Ingrid Mattson, president of the Islamic Society of North America, will deliver the seventh annual Thomas H. Lake Lecture "Zakat in America: The Evolving Role of Islamic Charity in Community Cohesion," March 25 (Thursday), at 5 p.m. on the IUPUI campus.
The free annual Thomas H. Lake Lecture is a program of the Lake Institute on Faith and Giving at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.
Mattson will discuss the Islamic tithe, zakat, and how it has historically connected and shaped the way Muslims relate to one another and to society at-large. She will talk about how shifts in cultural expectations and world events are forcing many Muslims to reconsider the function of charity in their group identities.
Mattson is the first female and first convert to Islam to serve as president of the Islamic Society of North America, an independent membership organization dedicated to "the betterment of the Muslim community and society at large." Through diplomatic solutions to conflict, educational and social outreach programs and humanitarian relief work, the organization seeks to eliminate prejudice and promote peaceful coexistence among Muslims and people of other diverse traditions.
A native of Canada, Mattson converted to Islam after living and working with Afghan refugee women in Pakistan and later earned a Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from the University of Chicago. She currently serves as director and professor at the Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations at Hartford Seminary, as well as its director of Islamic Chaplaincy. Her research focuses on Islamic law and society, and she has written many articles on slavery, poverty and Islamic legal theory.
Through public discourse, academic research and unique seminars, the Lake Institute on Faith and Giving nurtures conversation and scholarly study around the ways in which faith inspires generosity. The Lake Lecture brings to Indianapolis top scholars working in the fields of religion and philanthropy and has featured, among others, Elliot Dorff (2009), Jewish legal expert; Paul Schervish (2008), sociologist and philanthropic advisor; and Luke Timothy Johnson (2006), Biblical scholar. Each lecturer produces an original manuscript that is then published by the Lake Institute and available for sale through its Web site.
The lecture will take place in the IUPUI University Place Conference Center Auditorium, located at 850 W. Michigan St., Indianapolis. The lecture is free and open to the public but advance registration is encouraged at http://www.philanthropy.iupui.edu/LakeFamilyInstitute/thomas_lake.aspx. There will be a reception following the lecture from 6:00-6:45 p.m. during which Mattson will be available to sign copies of her book, The Story of the Qur'an.
The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, a part of the Indiana University School of Liberal Arts at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, is a leading academic center dedicated to increasing the understanding of philanthropy and improving its practice worldwide through research, teaching, training and public affairs programs in philanthropy, fundraising, and management of nonprofit organizations.