Carl W. Ernst

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Carl W. Ernst is an American specialist in Islamic studies, with a focus on West and South Asia.

Carl W. Ernst
Carl W. Ernst.jpg
OccupationProfessor and Author

Biography[edit | edit source]

His published research, based on the study of Arabic, Persian, and Urdu, has been mainly devoted to the study of three areas:

  • General and critical issues of Islamic studies
  • Premodern and contemporary Sufism
  • Indo-Muslim culture

He has done extended research tours in India (1978-79, 1981), Pakistan (1986, 2000, 2005), and Turkey (1991), and has been a regular visitor to the Gulf, Turkey, Iran, and Southeast Asia for lectures and conferences

Educations[edit | edit source]

  • Ph.D., Harvard University, the Study of Religion, 1981
  • B.A., Stanford University, Humanities Honors/Religious Studies, 1973

Activities[edit | edit source]

  • Professor at Pomona College (1981-1992)
  • Visiting lecturer in Paris (EHESS, 1991, 2003, plus each May, 2018-20)
  • Department chair (1995-2000) of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Member of the Board of Directors of the Middle East Studies Association
  • Co-Director in UNC Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies
  • President of the American Society for the Study of Religion
  • Co-Editor in Islamic Civilization and Muslim Networks Series, University of North Carolina Press
  • Co-editors of the Islamic Civilization and Muslim Networks Series at the University of North Carolina Press

Honors[edit | edit source]

  • Global Humanities Translation Prize, Buffett Institute – Northwestern University, 2017, for Hallaj: Poems of a Sufi Martyr.
  • Mellon Distinguished Fellow, Arts the Core Program, Carolina Performing Arts, 2016-17.
  • Fellow, Institute for the Arts and Humanities, University of North Carolina, spring 2014.
  • Choice Outstanding Academic Title, for Islamophobia in America, 2013.
  • John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship (2010)
  • American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Fellow (2009)
  • Book awards for Following Muhammad: Rethinking Islam in the Contemporary World  (Cairo, 2004; Istanbul, 2005; Shiraz, 2007); for Ruzbihan Baqli: Mystical Experience and the Rhetoric of Sainthood in Persian Sufism (Tehran, 2008)
  • Fulbright Fellow (India, 1978-79; Pakistan, 1986; Spain, 2001; Malaysia, 2005)
  • Fellow, Institute for the Arts and Humanities, University of North Carolina, 2001.
  • National Endowment for the Humanities (Director, Summer Seminars for College Teachers, 1995, 1999; Research Fellowships, 1989-90, 1993)

Publications[edit | edit source]

Books[edit | edit source]

Articles[edit | edit source]

  • “Persianate Islamic Studies in American Universities.” In Iranian Studies in America: Looking Back, Looking Ahead, ed. Franklin Lewis and Erica Ehrenberg (American Institute of Iranian Studies/Eisenbruns, 2019)
  • “The Dabistān and Orientalist Views of Sufism.” In Sufism East and West: Mystical Islam and Cross-Cultural Exchange in the Modern World, edited by Jamal Malik and Saeed Zarrabi-Zadeh, Studies on Sufism, 2 (Leiden: Brill, 2019), pp. 33–52
  • “Proto-Orientalist Concepts of Sufism.” In Islamic Studies and the Study of Sufism in Academia: Rethinking Methodologies, Kyoto Kenan Rifai Sufi Studies, 3 (Kyoto: Kenan Rifai Center for Sufi Studies, Kyoto University, 2019), pp. 23–38
  • “Wakened by the Dove’s Trill: Structure and Meaning in the Arabic Preface of Rumi’s Mathnawi, Book IV.” In The Philosophy of Ecstasy: Rumi and the Sufi Tradition, ed. Leonard Lewisohn (London: World Wisdom, 2014)
  • “‘A Little Indicates Much’: Structure and Meaning in the Prefaces of Rumi’s Mathnawi (Books I-III).” Mawlana Rumi Review V (2014), pp. 14-25
  • “Disentangling the Persian Translations of Sanskrit Works on Yoga.” In L’espace Du Sens: Approches de La Philologie Indienne, edited by Silvia d’Intino and Sheldon Pollock, Publications de l’Institut de Civilisation Indienne, 84 (Paris: Collège de France. 2018), pp. 411–30
  • “A Persian Philosophical Defense of Vedanta.” In Voices of Three Generations: Essays in Honor of Seyyed Hossein Nasr, ed. Mohammad H. Faghfoory and Katherine O’Brien (Chicago: Kazi Publications, 2019)
  • “Tabaqat-i adyan-i Hind dar `ahd-i inglisiyan-i Hind (Anglo-Persian Taxonomies of Indian Religions) [in Persian].” Iran Namag 1/3 (Fall 2016), pp. 82-103
  • “Muslim Interpreters of Yoga.” In Yoga: The Art of Transformation, ed. Debra Diamond (Smithsonian Books, 2013), pp. 59-68
  • “Indian Lovers in Arabic and Persian Guise: Azad Bilgrami’s Depiction of nayikas.” The Journal of Hindu Studies (2013), pp. 1-15
  • “Islamic Studies in U.S. Universities,” co-author with Charles Kurzman. Review of Middle East Studies 46/1 (Summer 2012), pp. 24-46
  • “The Limits of Universalism in Islamic Thought: The Case of Indian Religions.” Muslim World 101 (January 2011), pp. 1-19
  • “‘The West and Islam?’ Rethinking Orientalism and Occidentalism.” Ishraq: Islamic Philosophy Yearbook (Moscow/Tehran), vol. 1 (2010), pp. 23-34
  • “Sufism, Islam, and Globalization in the Contemporary World: Methodological Reflections on a Changing Field of Study.” In Memoriam: The 4th Victor Danner Memorial Lecture. Bloomington, IN: Department of Near Eastern Languages, 2009
  • “Situating Sufism and Yoga.” Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Series 3, 15:1 (2005), pp. 15-43

Graduate and postdoctoral advising[edit | edit source]

Sources[edit | edit source]

Contact Details[edit | edit source]