The Duke Islamic Studies Center is a vibrant, diverse community of scholars and students engaged in interdisciplinary teaching, interactive learning, and cutting-edge research about Islam and Muslims. We are educating today’s students to become tomorrow’s leaders by equipping them with knowledge about the breadth and diversity of Islamic cultures, cross-cultural experiences, and language skills.
DISC is one of the leading institutions in North America for the study of Islam and Muslims. Its comparative, cross-cultural approach to Islamic studies will foster fresh interpretations of Islam and encourage creative solutions to the economic, political and social challenges involving Muslims. We are committed to working with partners at home and abroad to provide undergraduate and graduate students, professionals and policy makers with the knowledge about Muslims and Islamic cultures, beliefs and practices that will enable them to operate effectively in a multicultural world.
The Duke Islamic Studies Center embodies Duke’s commitments to academic excellence and knowledge in service to society.
Established in 2006 as a sequel to the Center for the Study of Muslim Networks, the Duke Islamic Studies Center (DISC) continues to foreground Muslim networks, especially educational networks, as essential instruments for advancing cross-cultural understanding.
Islam is a global religion, and over 1 billion Muslims practicing their faith worldwide. Muslim nations are playing an increasingly important role in global trade, economic development, and global politics. The forces of globalization in today’s world make cross-cultural and inter-religious contact an unavoidable reality of contemporary life for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Yet in the post-9/11 era, misunderstandings between Muslim and non-Muslim nations are more widespread than ever, and the world seems torn apart by religious hatreds, cultural misunderstandings, intolerance, and a lack of informed dialogue.
In this historical context, it is important that non-Muslim students and professionals in Western universities be educated about Islamic cultures, beliefs, and practices and the history of Muslim contributions to philosophy, science, commerce, and art. It is equally important that Muslim leaders and professionals be familiar with Western cultures, institutions, beliefs, and practices.
At DISC, we approach Islam as a global religion with many distinctive historical and cultural expressions. Through the creative use of networks and networking, we advocate a comparative, cross-cultural approach to Islamic Studies. We believe this approach will foster fresh interpretations of Islam, encourage creative solutions to entrenched social problems that confront the Islamic world, and advance cross-cultural understanding between the United States and the Muslim world.