Author and professor on Islam and gender
Kecia Ali is a Muslim feminist scholar who focuses on Islamic jurisprudence and women in early and modern Islam. After completing her undergraduate studies at Stanford University, she earned a PhD in religion from Duke University, where she was a James B. Duke fellow. From 2001 to 2003, she was a research analyst for Brandeis’s Feminist Sexual Ethics Project, an initiative aimed at exploring the sexual ethics of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Her work with the project developed into a book entitled: Sexual Ethics and Islam: Feminist Reflections on Qur’an, Hadith and Jurisprudence, that was published in 2006. After stints at Harvard Divinity School and Brandeis University as a research associate and a postdoctoral fellow, she joined Boston University as an assistant professor of religion. With Oliver Leaman, Kecia coauthored Islam: The Key Concepts in 2007. The book is a concise guide to Islam that addresses issues from the role of women in Islam to jihad to the Quran and theology. Marriage and Slavery in Early Islam, Kecia’s systemic analysis of how different schools of Islamic jurisprudence conceptualized marriage, appeared in 2010. Forthcoming is a biography of the 9th century jurist al-Shafi’i that focuses on his role as an influential early legal thinker in Islam. Another current project is The Lives of Muhammad, in which Kecia examines biographies by both Muslim and non-Muslim authors across history in order to show the interdependence between discourses in Islam and the West about Prophet Muhammad’s life.