Farid Esack
Farid Esack did his undergraduate studies in Islam at Jami'ah Ulum al-Islamia and graduated from Jami'ah Alimiyyah al-Islamia with a Bachelors Degree in Islamic Law & Theology. He did post-graduate research in Qur'anic Studies at Jami'ah Abu Bakr (all in Karachi) and completed a doctoral degree in Qur'anic Hermeneutics at University of Birmingham (UK). In 1994-95 he was a Research Fellow in Biblical Hermeneutics at Philosophische Theologische Hochschule, Sankt Georgen, Frankfurt am Main.

In 1984-89 he was the National Coordinator of Call of Islam As a person committed to inter-religious solidarity for justice and peace and the struggle against apartheid, he played a leading role in the United Democratic Front, The Call of Islam, the Organisation of People Against Sexism, the Cape Against Racism and the World Conference on Religion & Peace. He has been a regular political columnist for the Cape Times (weekly), Beeld and Burger (fortnightly), South African daily newspaper and a socio-religious columnist for Al Qalam, a South African Muslim monthly newspaper. Islamica, a British Muslim quarterly and Assalaamu Alaikum, a New York based Muslim quarterly.

Formerly a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of the Western Cape where he also directed a Human Science and Research Council funded project on Religion Culture and Identity, he has delivered lectures at a number of universities across the world, included Amsterdam, Cambridge, Oxford, Harvard, Temple, Cairo, Moscow, Karachi, Birmingham, Makerere (Kampala) Cape Town and Jakarta on various issues relating to Islam and Muslims in South Africa, Islamic theology, politics, environmentalism and gender justice. After serving as Commissioner for Gender Equality in the South African government for four years, he is now Visiting Professor in Religious Studies at the University of Hamburg

In addition to a number of articles published in different parts of the world, he is the author a major work on Islamic Liberation theology, Qur’an, Liberation and Pluralism  (1996). He has also written, On Being a Muslim: Finding a Religious Path in the World Today (1999) and An Introduction to the Qur’an (Forthcoming). (All by Oxford: Oneworld).  His current research projects include “In Conversation with Progressive Islam: The Struggle for Authenticity, Justice and Belonging” and “AIDS and the Search for an Islamic Theology of Compassion”.

He serves as Director and Trustee of a number of companies and NGOs, including the Community Development Resource Association (Africa's largest OD organization), the (Aids) Treatment Action Campaign, Jubilee 2000 and the Advisory Board of SAFM, the national public radio, and Muslim Peace Fellowship (Newark).


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