Throughout her career, scholar Mona Siddiqui has studied how cultural relationships shape our public discourse, particularly on issues of religion and ethics.
Siddiqui’s work has long concentrated on Islamic jurisprudence and Sharia law. She has also written on religious concepts of hospitality and delivered a series of Gifford Lectures on suffering and struggle.
A recurring theme is the intersection of Islam and Christianity, which is the topic of her four-volume collected work, “Muslim-Christian Encounters,” and a frequent subject of her commentaries on BBC Radio 4’s “Thought for the Day.”
Most recently, she has turned her attention to how religious traditions interpret practices of gratitude and thanksgiving.
Siddiqui is assistant principal for religion and society at the University of Edinburgh, where she also holds the post of dean international for the Middle East. She joined the faculty of Edinburgh’s Divinity School in 2011 as the first Muslim to hold a chair in Islamic and interreligious studies.
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At the core of Siddiqui’s work stand questions of ethics and moral choices — fundamentally, the study of our relationships with individuals, groups and God.
“When someone stands in front of me, how I decide to be with that person is a moral decision,” Siddiqui said. Most matters of conduct, whether laws, commandments, doctrines or codes, have roots in ethical practice.
While at Yale [Divinity School, where she was heading a conference on gratitude], Siddiqui spoke with Faith & Leadership contributor Timothy Cahill about gratitude, ethics and the importance of relationship.
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Photo: Faith & Leadership, courtesy Mona Siddiqui.