Dr. Fareed Z. Munir received a BA in Religious Studies/Arabic from the University of Pennsylvania, an MA in Islamic Studies, and a PhD in Religious Studies/Islam from Temple University.
Dr. Munir’s primary area of research and teaching is Islam in the field of Religious Studies. His secondary areas of research and teaching are Islam in the African American Experience (Secondarily, African Experience), and African American Religions (indigenous ontologies), Religion in North America, Interreligious Dialogue, and Religious Studies Field Experiences (e.g., Travel to West Africa, North Africa, Middle East, and West Indies).
Educator, writer, lecturer, and the holder of numerous awards in areas of Religious Studies and Community Achievements, Dr. Munir is the receiver of the Professor Jerome Walton Award for Excellence in Teaching, Siena College’s highest faculty achievement award. Also, he is the recipient of the Outstanding Service and Devotion to Students with Disabilities award, presented by Services for Students with Disabilities office.
Dr. Munir is a scholar-teacher. He believes scholarship must nurture teaching and teaching must nurture scholarship. Both areas have contributed to his active involvement in service for the Department of Religious Studies at Siena College, and the broader community. Scholarship, teaching, and service all work coherently together for him. They contribute to who he is as a professional educator. Teaching is the primary area in which Dr. Munir makes his most valuable contribution to Siena College and the broader community.
Dr. Munir’s pedagogical style of teaching is that of lecturer/facilitator (Socratic style). He believes in a student-centered pedagogy, that students learn best through their active engagement in original work and in written form. Though Dr. Munir is a religious historian, part of his methodological philosophy is not to assert one curricular system. He draws from other disciplines (e.g., anthropology, semiotic theory, sociology) because Religious Studies is a field of study.
Dr. Munir is a humanitarian whose 35 years of ongoing engagement and dialogue continues to serve people in America and abroad. He is an international traveler. His belief in the self-determination of all people has led him to travel to the continents of Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America. He has examined firsthand such nations as Austria, Benin, China, Egypt, England, France, Gambia, Ghana, Germany, India, Japan, Liberia, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Spain, Togo, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, and Venezuela, as well as throughout the West Indies.
|Ph.D.||Religious Studies / Islam, African American Religion, American Religion||Temple University|
|M.A.||Islam, African American Religion||Temple University|
|B.A.||Religion: Islam and Arabic||University of Pennsylvania|
My Siena Experience
My Teaching Philosophy
The key areas of professional responsibility, teaching, scholarship, and service have worked coherently together for me. They are part of the same process and contribute to who I am as a professional educator at Siena College, a learning community advancing the ideals of a liberal arts education, and rooted in its identity as a Franciscan and Catholic institution.
At the heart of my professional life as a religious historian is “the daily challenge to engage, enlighten, and educate our students.” To provide them a quality education in the primary area I was hired to teach, Islamic Studies (in the field of religious studies), to model intellectual curiosity, and to advise students with regard to both college and career.
My pedagogical philosophy is student-centered. Students acknowledge consistently that I have a command of the various subject matters that I teach. For example, in RELG210 – Islam, a student states, [Dr. Munir is] “[v]ery enthusiastic – well prepared – course outline[d] very well, flowed.” I do not assert one curricular style, since religious studies is a field. The appropriation of variety is justified, and without my having any preconceived notion about the nature of religion.
My method is that of lecturer/facilitator (Socratic style). The same student states, “[I] disliked readings every night [and] essay tests.” The assessment tools I use are essay examinations, research paper(s), book review(s), discussion/presentation, group project, journaling, debate, and electronic media. I use circle or semicircle arrangements of chairs in the classroom. In RELG101-Religion in Western Culture, another student stated, “I liked the way we sat in a circle and talked about each of the religions. That helped me a lot to talk in front of the whole class.”
What I Love About Siena
I absolutely love Siena! What I love about Siena, it allows me to be a professional teacher and scholar. It allows my spirit to grow daily with creativity and joy. It allows me to realize repeatedly that I do not regret the professional path I choose, at all. Everyday, I am thankful.
What I love about Siena is that I'm proud of what I do as an educator. I look forward to coming to work. Siena provides its faculty academic freedom and flexibility in the classroom and the opportunity to be creative.
What I love about Siena also is that I am a part of a wonderful team, the Department of Religious Studies. In addition, Siena has wonderful faculty colleagues, administrators, and staff members. They have a sense of high integrity. I value the friendly relationships I've established over the years as highly important.
My Professional Experience
|2009 - Now||Professor Religious Studies||Professor / Islamic Studies|
|1998 - 2008||Associate Professor||Siena College|
|1993 - 1998||Assistant Professor||Siena College|
|1992 - 1993||Instructor||Siena College|
Dr. Munir’s primary area of research and teaching is Islam in the field of Religious Studies. His secondary areas of research and teaching are Islam in the African American Experience (Secondarily, African Experience), and African American Religions (indigenous ontologies), Religion in North America, Interreligious Dialogue, and Religious Studies Field Experiences (e.g., Travels to West Africa, North Africa, Middle East, and West Indies).
Awards & Distinctions
- Siena College's Achievement Award
Siena College, 1998
Books & Book Chapters
- An American Islamic Journey: Warith Deen Mohammad Beyond the Boundary of the Nation of Islam, 1964-2006
- The Muslim World Journal: In Honor of the 800th Anniversary of the Encounter between St. Francis and Sultan al-Malik al-Kamil, in 1219 CE
- The Emergent Evolution of the Islamic Sacred Cosmos of the American Society of Muslims, formally the Nation of Islam, provisionally in The Oxford Handbook of African American Islam