I am grateful for the opportunity to complete my dissertation under the auspices of the Marty Center. My dissertation examines the tumultuous changes that have taken place in the Islamic world over the last century through examining the life and career of the Syrian religious scholar, Said Ramadan al-Bouti (b. 1929). By studying his engagements with various interlocutors, I consider his interventions in the competing conceptions of religion and its role in public life in modern Syria. I hope to start the seminar with three chapters written and to write the remaining two chapters over the course of the year.
As a Marty Junior Fellow, I look forward to sharing my work not only with my peers, but also with a non-academic audience. From the latter, I hope to take on the challenge of articulating the relevancy of my dissertation topic to non-specialists, as well as writing in a manner that is accessible to them. From my peers, I look forward to the opportunity to enrich my dissertation through mutual engagement with specialists in the study of religion.
The Marty Center is the ideal place to complete my dissertation, not only because of its inter-disciplinary environment, but also because of its attention to the role of religion in public life.