Omid Safi, B.A. 1992, M.A. 1997, Ph.D. 2000

Professor in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Duke University – Durham, NC

1992 Major: Religious Studies; M.A., Religious Studies (1997); Ph.D., Religious Studies (2000)

How has being a Religion graduate from Duke helped shape you personally and/or professionally?

"I am a scholar of Islam with a broad training in religious studies. Religious Studies has been my field and guild. The cohort of scholars that I trained with at Duke have been and remain my primary colleagues in the field, and over the last twenty years we have continued to collaborate together. The mentorship from the Religious Studies faculty at Duke (and UNC) has shaped my own understanding of what it is to be a part of an intellectual community."

What advice would you give students in Duke's Religion programs? 

"In our graduate program, it is often the case that we focus on ever narrower sub-specialties, which is natural for a dissertation process. It is also helpful to prepare for the eventual (hopefully!) position, which often times has us teaching introductory and comparative level courses that are far beyond the specialization of our fields. So training broadly and comparatively is actually a helpful preparation, not time "away" from our training."

Safi teaching in Madrasa