Share the Wealth with Jack Renard: Reflections on a Life in Islamic Studies

This sharing will revolve around questions I get frequently: Whatever led you to choose this as an academic specialization? Why does Islamic religious studies matter? What do Islamic religious studies specialists actually study, and what are some tools of the trade? Given all the time and effort you’ve put into this, how can you not want to be a Muslim? (a question on more than a few Muslims’ minds). Has your study of Islam impacted your own religious or other very personal beliefs? You were a Jesuit when you started full-time study of Islam – how did/does that background influence your approach? Any useful hints from the Catholic tradition about this whole business?

About Jack: Born and raised in Saint Louis 1944, joined the Jesuits in 1962, received MA Biblical at SLU Divinity in 1971, PhD in Islamic Studies from Harvard Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations 1978, at SLU since then. Left the Jesuits in 1989, and married Mary Pat Henehan in 1990.

Join us
Sunday 23 February
Potluck begins at 6:00 p.m.
Jack begins sharing at 6:45
At the home of Lea and Terry
4121 West Pine Boulevard
St. Louis, MO

Among Jack’s many books–

Crossing Confessional Boundaries: Exemplary Figures in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Traditions. University of California Press, 2019.

Islam and Christianity: Theological Themes in Comparative Perspective. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011.

Friends of God: Islamic Images of Piety, Commitment and Servanthood. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008.

A Historical Dictionary of Sufism. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press (imprint of Rowman and Littlefield), 2005.

Knowledge of God in Classical Sufism: Foundations of Islamic Mystical Theology. Paulist Press Classics of Western Spirituality Series — a selection of Medieval texts translated from Arabic and Persian on the theme of “experiential knowledge.” Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 2004.

Understanding the Islamic Experience. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 2002.

Islam and the Heroic Image: Themes in Literature and the Visual Arts. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1999, paperback edition.

Seven Doors to Islam: Spirituality and the Religious Life of Muslims. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996.

All the King’s Falcons: Rumi on Prophets and Revelation. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1994.

by Sharifa Barakat

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