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Carl W. Ernst

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Carl W. Ernst is a specialist in Islamic studies, with a focus on West and South Asia. His published research, based on the study of Arabic, Persian, and Urdu, has been mainly devoted to the study of three areas: general and critical issues of Islamic studies, premodern and contemporary Sufism, and Indo-Muslim culture. He has received research fellowships from the Fulbright program, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, and he has been elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His published research is summarized by two recently published collections of essays: It's Not Just Academic: Essays on Sufism and Islam (forthcoming in 2017), and Refractions of Islam in India: Situating Sufism and Yoga (2016). His most recent book, which won the inaugural Global Humanities Translation Prize from the Buffet Institute, is a translation from the Arabic, Hallaj: Poems of a Sufi Martyr (forthcoming in 2018 from Northwestern University Press). His other publications, which have received several international awards, include an edited volume on Islamophobia in America (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2013); How to Read the Qur'an: A New Guide, with Select Translations (UNC Press, 2011); Rethinking Islamic Studies: From Orientalism to Cosmopolitanism (co-edited with Richard Martin, 2010); Following Muhammad: Rethinking Islam in the Contemporary World (2003); Sufi Martyrs of Love: Chishti Sufism in South Asia and Beyond (co-authored with Bruce Lawrence, 2002); Teachings of Sufism (1999); a translation of The Unveiling of Secrets: Diary of a Sufi Master by Ruzbihan Baqli (1997); Guide to Sufism (1997); Ruzbihan Baqli: Mystical Experience and the Rhetoric of Sainthood in Persian Sufism (1996); Eternal Garden: Mysticism, History, and Politics at a South Asian Sufi Center (1993); and Words of Ecstasy in Sufism (1985).

He studied comparative religion at Stanford University (A.B. 1973) and Harvard University (Ph.D. 1981). He has done extended research tours in India (1978-79, 1981), Pakistan (1986, 2000, 2005), and Turkey (1991), and is a regular visitor to the Gulf, Turkey,
Iran, and Southeast Asia for lectures and conferences. He has taught at Pomona College (1981-1992) and has been appointed as visiting lecturer in Paris (EHESS, 1991, 2003), the University of Seville (2001), and the University of Malaya (2005, 2010). On the faculty of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill since 1992, he has been department chair (1995-2000) and Zachary Smith Professor (2000-2005) as well as member of the Board of Directors of the Middle East Studies Association. He is now William R. Kenan, Jr., Distinguished Professor (2005- ) and Co-Director of the Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations. He and Bruce Lawrence are co-editors of the Islamic Civilization and Muslim Networks Series at the University of North Carolina Press.







Islamic statements against terrorism


Information for graduate applicants in Islamic studies at UNC

Refractions of Islam in India: Situating Sufism and Yoga. Yoda Press/Sage, 2016

coverIslamophobia in America:
The Anatomy of Intolerance,
ed. Carl W. Ernst
(Palgrave-Macmillan, 2013) 
Named an Outstanding Academic Title for 2013 by Choic
e Magazine

     Choice Outstanding Academic
                      Title 2013