Academic Teaching

Discusses teaching philosophies, course design strategies, creative
assignments, the innovative use of multi-media and technology, and
challenges posed by internet and social networking.
Aisha M. Beliso-De Jesus
Assistant Professor of African American Religions
Aisha M. Beliso-De Jesús joined the HDS faculty as Assistant Professor of African American Religions in July 2009 and has offered courses through the Committee on the Study of Religion since the fall of 2009. Her hands-on research with Santería practitioners has taken her to, among other places, Miami, San Francisco, New York City, and Havana, Cuba, where she studied travel, religious tourism, return dynamics, and the uses, practices, circulation, and consumption of religious media. In 2003, she spent four months in San Jose, California, with Latina women who were recovering substance abusers enrolled in the Women's Wellness Substance Abuse Program. Her dissertation, "Becoming Santería: A Transnational Study of Cultural Politics, Media and Religion in Cuba and the United States," examines the interrelated cultural politics by which Santería and Ifá religious practices are reinvented, circulated, and transformed through transnational processes, travel, tourism, consumption, and media between the United States and Cuba. For nearly 16 years, she has been active in numerous community service efforts and is a frequent public speaker, advocating education and nonviolence for youth. Some of her areas of teaching and research include: Africana and the African Diaspora; anthropology of the Caribbean and Latin America; postcolonial theory; studies and ethnography of the Internet; and commodification of culture.
Ali Asani
Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures
Director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program
Born in Nairobi, Kenya, Ali S. Asani is currently Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures at Harvard University. After completing his high school education in Kenya, he attended Harvard College, with a concentration in the Comparative Study of Religion, graduating summa cum laude in 1977. He continued his graduate work at Harvard in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, receiving his Ph.D. in 1984. Prof. Asani holds a joint appointment between the Study of Religion and NELC, where he is currently the chair. He also serves on the faculty of the Dept. of Sanskrit and Indian Studies. He has served on the Committee on the Study of Religion since 1992 and has taught at Harvard since 1983, offering instruction in a variety of languages such as Urdu/Hindi, Sindhi, Gujarati and Swahili as well as courses on various aspects of the Islamic tradition.

Besides his various language courses, he teaches Culture and Belief 19: Understanding Islam and Contemporary Muslim Societies; Culture and Belief 12: For the Love of God and His Prophet: Religion, Literature and the Arts in Muslim Societies; Religion 1802: An introduction to the Islamic mysticism: the Sufi tradition; Religion 1820: Islam in South Asia: Religion, Culture and Identity in South Asian Muslim Societies; Freshman Seminar 37y: Muslim Voices in Contemporary World Literatures. He directs the university's Ph.D. program in Indo-Muslim Culture.

In addition to his specialization in the Muslim literatures of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, Prof. Asani is also interested in Shiism, Sufism and popular or folk forms of Muslim devotional life, and Muslim communities in the West.

Emily Click
Assistant Dean for Ministry Studies and Field Education
Lecturer on Ministry
Emily Click is assistant dean for ministry studies and field education and Lecturer on Ministry at HDS. Her scholarship has focused on new ways of conceptualizing connections among adult education theory, human development theory, and education for religious leadership. She is ordained in the United Church of Christ and has a decade of congregational ministry experience. She has served as chair of the steering committee of the Association for Theological Field Education (ATFE), the North American professional association for theological field educators. Emily teaches courses on leadership and administration, mentoring, and religious education. Publications include "Practical Theology in Contextual Education," in The Blackwell Companion to Practical Theology, edited by Bonnie Miller McLemore (Blackwell, forthcoming), "Ministerial Reflection," in Welcome to Theological Field Education, edited by Matthew Floding (Alban, 2011),  and "The Evolution of Theological Field Education," in Equipping the Saints: Best Practices in Contextual Theological Education, edited by David O. Jenkins and Alice P. Rogers (Pilgrim Press, 2010). She has also written on the educational dimensions of preparing religious leaders.
Ahmed Ragab
Richard T. Watson Assistant Professor of Science and Religion

Ahmed Ragab joined HDS in July 2011 as the Richard T. Watson Assistant Professor of Science and Religion at Harvard Divinity School. He was a visiting lecturer at the Divinity School for the 2009 fall semester and since 2008 had been a postdoctoral fellow and then lecturer in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard. A physician, historian, and scholar of the medieval and modern Middle East, with a medical degree from Cairo University and a doctorate in the history and philosophy of science from the Ecole Pratiques des Hautes Etudes in Paris, he was a researcher at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Cairo, where he directed the organization's Science and Religion and the History of Science programs. In 2008, he was a researcher for the project "Public Policies, Professional Practices and Agents' Conduct Regarding the Risk of Avian Flu (Egypt, France, India, Niger, UK, Vietnam)." From 2003 to 2007, he served as a physician at the Kasr al-Aini Cairo University Teaching Hospital.

Ragab's work includes the history and development of medieval Islamic sciences, the relationship between science and religion in the medieval and modern Middle East, the history of medieval Islamic hospitals, and the intellectual and cultural history of women in the region. He has completed monographic studies of institutionalization and modernization in medieval and early modern science and medicine within Islamic cultures and he writes on contemporary questions at the foundations of science, religion, and culture. Ragab is also the author of numerous articles and book sections and papers. His book "Al-Qawl al-Sarih fi ilm al-Tashrih: Anatomy, medicine and religion in the Ottoman Middle East" is an edition of a rare manuscript on anatomy from eighteenth-century Ottoman Egypt and is set to appear in 2013. He is currently completing two book projects: "A Biography of a Hospital: Medicine, Religion and Charity in the Medieval Middle East," which is a study of the medieval Islamic hospital; and "In the Name of God the Healer: Prophetic Medicine in the Medieval and Modern Middle East," a study of the development of prophetic medicine from the medieval to the contemporary period. Ragab is also working on a research project on perceptions of bodies, genders, and sexualities in medical, religious, and cultural views in the Islamic world. He is also a member of the Commission on History of Science and Technology in Islamic Societies.