A WELCOME MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR:
Welcome to the website of the Bediüzzaman Said Nursi Chair in Islamic Studies at John Carroll University. Here, you will find information about the Islamic Studies programming available at John Carroll, the various community events and programs we organize, sponsor, and host, and links to resources for the study of Islam. I welcome your interest in Islamic Studies and invite your questions and feedback regarding anything you find here.
Islam is the second largest religion in the world. There are currently more than 1.7 billion Muslims in the world making nearly one out of every four people alive today a Muslim. Given this, there is a tremendous need in the United States for people to have accurate information about Islam and to understand what it means to be a Muslim. Not surprisingly, there is also a demand for information about Islam both from students and the general public. Unfortunately, much of that information, especially that found most readily in our popular media outlets, is incomplete or just plain wrong. As one of a growing number of institutes, centers, and chairs for the academic pursuit of Islamic studies at universities in North America, the Bediüzzaman Said Nursi Chair in Islamic Studies is an attempt to provide students and the general public with balanced and responsible academic information about Islam.
Besides regular course offerings in Islamic Studies offered through the Theology and Religious Studies Department, the Nursi Chair offers a variety of programs, including cultural exhibitions, public lectures, and interfaith dialogue events, throughout the academic year. Our events are generally free, usually occur in the evening, and are open to all. Information on upcoming and past events can be found on this site. Please contact us if you have any questions or need more information.
We are grateful for the support we receive from our colleagues and friends here at John Carroll. The vision, mission, and core values of JCU and the Jesuit educational tradition produce a space where the ideas and words of a Turkish Muslim scholar and thinker who died more than 50 years ago can thrive. One of Nursi’s key legacies is his insistence on good relations and dialouge between the “People of the Book,” Christians, Muslims, and Jews. In the current political climate, we need dialogue and understanding more than ever before. The Nursi Chair in Islamic Studies promotes dialogue and cooperation not just between the People of the Book, but between people of all faith traditions. As Nursi poignantly said, “Our heart is so full of love that there is no space for hatred to enter.” We welcome your heart to our space.
Zeki Saritoprak, Ph.D.,
Nursi Chair in Islamic Studies.