Meena Sharify-Funk

Meena Sharify-Funk is an Associate Professor and former Chair for the Religion and Culture Department at Wilfrid Laurier University who specializes in Islamic studies with a focus on contemporary Islamic and Sufi thought and identity. She also is the mom of a beautiful 11 year-old child who consistently reminds her how to live a life of awe and wonder.  Sharify-Funk has written and presented a number of articles and papers on Islamic and Sufi hermeneutics, women and Islam and the role of cultural and religious factors in peacemaking. She has written, co-authored and co-edited several books including Contemporary Sufism: Piety, Politics and Popular Culture (2018), Unveiling Sufism: From Manhattan to Mecca (2017), Encountering the Transnational: Women, Islam, and the Politics of Interpretation (2008), Contemporary Islam: Dynamic, Not Static (2006) and Cultural Diversity and Islam (2003).  

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Why and how has Sufism become such a contested topic in the 20th and 21st centuries, and what does “authentic” Sufism look like today? Why are historical Sufi shrines in Pakistan, Mali, and Iraq being destroyed by Muslims?  Why do some Muslim governments ban Sufi literature and persecute Sufis, at ...

After teaching an introductory course on Islam for over ten years I still am fascinated that most students are unaware of what Sufism is and how Sufism has influenced Islamic metaphysics, societies, cultures, histories, arts, sciences, and trade. In addition to asking myself “Why is there such a lack of ...

“Women and Islam.” It is a subject that is surrounded by strongly held and divergent opinions, values, and beliefs, as well as by misconceptions, over generalizations, and yes, political agendas. In the 21st Century, there are many competing projects attempting to define who Muslim women are and what their identities ...

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