Joint Master of Theological Studies (MTS) and Master of Arts (Theology) Graduate, PhD Candidate at McMaster University
I owe everything to Huron because the school provided me with a leading environment for me to start again.
Irfan Asghar immigrated to Canada from Pakistan holding a degree in Biology, Agriculture and Genetics, but always had a lingering interest in religion. “Being born in a Muslim family, I had the inclination of looking at the world from a religious point of view,” he shares. “I was not a scientific man.” Inspired by his interaction with social science researchers during his employment with federal agencies, Irfan searched for a university to explore his questions emerging in the social sciences but through the lens of his faith. Irfan learned about Huron’s robust and interdisciplinary degrees in Theology by attending university fairs and successfully entered the Master of Theological Studies (MTS) program.
Under the supervision of Dr. Ingrid Mattson, Professor at Huron and London and Windsor Community Chair of Islamic Studies, Irfan investigated mystical interpretations of the Qur’an to address contemporary issues in social and political justice. Irfan discovered his passion in theological ethics through this topic and, supported by Huron’s interfaith Faculty, he entered into the Master of Arts (Theology) program to provide a deeper theological reflection on social adversity, theodicy, and the nature of evil alongside Qur’anic interpreters and scholars in the field. Irfan graduated with both degrees jointly in 2021.
Irfan’s success as a student at Huron prepared him for doctoral research at McMaster University, where he concentrates on the unique relationship between religion and climate change and how religious communities respond to environmental crises. To support his knowledge and understanding of Qur’anic scripture for his PhD dissertation, Huron welcomes Irfan back to advance his fluency in the Arabic language with Dr. Yahya Kharrat. Irfan had always dreamed of becoming a professor, he tells us.