Press Release

Islam, Political Power, and Religious Authority

March 5, 2020 – by Cole Hatcher

Muhammad Qasim Zaman, Ph.D., to speak March 19 at Ohio Wesleyan

Note: This event has been canceled due to ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) developments. For more information, visit our COVID-19 (coronavirus) Information page.

Muhammad Qasim Zaman

DELAWARE, Ohio – Muhammad Qasim Zaman, Ph.D., the Niehaus Professor of Near Eastern Studies and Religion at Princeton University, will discuss “Islam, Political Power, and Religious Authority,” when he presents Ohio Wesleyan University’s 130th annual Merrick Lecture.

Zaman has written on Islamic political and legal thought, on institutions and traditions of learning in Islam, and on the flow of ideas between South Asia and the Arab Middle East. He will speak at 7:30 p.m. March 19 in Room 301 of OWU’s Merrick Hall, 65 S. Sandusky St., Delaware.

Zaman’s latest books are “Islam in Pakistan: A History” and “Modern Islamic Thought in a Radical Age: Religious Authority and Internal Criticism.” His current projects include an upcoming book on South Asia and the wider Muslim world in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Zaman was a 2009 fellow of the Guggenheim Fellowship for Humanities, and he is the recipient of fellowships from the National Humanities Center, the Institute for Advanced Study, and the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

In addition to being a Princeton professor, Zaman also serves as chair of the Department of Near Eastern Studies. Prior to joining Princeton, Zaman taught at Brown University from 1997 to 2006. He earned his doctorate from McGill University.

His presentation is Ohio Wesleyan’s 2020 Merrick Lecture, sponsored by the OWU Department of Religion. Both the lecture series and Merrick Hall are named in honor of Frederick Merrick, Ohio Wesleyan’s second president. The series began in 1889, and is Ohio Wesleyan’s oldest running lecture series.

Learn more about Zaman at https://religion.princeton.edu/people and more about Ohio Wesleyan’s Department of Religion and Merrick Lecture Series at www.owu.edu/religion.


Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers more than 90 undergraduate majors and competes in 25 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through Ohio Wesleyan’s signature OWU Connection program, students integrate knowledge across disciplines, build a diverse and global perspective, and apply their knowledge in real-world settings. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives” and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at www.owu.edu.