Robert Hefner

Professor of Anthropology and International Relations; Director, Center for the Study of Asia

Robert W. Hefner is professor of anthropology and former director of the Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs (CURA) at Boston University.  He is former president of the Association for Asian Studies.  At CURA, he directed the program on Islam and civil society since 1991; coordinated interdisciplinary research and public policy programs on religion, pluralism, and world affairs; and is currently involved in two research projects: “The New Western Plurality and Civic Coexistence: Muslims, Catholics, and Secularists in North America and Western Europe”; and “Sharia Transitions: Islamic Law and Ethical Plurality in the Contemporary World.” Hefner has directed 19 research projects and organized 18 international conferences, and authored or edited nineteen books.  Among the most recent are Shari‘a Politics: Islamic Law and Society in the Modern World (Indiana University Press 2011) and Muslims and Modernity: Culture and Society Since 1800 (Cambridge University Press 2010).

Professor Hefner’s areas of expertise include religion and international affairs.


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