University of Pittsburgh
March 9, 2004

Pitt's Center for Russian and East European Studies and History Department to Host Islamic Scholar March 16-18

Resid Hafizovic to lecture on religious mysticism and tolerance within Islamic theology
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—Islam is the second largest world religion, and yet some Muslims claim that it is largely misunderstood and misrepresented. In a set of lectures Tuesday, March 16 and Thursday, March 18, Resid Hafizovic, a theologian and professor in the College of Islamic Sciences at the University of Sarajevo, will discuss Islamic theology as it relates to religious tolerance, as well as the often debated tradition of Sufism.

Though recent events may have caused some people in the Western Hemisphere to question the degree to which Muslims are tolerant of non-Muslins, Hafizovic will discuss the precepts of Islam that promote religious tolerance. Hafizovic's lecture, titled "Concept of Dialog and Tolerance in Islam," will take place at 4 p.m. March 16 in Wesley W. Posvar Hall, 230 S. Bouquet St., Oakland. A welcome reception will follow.

Hafizovic's March 18 lecture, titled "Sufism: Esoteric Tradition of Islam," will provide insight into Islamic mysticism. A teacher of comparative religions, Hafizovic can address aspects of mysticism not only in Islam but also in Christianity and Judaism, as well. The second lecture will take place at 4 p.m. in 3J12 Posvar Hall.

Hafizovic earned his first degree from the College of Islamic Sciences, a theological seminary. He undertook graduate studies at the Catholic Theological Seminary in Zagreb before earning the Ph.D. degree from the University of Zagreb. The author of five scholarly books and numerous articles, Hafizovic is an expert in Islamic dogmatics, comparative religious studies, comparative mystical philosophies, and Sufism. He has been a Fulbright scholar at New York University and also has held visiting fellowships at Oxford University, Cambridge University, the University of Paris, and the University of Tokyo.