William Shepard



Professor Emeritus



University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand


William Shepard has been studying, teaching and writing about Islam and the Islamic world since 1966. He completed his Ph.D. degree in the Comparative Study of Religion at Harvard University in 1973. He taught at Cornell College in Iowa from 1971 to 1978 and at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand from 1978 until his retirement in 1999. His doctoral dissertation dealt with the writings of the Egyptian man of letters, Ahmad Amin (1886-1954) and was published under the title, The Faith of a Modern Muslim Intellectual (New Delhi: Indian Institute of Islamic Studies, l982). Since 1985 he has devoted considerable time to the writings of Sayyid Qutb and published several articles and translations of his work, including Sayyid Qutb and Islamic Activism: A translation and critical analysis of "Social Justice in Islam" (Leiden: Brill, 1996) and A Child from the Village ( with John Calvert, Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University Press, 2004). He has also published other articles on Islamic ideology and developed a typology of these. Prior to beginning his study of Islam, he gained his B.A. from Swarthmore in 1955, his M.Div from Union Theological Seminary in New York in 1959 and served in a pastoral capacity in churches, mainly Presbyterian, from 1959-1966.