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Women, Leadership, and Mosques: Changes in Contemporary Islamic Authority

Dear list members,

I am pleased to announce the publication of the following 22-chapter edited volume, which focuses on contemporary female Islamic leadership and authority. Please feel free to forward this to colleagues with interests in this area.

Women, Leadership, and Mosques: Changes in Contemporary Islamic Authority investigates the diverse range of female religious leadership present in contemporary Muslim communities in South, East and Central Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and North America. Its chapters discuss the emergence of female Islamic authority, the limitations placed upon it, and its wider impact, as well as the physical and virtual spaces used by women to establish and consolidate their authority. It highlights how the acceptance of female leadership in mosques and madrassas is a significant change from much historical practice, signaling the mainstream acceptance of some form of female Islamic authority in many places.

In addition to 20 chapters exploring specific examples of female leadership, the volume includes an introduction that lays out main themes in the study of Islamic authority, three section introductions that bring out thematic links between chapters, and a conclusion presenting a case study of a major Pakistani madrasa. It will be invaluable as a reference text, as it is the first to bring together analysis of female Islamic leadership in geographically and ideologically-diverse Muslim communities worldwide.

For more information, see here: There is also a series of essays related to the volume on openDemocracy:

Finally, those interested in the volume may also want to join the mailing list we have started for individuals interested in female Islamic leadership. See the following website for further information and instructions on how to join:

Best wishes,

Hilary Kalmbach

Dr Hilary Kalmbach

Sir Christopher Cox Junior Fellow (Islamic and Modern Middle Eastern


New College, Oxford, OX1 3BN, United Kingdom,