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GrassoThis lecture by Valentina A. Grasso aims to (re)consider the connections between the pre-Islamic material sources on these goddesses and their worship, and the evidence in the Qur’ān itself, where various genres and traditions are pulled together. Narratives about pre-Islamic deities recount a cultural past that was subsequently revised to accentuate the prophetic nature of Muḥammad’s career in a polytheistic environment. Grasso argue that Muḥammad built his message on the existing basis of a flexible henotheism, professing a strict monotheism similar to those of the surrounding scriptural communities and very much inspired by their preaching, but which developed autonomously in the distinctive Arabian milieu, populated by liminal beings, Supreme God(s) and female goddesses. Mohsen Goudarzi (HDS) will serve as a respondent. December 1st at 5pm EST. More Details.


Professor Charles Stang. Photo: Justin Knight
Professor Charles M. Stang
Director, CSWR

The CSWR seeks to promote the study of the world’s religions in their classical and contemporary forms, serving both as a residential community of students and scholars and an international “think tank” in the study of religion.


CSWR Courtyard

Thirteen apartments located within the CSWR are available for rent by students and affiliates of Harvard University by application to the Center.

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Featured Resident

Sherah Bloor

Sherah Bloor

PhD student Sherah Bloor speaks on her work in poetry, philosophy, religion, and community. 

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