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Rob Rozehnal

Rob Rozehnal

Professor and Chair

Founding Director, Center for Global Islamic Studies

0031 - Williams Hall

2003, Ph.D. Duke University (Islamic Studies and the History of Religions)

1995, M.A. University of Wisconsin-Madison (South Asian Studies)

1991, B.A. University of Puget Sound, summa cum laude (History and Asian Studies)

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Robert Rozehnal is a native of Colorado. He graduated from the University of Puget Sound in 1991 with majors in History and Asian Studies. His final year at university was spent abroad, traveling in Asia. He never quite recovered from the experience. After teaching English in Japan, he fled from the madness of the 'real world' into the warm sanctity of graduate education. His M.A. in South Asian Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison culminated in a year of language immersion in Pakistan. Rozehnal's interests in Indo-Muslim culture then led him to Duke University where he completed his doctorate in Islamic Studies and the History of Religions in 2003. He has traveled widely in the 'Muslim world,' with extended periods of study and fieldwork research in Egypt, Iran, Turkey, Pakistan, India, and Malaysia. In addition to the history and practice of Sufism in South Asia, his research interests include ritual studies, postcolonial theory, religious nationalism, globalization, and digital religion.  

At Lehigh, Rozehnal teaches a variety of classes on Islam and comparative South Asian religions. He is the founding director of the Center for Global Islamic Studies, and from 2009-2015 was the P.I. for a $1.4 millon seed grant from the Mellon Foundation. Over the years, he has been active in numerous other interdisciplinary programs, including Global Studies, Asian Studies, and South Mountain College. Beyond campus, Rozehnal has directed two Lehigh summer study abroad programs in India and Turkey that each focused on Islam. In his spare moments, he pursues other passions, including skiing, biking, fly-fishing, hiking, travel, music, and meditation. He lives with his wife (Kelly Choi) in Madison, New Jersey--and risks life and limb on his I-78 commute to the Lehigh campus.

Detailed CV

Editor, Cyber Muslims: Islamic Digital Media in the Internet Age (London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2022). 

Cyber Sufis: Virtual Expressions of the American Muslim Experience (Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 2019).

Interview about the book on "New Books in Islamic Studies" podcast:

Editor, Piety, Politics and Everyday Ethics in Southeast Asian Islam: Beautiful Behavior (London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2019)

Islamic Sufism Unbound: Politics and Piety in Twenty-First Century Pakistan (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007). Paperback edition, 2009.

Selected Articles and Book Chapters

"Cyber Sufism in the Global West," in Handbook of Sufi Studies, eds. Marcia Hermansen and Saeed Zarrabi-Zadeh (Leiden: Brill Publishers, 2023): 139-161.

"Mapping Islamic Digital Media in the Internet Age." In Cyber Muslims: Mapping Islamic Digital Media in the Internet Age, ed. Robert Rozehnal (London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2022): 1-16.

"Sufi Cyberscapes: The Inayati Order in the Virtual Ecosystem of American Islam," in Words of Experience: Translating Islam With Carl W. Ernst, eds. Ilyse Mogenstein Fuerst and Brannon Wheeler (Sheffield: Equinox Publishing, 2021): 162-186.

"Beautiful Behavior in Practice: Expressions of Adab in Southeast Asian Islam," in Piety, Politics and Everyday Ethics in Southeast Asian Islam: Beautiful Behavior, ed. Robert Rozehnal (London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2019): 1-23.

"Flashes of Ultimate Reality: Dreams of Saints and Shrines in a Contemporary Pakistani Sufi Community," Journal of the Anthropology of the Contemporary Middle East and Central Eurasia (Special Issue, Volume 2, Number 1: August 2014): 67-80.

"Reimagining the 'Land of the Pure': A Sufi Master Reclaims Islamic Orthodoxy and Pakistani Identity," in Beyond Crisis: Re-evaluating Pakistan, ed. Naveeda Khan (Routledge India and UK, 2010): 118-144. 

"From Karachi to Kuala Lumpur: Charting Sufi Identity Across the Indian Ocean," in Islamic Connections: Muslim Societies in South and Southeast Asia, ed. R. Michael Feener and Terenjit Sevea (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2009):  219-235.

"A 'Proving Ground' for Spiritual Mastery: The Chishti Sabiri Musical Assembly," The Muslim World (Vol. 97, No.4: October 2007): 657-677. 

"Faqir or Faker?: The Public Battle Over Sufism in Contemporary Pakistan," Religion 36 (2006): 29-47.

"Debating Orthodoxy, Contesting Tradition: Islam in Contemporary South Asia," in Islam in World Cultures: Comparative Perspectives, ed. R. Michael Feener (Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2004): 103-131.

"A Teacher's Guide to Karen Armstrong's Islam: A Short History" (New York: Modern Library, 2002).

"From Sufi Practice to Scholarly Praxis: Reflections on the Lessons of Fieldwork for the Study of Islam," in Items and Issues: Social Science Research Council. Vol.3, No. 1-2 (Spring 2002).

Publications & Awards

Lehigh University, College of Arts and Sciences, New Directions Fellowship (2013-2015) Lehigh University, Humanities Center Summer Research Grant (2013) Lehigh University, Center for Global Islamic Studies Research and Development Grants (2010, 2011, 2012) Lehigh University, Frank R. Hook Assistant Professor (2006-2008) Lehigh University, Franz and Class of 1968 Fellowships (2008, 2007, 2005, 2004) Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship (2003) Social Science Research Council, International Dissertation Research Fellowship (2001) American Institute of Pakistan Studies Dissertation Fellowship (2000) Duke University Graduate School and International Studies Fellowship (2000) American Institute of Iranian Studies, Persian Language study in Tehran (2000) American Academy of Religion, graduate student paper award (2000) Duke University, Religion Department Fellowships (1996-2000) Social Science Research Council, Pre-Dissertation Fellowship (1996) American Research Center in Egypt Fellowship (1995) University of Wisconsin-Madison, Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship (1994) University of Wisconsin-Madison, South Asian Studies Department Fellowship (1993-94)



Rel 9: Spiritual Journeys Rel/Asia 60: Religions of South Asia Rel/Asia 77: The Islamic Tradition Rel/Asia 90: Digital Dharma: Asian Religions Online Rel/Asia/GCP 145: Islam in the Modern World Rel/Asia 146: Islam in South Asia Rel/GCP 148: Islam Across Cultures Rel/Asia 175: Sufi Saints and Muslim Missionaries (India summer program) Rel/GCP 176: The Islamic Heritage of Turkey (Turkey summer program) Rel/Asia 221: Topics in Asian Religions Rel 228: Theories of Religion Rel/GCP/GS 244: Globalization and Religion Rel/Asia 247: Islamic Mysticism