Prof. Oliver Scharbrodt, Director of Chester Centre for Islamic Studies, made the remark in an address to a forum on “Shia Studies in Britain”.
It was held at the International Conference Hall of Tehran’s Shahid Beheshti University on Monday.
Scharbrodt described the 1979 Islamic Revolution as an influential event in the world, especially the Shia world, and said it led to the spread of studies on Shia Islam in Europe, especially in Britain.
He said that Shia studies programs have been introduced and developed in many universities and academic centers in Britain, including the universities of Chester, Edinburgh, Durham, and Exeter as well as the Islamic College of London, Center for Shia Islam Studies and Academic Center for Shia Studies.
He further referred to the challenges on the path of Shia studies and said in order to confront these challenges, the gap between universities and the Shia community in the field should be bridged.
Scharbrodt researcesh modern, contemporary and classical forms of Islam, employing both historical and ethnographic research methods. His interests include Sufism, Shia Islam, and modern Islamic reform as well as the historical and contemporary presence of Muslims in Europe.
Currently, he is the principal investigator of a research project on Shia communities in Britain and their links to the Middle East, funded by the Gerda Henkel Foundation.