November 30, 2006
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.— Abdulaziz Sachedina, a professor of religious studies at the University of Virginia, has been giving a series of lectures at Amherst College this fall on “The Ideals and Realities of the Islamic Community.” Sachedina will present the final lecture, “Modern Theological-Juridical Shiite leadership” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7, in the Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hall at Amherst College. Free and open to the public, the talk is sponsored by the religion department and the Willis D. Wood Fund.

Sachedina, author of Islamic Roots of Democratic Pluralism, is professor of Islamic and Shi’ite Studies, theological and juridical studies in the department of religious studies at the University of Virginia. He was educated at the University of Toronto, the Aligarh Muslim University in India and the Ferdowski University in Iran. He has taught in Canada at Wilfred Laurier, Waterloo and McGill Universities, at Haverford College and at the University of Jordan, Amman. Born to a West Indian family in Tanzania, Sachedina has been praised for his reassertion of “Islam’s potential as a source of tolerance and pluralism” (Middle East Journal). A prominent member of the Islamic Roots of Democratic Pluralism objective within the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Sachedina works to bring knowledge of Islam as a peace-building religion to the general public. He is currently conducting a study titled “Islamic Law for Muslim Physicians: The Spiritual Foundations of Biomedical Ethics in Islam.”