January 23, 2015

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

VSU Welcomes Expert on Islam, Islamic Studies Jan. 26

VALDOSTA — Dr. Alan A. Godlas, a leading scholar of Islam in North America, will present “ISIS and Modernist Western Educational Philosophy as Mirror Images: An Ecological, Hermeneutical, and Affective Critique” from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 26, in Odum Library Auditorium No. 1160. A short question-and-answer session will follow. The public is welcome to attend.

Sponsored by the Valdosta State University Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Godlas is known for his Islamic studies and Sufism websites, which are often described as the foremost comprehensive academic websites for the study of Islam and Sufism on the entire World Wide Web. His webpage on Muslims, Islam, and the Iraq War is considered the only thorough treatment of the relationship between Muslims  and the Iraq War.

Godlas has conducted extensive research in manuscript libraries in Egypt, Morocco, and Turkey. His areas of research include Qur'anic commentary (tafsir), hadith, Islamic mysticism (also known as Sufism) and consciousness transformation, and the relationship between Islam, modernism, and postmodernism. The Islamic texts that he studies are primarily in Arabic, Persian, and Turkish.

Godlas is an associate professor in the Department of Religion at the University of Georgia. He is the director of the UGA Virtual Center for Interdisciplinary Studies of the Islamic World and co-director of the UGA Arabic major and the UGA-Morocco Maymester program. He teaches Islamic studies and Arabic courses, and sometimes Persian and Ottoman Turkish, as well as a survey course on the world's religions.  

Born in California, Godlas earned a Bachelor of Science in ecological psychology from the University of California at Davis in 1972. He trained in Gestalt Therapy at the Gestalt Institute of San Francisco from 1973 to 1974 and studied at the SAT Institute under the direction of Dr. Claudio Naranjo. He then studied Persian literature at the University of Tehran from 1974 to 1976, advanced Arabic as a fellow at the Center for Arabic Study Abroad (CASA) in Cairo from 1983 to 1984, and advanced Turkish as a fellow at Bosporus University in 1984. He earned a Master of Arts in 1983 and Doctor of Philosophy in 1991, both in near Eastern studies, from the University of California at Berkley. He has taught at the University of Georgia since 1991.

Contact the VSU Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at (229) 333-5949 to learn more.

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Valdosta State University’s 2013-2019 Strategic Plan represents a renewal of energy and commitment to the foundational principles for comprehensive institutions.

Implementation of the plan’s five goals, along with their accompanying objectives and strategies, supports VSU’s institutional mission and the University System of Georgia’s mission for comprehensive universities. 

Presentations by visiting scholars and experts help the university meet the following goals: 

Goal 1: Recruit, retain, and graduate a quality, diverse student population and prepare students for roles as leaders in a global society.

Goal 3: Promote student, employee, alumni, retiree, and community engagement in our mission.

Goal 4: Foster an environment of creativity and scholarship.

Goal 5: Develop and enhance Valdosta State’s human and physical resources.

Visit http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/planning/strategic-plan.php to learn more.

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