Hartford Seminary Announces New Assistant Professor of Islamic Scriptures and Law

Hartford Seminary announces the appointment of Ms. Feryal Salem as the new Assistant Professor of Islamic Scriptures and Law, starting in August 2013. Ms. Salem has extensive experience in both Islamic Scriptures and Islamic law acquired through her studies and research at the University of Chicago, from which she will receive her PhD this summer, as well as from her study of Islam traditionally. She has studied abroad in Syria where she received certification to teach Qur?anic recitation and subjects relating to Islamic law, according to a number of schools of practice, and has completed a degree in hadith sciences at the Nuriyya Hadith Institute of Damascus. Furthermore, she has been an instructor at various academic institutions in the Chicago area for the past three years.

In addition to her teaching and research responsibilities at Hartford Seminary, Ms. Salem will be assisting with the Seminary?s Islamic Chaplaincy Program as well as the Imam Training Program, which is being co-sponsored by the International Institute of Islamic Thought.

President Heidi Hadsell commented, ?We are delighted to welcome such an accomplished young scholar to Hartford Seminary. It is clear that she is already a highly regarded teacher from the reviews of her students. We note that Ms. Salem has a clear personal commitment to Islam and has many experiences and accomplishments that demonstrate her achievements not only as a scholar but also as a practicing Muslim. Her achievements in becoming qualified to teach Qur?anic recitation and Islamic law and methodology are highly unusual for a woman, and they present a clear model for our female students.?

Ms. Salem was born in Canada raised in the United States and holds a B.A. in anthropology from Wayne State University. Her academic career includes an anticipated PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Chicago?s Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, from which she also received a master?s degree. Her research focuses on the formative period of Sunni Islamic thought as embodied in the foundational role of Ibn al-Mubarak, as well as related topics such as the development of Islamic theology, law, prophetic traditions (hadith) and Sufism as part of the Islamic scholarly tradition.

Committed to furthering Islamic scholarship, since 2010 Ms. Salem has been actively working within the Muslim American community to establish the Nur Foundation for Sacred Sciences, which focuses on providing opportunities for education in the Islamic sciences for Muslims living in the West.

Commenting on her desire to join Hartford Seminary?s faculty, Ms. Salem says, ?Hartford Seminary is a unique place where academic studies and traditional religious training combine to prepare scholars and future religious leaders. For the Chaplaincy Program, solid training in the Islamic tradition and a strong foundation of personal worship are necessary alongside the development of practical skills to deal with contemporary issues in Muslim American society.?

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