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CAIS Public Lecture Series | Cultivating Religious Authority in Islam: The Case of Australia

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In this lecture, Dr Shaheen Amid Whyte will discuss his new book, Islamic Religious Authority in a Modern Age (Palgrave Macmillian). He will outline the main arguments of his book about how religious authority is cultivated and contested in Islam. The lecture will discuss the socio-political history of ulama (religious scholars) and rise of new religious actors in the contemporary period. Using Australia as a case study, Dr Whyte will dissect the key characteristics and traits Muslims search for in religious figures and institutions speaking for Islam. The lecture will share original findings about who Australian Muslims trust and seek for religious knowledge, as well as discuss the role of imams/sheikhs, academics, educators, faith-based leaders and female scholars who generate religious authority within Muslim communities in the West.


Dr. Shaheen Amid Whyte is a Senior Policy officer at the Refugee Council of Australia, and an Adjunct Research Fellow at the Centre for Islamic Studies and Civilisation at Charles Sturt University. He holds a PhD from Deakin University and has published widely on Islam, politics and religious authority in leading journals, including the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion, Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, Religions and the Journal of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations.

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