It is my pleasure to announce that Zeyneb Sayilgan, Ph.D., visiting professor at VTS, has been awarded a First Book Grant for Scholars of Color from the Louisville Institute. These grants, awarded to only a few people each year, enable early career, tenure track religion scholars of color to complete a major study that contributes to the vitality of Christianity in North America. They provide salary replacement so that the awardees can spend an entire academic year devoted to a research project while free of other professional responsibilities such as teaching and committee work.
During the award period next year, Zeyneb will be writing a book-length text tentatively entitled “Islam and Immigration: Building a Resource for Christians to Minister to Muslim Refugees.” She describes the project as a resource that aims to equip Christians ministering to Muslim refugees and immigrants. At the core, the research will investigate the following question: How can Islamic theology and Christian–Muslim history constructively and creatively inform the current public discourse and practices on immigration? Or in other words: How can non-Muslims who serve and minister to Muslim refugee and immigrant communities draw on Islamic theological resources to empower and guide those whose attitudes and worldviews are informed by the Islamic tradition?
The Louisville Institute is funded by the Religion Division of Lilly Endowment and based at Louisville Presbyterian Seminary in Louisville, KY. The Institute’s fundamental mission is to enrich the religious life of North American Christians and to encourage the revitalization of their institutions by bringing together those who lead religious institutions with those who study them, so that the work of each might inform and strengthen the other.
Since she is on maternity leave for this spring semester, Zeyneb is not quite as visible on campus as usual. But if you get a chance to see her or to send her an email, please congratulate her on this significant achievement.
The Rev. Melody D. Knowles, Ph.D. Vice President of Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of Old Testament