Hartford Seminary

Dr. Ingrid Mattson: The Earth Is a Home for You

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Leading Muslim scholar Dr. Ingrid Mattson, who taught at Hartford Seminary from 1998-2012, will give a lecture titled “The Earth is a Home for You.”

A summary: “We live in an age of great displacement, due to political, environmental and economic instability and disparities.  Many feel uprooted and distant from a place they consider their home as a result of forced migration; others move easily in search of economic opportunities, without ever grounding themselves deeply in the places they live.  The tremendous movement of peoples in the 21st century has been a challenge to nationalism, an ideology that depends on subscribing to a mythical narrative of a unified people within a land.  Multiculturalism has been attacked as a failed response to nationalism, on the grounds that it does not provide norms for common action and interests.  The doctrine of “shared values” promoted by many policy makers in response to the perceived failure of multiculturalism is mostly presented in a jingoistic manner with little substance.  The philosophical discourse of “cosmpolitanism,” in contrast, offers promise for peaceful coexistence and ethical living. Professor Mattson argues that cosmopolitanism finds deep resonance in the Qur’an and early prophetic teachings which have often been marginalized by an imperial Islamic discourse. Further, Mattson argues that an Islamic ethics and practice that emphasizes connection with the earth and the rights of creation can provide cosmopolitanism with a means of engendering a feeling of rootedness and belonging that is necessary to stave off false ideologies of identity.”

Dr. Mattson will be teaching a course from June 16-20, Maidservants of Allah: The Spirituality of Muslim Women. The class will explore the spirituality of Muslim women past and present, beginning with a study of the lives of female companions of the Prophet Muhammad.

Dr. Ingrid Mattson is the London and Windsor Community Chair in Islamic Studies at Huron University College at the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada.

At Hartford Seminary, she was a Professor of Islamic Studies, founder of the Islamic Chaplaincy Program and director of the Macdonald Center for Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations. She earned her Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from the University of Chicago in 1999. She has written articles exploring the relationship between Islamic law and society, as well as gender and leadership issues in contemporary Muslim communities. Her introduction to the Islamic sacred text, The Story of the Qur’an: Its History and Place in Muslim Life, has been called “a delicate balance of highly scholarly material and inviting anecdotes.” From 2006-2010 she served as President of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA); she previously served two terms as Vice-President. She is the first woman elected to those positions.

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