Ebrahim Moosa is Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Notre Dame. He holds appointments in the Department of History and the Kroc Institute for International Studies in Notre Dame’s Keough School of Global Affairs. Moosa held previous appointments at Duke University, Stanford University and the University of Cape Town.
Moosa is an expert in Islamic thought, covering modern and premodern Islamic law, theology, contemporary Muslim ethics and political thought. A prominent public intellectual, he was ranked among the 500 most influential Muslims in a 2009 annual publication issued jointly by the Prince Waleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim Christian Understanding at Georgetown University and Jordan’s The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center. In 2007 he delivered the distinguished 2007 Durus Hasaniyya Lecture to his Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco in Arabic in a live broadcast to a regional audience. He has addressed audiences that included among them prominent global statesmen and thought leaders such as former President Bill Clinton, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, former Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi of Malaysia, Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and ministers of state in Turkey. He consulted for the office and cabinet of the late President Nelson Mandela of South Africa. He frequently publishes op-ed pieces in leading publications such as the Boston Review, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Washington Post, the New York Times and is a frequent commentator on Islam, religion and world affairs.
Moosa was trained in both traditional (orthodox) Islamic institutions in India and in the modern academy, specializing in the study of religion at the University of Cape Town. He has published extensively on the history of contemporary Islamic thought, Islamic reform and the reconstruction of tradition. His most recent book is What is a Madrasa? published in the Spring of 2015. His scholarly interests range from human rights, gender, politics and citizenship to bioethics and science and the human person. He has also published widely in medieval Islamic thought, with special reference to the major twelfth century Muslim thinker, Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (d. 1111). Professor Moosa’a prize-winning book Ghazali and the Poetics of Imagination (University of North Carolina Press, 2005) was awarded the Best First Book in the History of Religions by the American Academy of Religion. His other publications include Islam in the Modern World and Muslim Family Law in Sub-Saharan Africa: Colonial Legacies and Post-Colonial Challenges. Moosa is also the editor of the last manuscript of the late Professor Fazlur Rahman, Revival and Reform in Islam: A Study of Islamic Fundamentalism (Oxford: Oneworld, 2000).
In two books under preparation Moosa examines the way religious traditions encounter modernity and how Islam as a tradition generates new conceptions of history, culture, ethics, politics and moral and ethical practices. He gives special attention to the ways in which Muslim societies adapt or resist social change in both democratic and non-democratic contexts.
Professor Moosa serves on several distinguished international advisory boards and continues to interact with communities and role-players in the Muslim world and beyond. Moosa earned his `alimiyya degree specializing in Islamic Studies and Arabic Studies (1981) from Darul Uloom Nadwatul `Ulama, one of India's foremost Islamic seminaries in the city of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. He also has a BA degree from Kanpur University, and a postgraduate diploma in journalism from the City University in London. He earned his MA (1998) and PhD (1995) from the University of Cape Town.