ethics. Human in Death explores novelist J.D. Robb’s futuristic police procedurals, analyzing their compelling model of human flourishing as well as their critical omissions.

For well over a decade, Ali has been active in the American Academy of Religion, where she currently holds a seat on the board. She is past president of the Society for the Study of Muslim Ethics. Ali earned her master of arts and doctorate in religion from Duke University. She received a bachelor of arts in history from Stanford University and, as an undergraduate there, converted to Islam.

The colloquium, which runs weekly on Tuesday evenings at 7 pm, through Dec. 10 (except Oct. 1 and 8, Nov. 26 and Dec. 3) at Edwards Hall, 64 Upper College Road, on the Kingston Campus, will feature nine speakers.

See the complete schedule for URI’s premier public lecture series, and If you can’t make it to the lectures, you can watch online.