Elliott Bazzano

Elliott Bazzano is an Associate Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at Le Moyne College, where he teaches courses on Islam and comparative religion. Professor Bazzano’s research focuses on the interplay of Qur’anic interpretation, polemics, and mysticism as well as identity and pedagogy in religious studies scholarship. His article “Normative Readings of the Qur’an: From the Premodern Middle East to the Modern West,” appears in The Journal of the American Academy of Religion (2016) and “Muslim in the Classroom: Pedagogical Reflections on Disclosing Religious Identity” in Teaching Theology in Religion (2016). Bazzano published two articles in Religion Compass (2015) on Syrian polymath Ibn Taymiyya, “Ibn Taymiyya Radical Polymath, Part I: Scholarly Perceptions” and “Ibn Taymiyya, Radical Polymath, Part II: Intellectual Contributions,” as well as a book chapter, “Research Methods and Problems,” in The Bloomsbury Companion to Islamic Studies (2013, 2015). Professor Bazzano serves on the Steering Committee for the Study of Islam Section in the American Academy of Religion, and hosts podcasts for New Books in Islamic Studies. In addition to finding inspiration in the mystical percolations of the Sufis, including coffee (pun intended), he finds his deepest wonder and joy in the miracle of his two daughters who offer him limitless possibilities for contemplating the mysteries of the universe. You can access some of his publications, as well as his CV, at his academia.edu page.

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My most recent post for “Teaching Islam” deals with some of the stakes in teaching and studying religion at a Catholic college. My colleagues Shabana Mir and Sherali Tareen have also provocatively and sharply addressed related topics of “confessional” and “secular” curricular methodologies, so I’d like to continue the ...

What’s a Catholic College? I grew up agnostic and converted to Islam when I was eighteen. A lifetime later, I now teach at a Catholic, Jesuit, liberal arts college. Like many religious studies educators, I continue to mull over questions about the intersections of identity, metaphysics, and socio-politics. So, ...

In two classes that I teach—“Islam” and “The Qur’an”—I often assign the film Wadjda (dir. Haifaa Al-Mansour, 2012) as the first homework assignment. Wadjda tells the tale of a young girl (same name as the film’s title) in Saudi Arabia who longs to own a bicycle, despite ...

Since Trump became a candidate in the 2016 US presidential race, educators have continued to reflect on how his political presence might influence pedagogy. Personally, I find myself in a familiar quagmire: to what extent do I focus on current events in my Islamic studies courses? If I wanted to, each ...

Laughter is an important ingredient in my classroom. I bank on my ability to make students laugh with my often-droll sense of humor, but I also frequently rely on professional comedians through the magic of the Internet. The status of Islam and Muslims in political satire, specifically in the genre ...

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