Welcome to the academic homepage of 

John Renard

Professor of Theological Studies
Saint Louis University

After several years of sorting out growing interest in the study of various major religious traditions, and completing an M.A. in Biblical Studies, I found myself increasingly intrigued with the Islamic tradition. It also seemed clear to me that mention of Islam generally elicited more negative responses than references to, say, Hinduism or Buddhism. I decided to "test" my interest in a further investment in Islamic Studies by taking an intensive summer course in Arabic at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and using weekends to visit Biblical sites. My experience that summer convinced me to pursue Islamic studies.


Pursuing a Ph.D. in Harvard University's department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations in 1973, I focused on religious literature in Arabic and Persian, as well as Islamic religious art and architecture. In 1978, I joined the faculty of Theological Studies at SLU. Here I have been teaching a variety of Islamic and religious studies courses, religion and the arts, as well as graduate classes in Comparative Theology and medieval seminars in various themes in theologies of the 'greater Mediterranean' world.