Friends of God in Islamic Art and Literature

Lecture by Dr. John Renard, St. Louis University

Date & Time:

Tuesday, April 17, 2012
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM


McNeely Hall (MCH) 100, St. Paul Campus

A colorful illustrated introduction to the major types of "Friends of God" and major themes Islamic hagiography from the medieval to the contemporary. Friends of God have played a role for at least half the world's Muslims roughly analogous to the importance of Saints for about half the world's Christians. As a the "heirs of the prophets" the Friends function as exemplars of devotion and piety, and enjoy immense popularity for hundreds of millions of Muslims from Morocco to Indonesia.

John Renard received his doctorate in Islamic Studies from Harvard University’s Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations in 1978.  Since then he has been teaching courses in Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism, religion and the arts, and comparative theology in the Department of Theological Studies at Saint Louis University.  Earlier publications include All the King's Falcons: Rumi on Prophets and Revelation (SUNY 1994); Seven doors to Islam and Windows on the House of Islam (California 1996, 1998); and Islam and the Heroic Image: Themes in Literature and the Visual Arts (Mercer, 1999), as well as volumes on Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism in Paulist Press's "101 Questions" series. His most recent books are Friends of God: Islamic Images of Piety, Commitment, and Servanthood(California, 2008) and Tales of God’s Friends: Islamic Hagiography in Translation (California, 2009), and Islam and Christianity: Theological Themes in Comparative Perspective (California, 2011). 

Sponsored by the Muslim-Christian Dialogue Center and the Theology Department

All programs offered by the University of St. Thomas shall be readily accessible to individuals with disabilities. For details, call (651) 962-6315.