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McLester Lecture Series: The Beauty of the Houri: Images and Interpretations of the Heavenly Virgins” with Dr. Nerina Rustomji (St. John’s University) (virtual)

October 27, 2021 | 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm


This UNC Religious Studies McLester lecture by Dr. Nerina Rustomji, St. John’s University, will address the images of the pure female companions or houris of Islamic paradise that appear in Arabic, French, and English texts. The houri offered a feminine ideal of purity for a variety of interpreters, including Qur’anic commentators, Latin Christendom theologians, British and French travel writers, eighteenth and nineteenth century poets and writers, and twentieth and twenty-first century interpreters of Islam. The talk considers how an unknowable feminine figure continues to compel, even while signifying the differing aims of spiritual purity, political violence, and gender parity.


Zoom Meeting ID: 955 9219 5365 Passcode: UNCRELI

For more information, please contact Professor Jes Boon (


Co-sponsored by the McLester fund in Religious Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill, the Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies, the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies, and the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies.


UNC-Chapel Hill


October 27, 2021
3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Event Categories:
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UNC-Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC United States + Google Map