With his analyses of religion, fundamentalism and terrorism quoted in media around the world, Florida State Professor John Kelsay is a leading religious ethics scholar who focuses on Islamic and Christian traditions. He provides an oft-quoted and authoritative voice in both the academy and the community.
Kelsay's work explores some of the prevailing religious questions of our day. In his latest critically acclaimed book, "Arguing the Just War in Islam," Kelsay examines the concept of jihad and shows that Islamic thinkers have debated the ethics of war and of specific military tactics going all the way back to the time of the prophet Muhammad some 1,400 years ago. That debate continues today, he says.
Highly respected in the academic and public press, Kelsay's special research interests include comparative religious ethics, political ethics, religion, and war. Since 911 the media has sought out this expert on religious ethics, tapping his knowledge of Islamic law, in particular. Kelsay has been quoted in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, Christian Science Monitor and other many other prominent periodicals.
Kelsay is Florida State University's Distinguished Research Professor and Richard L. Rubenstein Professor of Religion. He served as department chair for a decade and has recently been promoted to Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Already the recipient of prestigious fellowships from the Princeton University Center for Human Values and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, Kelsay spent the 2006-07 academic year in Dublin, Ireland as a Fellow of the Institute for International Integration Studies, Trinity University. He currently serves as the co-editor of the Journal of Religious Ethics.
Among his current projects are two books, "Religion and the Imperatives of Justice: The Islamic Law of War and Peace" and "Islam and the Political Future: The Doctrine of Jihad and the Practice of Shari`a Reasoning."
Kelsay graduated from Old Dominion University in 1976. He earned a D.Min. in 1980 from Columbia Theological Seminary. In 1985, he finished the Ph.D. in religious studies (ethics) at the University of Virginia.[Close Button]