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Scott C. Alexander

Scott Alexander

Associate Professor of Islam
ic Studies and Director of the Catholic-Muslim Studies Program
M.A. and Ph.D. in the history of religions (Islamic studies), Columbia University, NY

Scott Alexander’s interest in Islam dates back to the early 1980s, when he was both witnessing the events of the Islamist revolution in Iran, and concentrating in comparative religion as an undergraduate at Harvard. After graduating magna cum laude from Harvard, Scott went on to Columbia University in New York where he earned the M.A. and Ph.D. in the history of religions, with a concentration in Islamic studies. From 1986 to 1990, Scott taught courses on Islam and the history of religions at Columbia, Fordham, and Princeton University, and in 1991 he took a position on the religious studies faculty of Indiana University in Bloomington where he taught as an assistant professor of Islamic studies from 1993 to 2000.

Scott is the author of a number of articles on Islamic history and religion and Christian-Muslim Relations published in scholarly journals, edited collections, and encyclopedias such as the Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East (Macmillan, 1996) and the Encyclopedia of the Qur’an (E.J. Brill, 2001-2005). He has also authored many online blog posts and op-ed essays addressing issues of Islamophobia, and has been featured in a number of videos such as the Knowing and Loving Our Neighbors of Other Faiths series (Work of the People, 2010). His most recent scholarlyresearch focuses on the role of triumphalism in Christian-Muslim Relations and deals with the inherent contradiction between religious claims to universal truth and the religiously motivated desire to impose this truth on others as a means of political and cultural domination.

In addition to sitting on the editorial board of The Journal of Islamic Law and Culture, Scott is a regular consultant on Catholic-Muslim relations for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. He also is a member of the advisory boards for the Martin Marty Center for the Advanced Study of Religion at the University of Chicago, the Lake Institute on Faith and Giving at the Indiana University School of Philanthropy, and the Alliance for Shared Values (New York City), the Niagara Foundation (Chicago) and the Antalya Kültürlerarası Diyalog Merkezi (Antalya, Turkey).

Scott lives in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago where he is a member of the parish family of the Church of St. Thomas the Apostle. He is the proud father of Myles “Chitriman” Alexander, a rising professional triathlete, and is married to Karen Lewis Alexander, currently vice president for development at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association.