Sachiko Murata investigates the interrelationships between Islamic and Far Eastern
thought, especially in the writings of the Huiru, “the Muslim Confucianists,” who
wrote numerous tracts in Chinese from the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries.
Murata completed her BA in family law at Chiba University in Japan, worked for a year
in a law firm in Tokyo, and then went to Iran to study Islamic law. She completed
a PhD in Persian literature at Tehran University in 1971, and then transferred to
the faculty of theology, where she was the first woman and the first non-Muslim to
be enrolled. She finished her MA in Islamic jurisprudence in 1975, and while continuing
work on her PhD dissertation in law she became a research associate at the Imperial
Iranian Academy of Philosophy. Her work on her second PhD was cut short by the revolution.
Since 1983 she has taught religious studies at Stony Brook.
Murata has published many scholarly articles and a number of books. These include Isuramu Hôriron Josetsu (Iwanami, 1985), the translation of a major text on the principles of Islamic jurisprudence
from Arabic into Japanese; The Tao of Islam: A Sourcebook on Gender Relationships in Islamic Thought (SUNY Press, 1992); Chinese Gleams of Sufi Light: Wang Tai-yü's Great Learning of the Pure and Real and Liu Chih's Displaying
the Concealment of the Real Realm (SUNY Press, 2000); and with the collaboration of William C. Chittick and Tu Weiming, The Sage Learning of Liu Zhi: Islamic Thought in Confucian Terms (Harvard University Press, 2009.
Murata has been the director of Japanese Studies since its founding in 1990 and regularly
teaches Introduction to Japanese Studies, Japanese Buddhism, Feminine Spirituality
in World Religions, and Islam and Confucianism.
Back to Faculty List