The University of Edinburgh's School of Divinity has appointed its first Muslim professor.
Theology, up to recently an exclusively Christian discipline tied to the church, has been taught in Edinburgh since the foundation of the University in 1583.
Professor Mona Siddiqui will take up the role of Professor of Islamic and Inter-religious studies on 1 December 2011.
A regular on BBC Radio 4's Thought for the Day, Professor Siddiqui has taught at the University of Glasgow for the last 15 years, where she was Head of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies from 2002 to 2005.
Over recent years she has lectured widely in the UK and around the world, contributing to public perceptions of Islam and inter-religious understanding.
Commenting on her appointment, Professor Siddiqui said: "This is a really huge opportunity for me to establish Islamic Studies in a new context. I have been very happy at Glasgow but every change is about facing new challenges."
Based at New College on the Mound, Professor Siddiqui will lecture and carry out research into Islamic theology, ethics and Christian-Muslim relations, as well as taking up the newly-created university position of Assistant Principal for Religion and Society.
She added: "My double role in Edinburgh will allow me to engage with religion in the academy as well as in public life and both are incredibly important to me."
Professor Siddiqui will host an event on religious freedoms in May 2012, inviting speakers from around the world to share their opinions.
Professor Stewart J Brown, head of the School of Divinity said: "The establishment of this new chair and the appointment of Professor Siddiqui will strengthen our school's excellent programme in Religious Studies and enhance our historic programme in Theology and Ethics.
"Her work will contribute in vital ways to cross-disciplinary teaching and research within our College of Humanities and Social Science and indeed across the whole University."
"The University of Edinburgh's School of Divinity has appointed its first Muslim professor" November 29, 2011
"Muslim professor a first for university" new Scotsman November 29, 2011
Reproduced with permission from Islam Today