Areas of Expertise
John Henry Barrows Professor of Islamic History and Literature at the Divinity School
Michael Sells is a translator and interpreter of the Qur'an, and also studies Sufism and its poetry, apophasis in theology and contemporary Islamic politics. He offers courses in the areas of Islam, Islam and the West, comparative religions, religion and violence, Islamic and comparative mysticism, and Middle East love poetry. The author of seven books and more than 60 articles, most recently Sells coedited and contributed to the forthcoming book The New Crusades: Constructing the Muslim Enemy, which probes the rise of anti-Islamic sentiment in the West and its relationship to anti-Western anger in the Islamic world, with particular attention to the "clash of civilization" theory that posits an essential and unbridgeable conflict of values between Islam and the West. Currently, Sells is completing a book entitled Jihad and Crusade: Religion and Violence after the Cold War.