This lecture examines the mosque in the Qu'ran as a particularly fructifying site for thinking about religion through Islam. It argues that the Qu'ran's recognition of masjids during Muhammad's lifetime as places of worship despite its disapproval of the forms of worship that took place in them, though paradoxical, reveals an understanding of religious spaces and practices in early Islam as media for negotiating differences and articulating ethical and social values cross-culturally.
Kambiz GhaneaBassiri is Professor of Religion & Humanities at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. He specializes in the history of Islam in America as well as in the intellectual and social history of Islam in the classical and modern periods in West Asia. He was named a Carnegie scholar for his book A History of Islam in America: From the New World to the New World Order, and a Guggenheim Fellow for his current book project on the mosque in Islamic history. GhaneaBassiri is the founding co-editor of the Islam of the Global West book series published by Bloomsbury Academic.