Jerusha T. Rhodes, MA, PhD

Associate Professor of Islam & Interreligious Engagement

3041 Broadway, AD 418
New York, NY 10027


B.A., The American University, 1997
M.A., Graduate School of Islamic and Social Sciences, 2004
M.A., Georgetown University, 2010
Ph.D., Georgetown University, 2011



Jerusha T. Rhodes is Associate Professor of Islam & Interreligious Engagement at Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. Her research focuses on interreligious engagement and religious pluralism, comparative theology, and Muslima theology.

Dr. Rhodes earned a Ph.D. in Theological and Religious Studies with a focus on Religious Pluralism at Georgetown University in 2011. She also received an M.A. in Islamic Sciences at the Graduate School of Islamic and Social Sciences, and an M.A. in Theological and Religious Studies at Georgetown University. Before joining the Union faculty in July of 2012, she was Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Theology at Georgetown University.

Dr. Rhodes’ first book, Never Wholly Other: A Muslima Theology of Religious Pluralism (Oxford University Press, March 2014), explores the Qur’anic discourse on religious ‘otherness’. In this book, she draws upon feminist theology and semantic methodology to re-interpret the Qur’anic discourse and challenge notions of clear and static religious boundaries by distinguishing between and illuminating the complexity of multiple forms of religious difference.

Her second book, Divine Words, Female Voices: Muslima Explorations in Comparative Feminist Theology (Oxford University Press, 2018), uses the approach of comparative feminist theology to engage diverse Muslim and Christian feminist, womanist, and mujerista voices. It argues for the value of comparative feminist theological engagement and proposes constructive Muslima insights relating to Divine revelation; textual hermeneutics of the hadith and Bible; Prophet Muhammad and Mary as feminist exemplars; theological anthropology; and ritual prayer, tradition, and change.

Dr. Rhodes is currently working on two book projects. The first is a book on interreligious engagement, which introduces central questions, concerns, and strategies for effective and ethical engagement. The project underscores the necessity of an interreligious consciousness, especially for religious and ethical leaders, and explores the intersections among religious diversity, racism, sexism, and religious supremacy. The second project is focused on interreligious and multireligious engagement in Ghana, West Africa. It explores various historical and contemporary examples of engagement with the goal of uncovering recurring norms and values that are relevant to other multireligious contexts.

Dr. Rhodes’ other publications focus on religious pluralism, Muslima theology, ecumenical relations, Vatican II, and African traditional religions. They include “Beyond the Rays of Truth? Nostra Aetate, Islam, and the Value of Difference,” in Nostra Aetate & the Future of Interreligious Dialogue (Maryknoll: Orbis, 2017); “Toward a MuslimaTheology: Constructive, Theological, and Comparative Possibilities,” Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion Vol. 33, No. 1 (Spring 2017); “Thinking Differently about Difference: Muslima Theology and Religious Pluralism,” The Journal of Interreligious Studies, Issue 13 (Winter 2014); “Lateral and Hierarchical Religious Difference in the Qur’an,” in Understanding Religious Pluralism (Wipf & Stock, 2014); “Embracing Relationality and Theological Tensions: Muslima Theology, Religious Diversity, and Fate” in Between Heaven and Hell: Islam, Salvation, and the Fate of Others (Oxford Univ. Press, 2013); “From Sexual Difference to Religious Difference: Toward a MuslimaTheology of Religious Pluralism” in Muslima Theology: The Voices of Muslim Women Theologians (Peter Lang, 2013); “‘Mapping’ the Religious Other: The Second Vatican Council’s Approach to Protestantism,” Journal of Ecumenical Studies 45:4 (Fall 2010); and “Mysticism in African Thought” in New Dictionary of the History of Ideas (Scribner & Sons, 2004).


Religions in the City: Introduction to Interreligious Engagement (Fall 2017)
Islamic Religious Thought and Practice (Fall 2017)
Islamophobia (Spring 2018)
Comparative Feminist Theology: Islam and Christianity (Spring 2018)

Recent Courses

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