Talal Asad is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at The Graduate Center, CUNY. Asad is a sociocultural anthropologist of international stature specializing in the anthropology of religion with a special interest in the Middle East and Islam. He is the author of, most recently, Formations of the Secular (2003, Stanford University Press.) The recipient of many awards and honors, Professor Asad has served on the Economic and Social Research Council in England and the Social Science Research Council in the United States.