Skip to Content

College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Religious Studies


New Religious Studies Professor in Islamic Studies

Scholar of Islamic thought and culture with particular research interests in mysticism and esotericism in late-medieval Islam.

Visiting Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Noah Gardiner is a scholar of Islamic thought and culture with particular research interests in mysticism and esotericism in late-medieval Islam, and in the role of “the book” in religion.  He received his Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies in 2014 from the University of Michigan, and has also lived and studied in Egypt, Yemen, and Turkey. He is excited to be joining the Department of Religious Studies, and looks forward to helping share knowledge of Islam and Islamic civilization with the University of South Carolina community.

Gardiner will be teaching three courses on the Columbia campus for fall 2016: RELG 101 Exploring Religions (course summary), RELG 250, Introduction to Islam (course summary) and RELG 358 the Qur'an and Hadith (course summary

).

The Course "The Qur'and Hadith" will satisfy the GLD requirement in the Carolina Core and the class will engage intensively with the main scriptural sources in Islam: the Qur’an and the Prophetic Hadith (sayings and anecdotes ascribed to the Prophet Muhammad). We examine the origins of the Qur’an and its relationship to other Abrahamic scriptures; the major themes of the Qur’an; the processes through which it was composed and recorded; Qur’anic interpretation from Sunni, Shi’i, Sufi, and non-Muslim points of view; ritual and magical uses of the Qur’an; and reflections of the Qur’an in the arts and popular culture of Islam historically and in the present. With regard to Hadith, we explore the history of how the sayings of the Prophet were recorded and transmitted, the culture of learning that grew up around the study of Hadith, the major compilations of Hadith, their central importance in Islamic law and theology, and their role in the collective memory of the Prophet in Muslim popular culture.