Dr. Marcia C. Hermansen

Department of Theology, Loyola University Chicago

Title and Précis:

Alter/native Democracies: Muslim and Catholic Negotiations of Culture, Religion, and Citizenship in the 21st Century

     This research project will engage the theological and conceptual ramifications of certain practices in modern democracies that place Catholics and Muslims in dialogue and contestation with one another. The broader framework of how religion, culture, and democracy are practically and theoretically negotiated by Catholicism and Catholics in interaction with Islam and Muslims will be researched through two inquiries. The first inquiry will document and analyze the practice of reserving electoral seats for religious minorities in a number of contemporary democratic states with Muslim majority populations.  The second will review and put into theological context discussions of cultural or multicultural citizenship that have emerged with increased Muslim immigration into the traditionally Christian nations of Western Europe and North America.


     Dr. Marcia Hermansen is a Professor of Theology at Loyola University Chicago where she teaches courses in Islamic Studies and World Religions. She also directs the Islamic World Studies Program. She received her Doctoral degree from the University of Chicago in Arabic and Islamic Studies. In the course of her research and language training she lived for extended periods in Egypt, Jordan, India, Iran, Turkey and Pakistan. She conducts research in Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and Urdu as well as the major European languages. Dr. Hermansen has written extensively in the fields of Islamic thought, Islam and Muslims in South Asia, Muslims in America and Women in Islam.