Elizabeth Ruqaiyyah Lee-Hood
PhD Candidate, Study of Religion, Harvard University
- AB, Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges
- MTS, Harvard Divinity School
- MS, Boston University
- PhD Candidate, Harvard University
Elizabeth Ruqaiyyah Lee-Hood, Research Associate for the Religions and the Practice of Peace (RPP) Initiative at Harvard Divinity School since the Initiative's founding, is a PhD candidate in the Study of Religion at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Her research focuses on Islamic devotional life, early and classical literature, spiritual ethics, and Sufism. She is interested in traditional practices and pedagogies of wisdom, virtue cultivation, and cosmopolitanism in world religions and their remarkable contributions to humanity’s persistent endeavors to achieve a more compassionate and harmonious world.
Liz graduated from Harvard-Radcliffe College magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with an AB in social studies, women’s studies, and Chinese and from Harvard Divinity School with a Master of Theological Studies in world religions, Islamic studies, and Arabic. She co-translated selections of Qur’anic commentary as an early-stage contribution to An Anthology of Qur’anic Commentaries: Volume One: On the Nature of the Divine published by Oxford University Press in 2009. She is a recipient of the Harvard Van Duzer Award and the national Jacob K. Javits Fellowship.
Liz co-founded and directed the first discussion and support group for multiracial students at Harvard-Radcliffe College and has conducted research for the Abraham Path, an international interfaith initiative of the Harvard Global Negotiation Project. She has been a community mediator and coach for the Harvard Mediation Program at Harvard Law School and other Boston-area mediation organizations, co-designing and delivering the Harvard Mediation Program’s first mediation training tailored for Divinity School students. Formerly an intern at the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, Liz has worked in civil rights law and corporate equal opportunity; communication, conflict management, and intercultural skills coaching for international scholars and professionals; and culturally-sensitive hospital and end-of-life care. She serves as a consultant trainer and facilitator for Essential Partners (formerly the Public Conversations Project), a non-profit working domestically and internationally to transform conflict through constructive dialogue.
A native of greater Boston, Liz has lived and studied in France, China, and Morocco, traveled to India, and pilgrimaged to Mecca and Medina. She has attended retreats with Buddhist monk and peace leader Thich Nhat Hanh and with Jewish and Muslim emerging women leaders. A longtime student of the wisdom of Sufi teacher Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, she was an international delegate to the First World Sufi Forum in New Delhi, India in 2016. Her doctoral dissertation on salat prayer explores early and classical Islamic teachings on the relationship between spiritual-ethical formation and intimacy with the Divine.