History of Islam
• Political, cultural and religious relations among Jews, Christians, Muslims

Department of Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies


Gordon Newby is chair of the Department of Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies, and former director of Emory's Institute for Comparative and International Studies.

He is the author of "A Concise Encyclopedia of Islam," Oxford/Oneworld Press (2002), "The Making of the Last Prophet: A Reconstruction and Study of the First Biography of Muhammad" (1988), and "A History of the Jews of Arabia" (1989), and dozens of scholarly articles.

Newby's main academic focus is the history of Jews, Muslims and Christians from the rise of Islam to the present. As a result, he is able to provide perspective on many of the world's conflicts, including the Arab/Israeli situation and the attacks against the United States and the resulting war on terrorism. With a background as an historian, Newby also sees the big picture of the region as a whole. ("If you think there are problems in the Middle East now, wait until the water runs out.")

Newby oversaw Emory's funding as one of 15 U.S. Department of Education Middle East undergraduate resource centers and is a passionate advocate for educating the public. He talks about the long-term benefits of U.S. citizens understanding the world and the social aspirations of its people. Because much of the American public is uninformed about the world, says Newby, there is a disconnect between our government's foreign policy and what we as Americans believe to be right. According to Newby, the American people are not informed enough to demand that our government and our businesses operate abroad in the same manner we expect them to at home.

Previously he was on the faculty at North Carolina State University (1976-92), a research affiliate at Harvard (1974-76), and on the faculty at Brandeis (1967-76) and Washington State University (1966-67).

Newby earned his Ph.D. (1966) and M.A. (1964) in Mediterranean studies at Brandeis University, and his B.A. in philosophy (cum laude) at the University of Utah (1962).


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