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Fuad Naeem

Assistant Professor in Theology


  • Expertise
  • Islam

Fuad S. Naeem is Assistant Professor of Comparative Theology and Director of the Encountering Islam Initiative at the University of St. Thomas. He has previously taught at Gustavus Adolphus College, Williams College, and Georgetown University, where he also worked at the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. He received his PhD from Georgetown University in Theological and Religious Studies—Religious Pluralism, focusing on Islam with a minor in Christianity, and an M.A. in History of Religions—Hinduism and Islam from George Washington University.

His scholarly interests include Islamic intellectual traditions in philosophy, theology, and mysticism, Muslim encounters with religious others, the Qur'an and its exegesis, Islam and modernity, and geographically, Islam in South Asia. He has published in the journals Muslim World and Islamic Studies as well as contributing book chapters and many encyclopedia articles. He has also given numerous conference presentations and public lectures relating. He is currently working on a book manuscript on the reshaping of classical Islamic intellectual traditions in modern South Asia, focusing on the religious scholar and theologian Muhammad Qasim Nanautvi (d. 1880), co-founder of the prominent school of Deoband, who debated Christian missionaries, Hindu reformers, and Muslim modernists and developeded a rational theology to articulate Islamic teachings in the modern world, and the prolific and influential Ashraf ‘Ali Thanvi (d. 1943), who critiqued modern thought and practices from a classical Islamic philosophical and theological perspective and refashioned Islamic spirituality and Sufism for the modern Muslim practitioner.

Naeem has lived in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the U.S., for many years on the East Coast and more recently in Minnesota. He enjoys traveling to sacred and natural sites, meditating, hiking, classical and international film, folk and world music, cooking, and cricket.