Hassan to talk about Islam, social justice

Riffat Hassan, an internationally known scholar who has been extensively involved in interreligious dialogue with Jews, Christians and Muslims with a particular focus on human rights in religious traditions, will speak on the topic “Islam and Social Justice: The Perspective of a Muslim Woman,” Thursday, Nov. 29, at 6:30 p.m. in the Josephine Ogle Center.

The event is free and open to the public.

In 1999, Hassan, a Pakistani American, founded The International Network for the Rights of Female Victims of Violence in Pakistan, a nonprofit organization with a worldwide membership that has played a noteworthy role in highlighting the issue of violence against girls and women.

Though now retired, Hassan served as professor of religious studies and humanities at the University of Louisville, Ky., for 20 years. During this time, she also taught at the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, prior to which she spent two years at Harvard University (Mass.)

A pioneer of feminist theology in the context of the Islamic tradition, Hassan began her work in this area in 1974. She was a major spokesperson for liberal or progressive Islam during the International Conference on Population and Development at Cairo in 1994 and was the only university professor to be a speaker at a plenary session of the NGO forum at Huairou, China in 1995.

Educated at an Anglican missionary school in Lahore, Pakistan, Hassan graduated with double honors in English and philosophy from the University of Durham (U.K.) in 1964 and earned her doctorate from that institution in 1968.

This lecture is part of The Bill and June Rogers Peace and Social Justice Speakers Forum.