From Feb.-April 2017, Eden welcomed Dr. Mualla Selçuk to campus to serve as scholar-in-residence. A resident of Turkey and Islamic scholar, she has added vibrancy and depth to Eden’s ongoing dialogue surrounding interfaith concerns.
“Since I’ve been at Eden, I’ve felt a part of the community. I’ve felt very welcome. I am Eden’s first Muslim scholar-in-residence, and I’ve been grateful to have a true experience around encounter. This is what my work focuses on—encounters of differences. It doesn’t have to be religious. It could be sexuality or cultural—an encounter of anything or anyone that is not like us. God wants diversity and wants us to enrich each other with what we have to become fully human. This is the journey of becoming fully human,” Selçuk said.
Selçuk graduated from Ankara University School of Divinity with a B.Sc. She was appointed as a research assistant in the same school and later granted a Ph.D. following the dissertation of her doctoral thesis titled “Religious Patterns in the Education of Pre-School and School Age Children.” In 1999, she was appointed as a full professor of the religious education department and has since held a number of leadership positions. Currently, Selçuk serves as director of the Continuing Education Center at Ankara and as president-elect and chair of the Religious Education Association, which will hold its annual meeting in St. Louis in fall 2017 with the theme “Learning in Encounter.” Her research includes published work on religious education in school and Islamic religious education in democratic cultures, interfaith religious education, and approaches to teaching from the Qur’an.