Director of the Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, Director of Islamic Chaplaincy Program, Professor of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations B.A. (University of Waterloo)
Ph.D., (University of Chicago)
Islamic Law, Early Islamic History
phone: (860) 509-9531
fax: (860) 509-9539
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In the summer of 1987, I was riding the train out to British Columbia to start a tree-planting job in the mountains. I had just finished my undergraduate degree in Philosophy and had only recently begun my personal study of Islam. I came across Fazlur Rahman's Islam in a bookstore a few days before my trip. Reading that book as I traveled across the Canadian prairies, I made the decision to apply to graduate school in Islamic Studies. His book sparked in me a keen desire to study the classical heritage of Islamic theology and law. Going a step further, I wrote a letter to Rahman (this was before we all used email) describing my situation and inquiring if I might be able to study with him. I dropped the letter in a post box somewhere in the Rockies and forgot about it until I returned east in August. There I found a hand-written note from him, inviting me to come to the University of Chicago to study with him. Rahman died before I arrived in Chicago, but it was his book and his encouragement that inspired me to start on the path to scholarship that I have found so rewarding.Dr. Ingrid Mattson is Director of the Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, Director of Islamic Chaplaincy and Professor at the Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations at Hartford Seminary in Hartford, CT.
Dr. Mattson earned her Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from the University of Chicago in 1999. Her research is focused on Islamic law and society; among her articles are studies on slavery, poverty and Islamic legal theory.
Dr. Mattson was born in Canada, where she studied Philosophy at the University of Waterloo, Ontario (B.A. ’87). From 1987-1988 she lived in Pakistan where she worked with Afghan refugee women. In 2001 she was elected Vice-President of ISNA and in 2006 she was elected President of the organization. Dr. Mattson is the first convert to Islam and the first female to lead the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).