William A. Graham

William A. Graham

Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor
Murray A. Albertson Research Professor of Middle Eastern Studies
William A. Graham

Professor Graham has been a member of the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences since 1973 and holds a joint appointment in NELC and the Study of Religion. He served as Dean of Harvard Divinity School from 2002-2012. He has also served as director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Master of Currier House, and chair of NELC, the Committee on Middle Eastern Studies, and the Core Curriculum Committee on Foreign Cultures. He is former chair of the Council on Graduate Studies in Religion (U.S. and Canada). His scholarly specialization is in the early religious history of Islam, with special focus on the Qur'an and Hadith literatures. He is also interested in ritual, pilgrimage, and scripture studies, as well as tradition and traditionalism.

He is the author of Islamic and Comparative Studies: Selected Writings (2010), Beyond the Written Word: Oral Aspects of Scripture in the History of Religion (1986, 1993), and Divine Word and Prophetic Word in Early Islam (1977), co-author of The Heritage of World Civilizations (now in its ninth edition, 2010) and of Three Faiths, One God (2002), co-editor of Islamfiche: Readings from Islamic Primary Sources (1982-87), and the author of articles and reviews in both Islamic studies and the history of religion.

He has been recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Journal of Law and Religion in 2012 and the quinquennial Award for Excellence in Research in Islamic History and Culture of the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture (Istanbul), the research institute of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, in 2000. He has held John Simon Guggenheim and Alexander von Humboldt research fellowships and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2018 he was elected to the American Philosophical Society as one of five humanities scholars at the fall meeting of the APS at its headquarters in Philadelphia.

He has taught reading courses in Classical Arabic texts, seminars in the study of religion and Islamic studies, Core and General Education courses on Islamic civilization, freshman seminars, and introductory courses in the comparative study of religion.

Contact Information

Study of Religion
Barker Center #302
12 Quincy St.
Cambridge, MA 02138
Office Hours: By appointment

People Type