Ode to Islamic Studies

Its Allure, Its Danger, Its Power


  • Edward E. Curtis IV Indiana University School of Liberal Arts




Islam, humanities, Orientalism, Islamophobia


Islamic studies is more than a specialized field of academic study; it is a series of discourses that play important educational, social, and political roles in multiple settings both within and beyond the academy. No one party, especially not its chief academic practitioners, controls its scope or outcomes. Offering outlines multiple examples of institutional growth and discursive strength, this essay contends that any narrow definition of the field, especially polemical ones, ignores the power, the allure, and the danger of Islamic studies--and its centrality to contests over what it means to be human in the contemporary world.

Author Biography

Edward E. Curtis IV, Indiana University School of Liberal Arts

Edward E. Curtis IV is Millennium Chair of the Liberal Arts & Professor of Religious Studies, Indiana University School of Liberal Arts.


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How to Cite

Curtis IV, E. (2014). Ode to Islamic Studies: Its Allure, Its Danger, Its Power. Bulletin for the Study of Religion, 43(4), 21–25. https://doi.org/10.1558/bsor.v43i4.21