Ayesha S. Chaudhry is the Canada Research Chair in Religion, Law and Social Justice and Associate Professor of Islamic studies and Gender studies at the University of British Columbia, where she has served on the Board of Governors. In 2018, she was named a Pierre Elliott Trudeau Fellow and in 2019, she will be inducted as Member of the College of the Royal Society of Canada. She was a 2016-17 Wall Scholar at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Study at UBC and she was the 2015-16 Rita E. Hauser fellow at Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. She is the author of Domestic Violence and the Islamic Tradition: Ethics, Law, and the Muslim Discourse on Gender (Oxford University Press, 2014). She has consulted on high-level national and international cases concerning human rights, religious freedom, and pluralism. She works with NGOs and international development organizations to improve women’s rights and promote pluralism. She has just finished writing a book entitled The Colour of God (forthcoming 2021).



Research Mentorship Program Award, “Living Islam Between Text and Practice: A Case Study of Domestic Violence”. 2014-2015

Co-Authored book with Randi Rashkover and Rachel Muers: Difficult Texts or Difficult Women?: The Challenge of Scripture to Feminist Readings.

Selected Publications


Journal articles and editorials

“I wanted one thing and God wanted another…”: The Dilemma of the Prophetic Example and the Qur’anic Injunction On Wife-Beating”, Journal of Religious Ethics, 39 (3) (2011) 416-39

“The Ethics of Marital Discipline in Pre-Modern Qur’anic Exegesis”, Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics, 30 (2) (2010) 123-30.

“The Problems of Conscience and Hermeneutics: A Survey of Contemporary Approaches”, Journal for Comparative Islamic Studies, 2 (2) (2006) 157-70.


Books and edited collections

Domestic Violence and the Islamic Tradition: Ethics, Law and the Muslim Discourse on Gender. Oxford University Press (2013). (


Book chapters

“Islamic Legal Studies: A Critical Historiography”, Oxford Handbook of Islamic Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018) 5-43

“Naming Violence: Qur’ān Interpretation between Social Justice and Cultural Relativism”, Sexual Violence and Sacred Texts, ed. Amy Kalmanofsky (New York: Feminist Studies in Religion, 2017) 95-124

“How Objective are the Objectives (Maqasid)? Examining Evolving Notions of the Shari’ah through the Lens of Lineage (Nasl).” in R. Ahmed, I. Nassery, and M. Tatari (eds.) The Objectives of Islamic Law: The Promises and Challenges of the Maqasid al-Shari’ah (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2018) 263-270

“Second Generation”, Reflections of Canada: Illuminating our Opportunities and Challenges at 150+ Years, eds, Philippe Tortell, Peter Nemetz, Margot Young (Vancouver: Peter Wall Institute of Advanced Study, 2017) 244-49

“Interrogating the “Shari’a” Excuse: Religious Reasoning, International law and the Struggle for Gender Equality in the Middle East” in Empowering Women After the Arab Spring, eds. Marway Shalaby and Valentine M. Moghadam (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) 21-44

“Guardianship of Women in Islamic and Jewish Legal Texts”, Islamic and Jewish Legal Reasoning: Encountering our Legal Other. Ed. Anver M. Emon (Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 2016)(co-authored with Rachel Adler) 25-60