If you go

What: “Re-Thinking Modern Muslim Discursivities: Counterpoints, Dilemmas and Politics”

When: 5 p.m. Thursday

Where: Hale Science Building, room 270

More info: tinyurl.com/4ahn5dx

The University of Colorado’s Religious Studies Department is honoring retired Professor Frederick Denny with a reception and guest lecture Thursday.

Denny’s replacement, associate professor of religious studies Ruth Mas has invited renowned scholar and Duke University professor Ebrahim Moosa to present a public lecture on modern Islam at 5 p.m. in Hale Science Building, room 270. An invitation-only reception will be held for CU faculty and staff and special guests before the lecture.

“Departments usually only do this for someone whose caliber is as high as Denny’s,” Mas said. “We don’t do it for every professor but certainly one who’s brought this kind of acclaim to the university.”

Denny — also a scholar of Islam — collaborated in building the Religious Studies Department and had been a professor and chair of the program during his 30 years at CU.

“My intention was to honor Fred,” Mas said. “He really gave the department recognition and acclaim.”

Moosa will bring an interesting discussion about Islam between the university and Boulder communities and represent the quality of interest in the program, improved by Denny, Mas said.

Denny said he is honored to be recognized by the department and by Moosa.

“I’m overwhelmed by the gesture,” Denny said. “But I see the benefit to the department as the most important part. It’s a good opportunity for others to know about the department and how we’re operating. ”

Denny retired in 2005 and has been honored during several group events in the past, Mas said, but Thursday’s event is a celebration of his continued work.

“This event is a celebration of his ongoing contributions to the field, the University and the Department and not so much about his retirement,” Mas said. “It isn’t a retirement party but an event honoring his career which has not stopped or slowed down in the least, and honoring his continued importance in the field.”

Despite being retired for more then five years now, Denny said he’s busier than ever.

Denny spends his days as a guest lecturer, traveling to conferences worldwide. But he said he spends most of his time editing his scholarly book series, “Studies in Comparative Religion,” which he began nearly 26 years ago.

“I love mentoring junior scholars and helping them get their books published,” Denny said. “It takes up a lot of my time but I really love doing it.”

Mas said even in retirement Denny remains as much a part of the department as ever before.

“He’s still working with the department and our students,” Mas said. “He will remain a significant part of our department for a long time.”

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