Carl W. Ernst

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Carl W. Ernst (born September 8, 1950, Los Angeles, California)[1] is the Kenan Distinguished Professor of Islamic studies at the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.[2] He is also the director of the Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations.[3]

Ernst received his A.B. in comparative religion at Stanford University in 1973, and his Ph.D. at Harvard University in 1981.[3] He taught at Pomona College from 1981 to 1992.[4]

It was his suggestion for the UNC's Summer Reading Program of Michael Sells (1999). Approaching the Qurʼan. White Cloud Press. that set in motion the UNC-Qur'an Controversy in 2002.[5]

Ernst's recent book, Following Muhammad: Rethinking Islam in the Contemporary World (UNC Press, 2003), has received several international awards, including the 2004 Bashrahil Prize for Outstanding Cultural Achievement.[3]


  • How to Read the Qur'an: A New Guide, with Select Translations, University of North Carolina Press. (2011) ISBN 0-8078-3516-1
  • Following Muhammad: Rethinking Islam in the Contemporary World, University of North Carolina Press. (2003) ISBN 0-8078-5577-4
  • Sufi Martyrs of Love: Chishti Order in South Asia and Beyond (co-authored with Bruce Lawrence) (2002) ISBN 1-4039-6027-5
  • Teachings of Sufism (1999) ISBN 1-57062-349-X
  • A translation of The Unveiling of Secrets: Diary of a Sufi Master by Ruzbihan Baqli (1997) ISBN 0-9644362-1-3
  • The Shambhala Guide to Sufism (1997) ISBN 1-57062-180-2
  • Ruzbihan Baqli: Mysticism and the Rhetoric of Sainthood in Persian Sufism (1996) ISBN 0-7007-0342-X
  • Eternal Garden: Mysticism, History, and Politics at a South Asian Sufi Center (1993) ISBN 0-19-566869-3
  • Words of Ecstasy in Sufism (1985) ISBN 0-87395-917-5


  1. ^ Terrie M. Rooney (ed.), Contemporary Authors, Vol. 163 (Gale Research Co., 1998: ISBN 0-7876-1998-1), p. 132.
  2. ^ CHIASMOS: Carl Ernst - "Muslim Interpreters of Yoga"
  3. ^ a b c Carl Ernst's web page
  4. ^ Contemporary Authors, Vol. 163, p. 132.
  5. ^ Ernst, Carl W. (May 2003). "From the Heart of the Qur'an Belt". Religious Studies News. Retrieved July 2, 2013.

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