Jane McAuliffe, a scholar of Islam and the Qur’an and past president of Bryn Mawr College among other prestigious leadership posts, will give the annual Sorensen Lecture at Yale Divinity School on Thursday, February 20. Titled “The Christian History of America’s Qur’an,” the lecture will take place at 5:30 p.m. in Niebuhr Hall.
Jane McAuliffe recently retired from a senior role at the Library of Congress and is currently a senior fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs at Georgetown University. Her previous positions include President of Bryn Mawr, Dean of Arts and Sciences at Georgetown University, and Professor at the University of Toronto and at Emory University. McAuliffe has published extensively on Islam and the Qur’an. She is past president of the American Academy of Religion and a member of the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Union Européenne des Arabisants et Islamisants.
In her Sorensen Lecture, McAuliffe will explore how, contrary to pervasive misperceptions, the Qur’an has a long history in this country. “It lived in the minds and hearts of enslaved West Africans for generations,” McAuliffe explains. “It held a place on the library shelves of Colonial politicians, preachers, and scholars. It drew the attention of a broad range of nineteenth-century intellectuals, from literary figures to foreign missionaries, and continues to be a source of new interpretation and expression in this American century. In each of these instances, Christian attitudes and aspirations, sometimes positive and sometimes negative, have shaped engagement with the Qur’an and framed its reception.”
The lecture will be broadcast live on the Divinity School’s Livestream page and available for replay on YouTube.
The Margaret Lindquist Sorensen Lectureship was established in 1978 by a gift from her son, Dr. Andrew A. Sorensen ’62 B.D., to provide an annual lecture on politics and ethics.