PhD Candidate

Erin Atwell is a Ph.D. Candidate in Anthropology and Arabic Literature working on intersections of classical Islamic texts and contemporary Muslim practices. Her dissertation, “Fearing God: Taqwa in the Early Islamic Moment and its Reimagination in Contemporary Egyptian Preaching” draws on textual and ethnographic research to argue for the salience of godfearingness (having taqwa) not just as an ethnographic object but as a contemporary social and political analytic. Erin’s research and teaching interests include contemporary ethics, early Arabic literary production, religion and technology, anthropology of bodies and embodiment, and the temporalities of religious traditions. Erin holds an M.A. from the University of Chicago Divinity School, an M.A. from Fordham University, and a B.A. from Loyola University Chicago. Her current research is supported by the Fulbright U.S. Student Program and the University of Chicago’s Martin Marty Center for the Public Understanding of Religion, Pozen Family Center for Human Rights, and Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory.