Rebecca Faulkner is a PhD Candidate in the Islam subfield of the Department of Religion at Princeton University. She joined the department in 2014. 

Her current project, “Muhammad Iqbal and the Meanings of Islamic Modernism” focuses on a highly influential early twentieth-century South Asian Islamic modernist’s work through the themes of good governance, economic justice, and the complication of the religious textual canon. By way of these themes, she explores how Iqbal’s thought can help us rethink the possibilities of moral life in modernity. Faulkner’s work highlights perspectives from South Asian intellectual history that think of modernity as a new set of opportunities for exerting moral reasoning. She reads Iqbal’s work in particular as exceptional in its use of both prose and poetry to interrogate the limits of (and construct approaches to) modern moral reasoning.

Faulkner has taught in the departments of Near Eastern Studies and Religion (“Muslims and the Qur’an” and “Jesus and Buddha”). In fall 2020, she taught in the departments of Religion and Philosophy (“Religion and Reason”). She has been a Graduate Teaching Fellow at the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning since 2018. She is interested in game pedagogy and participates in several organizations related to its study and development (Reacting to the Past and the related Game Development Conference). 

Recently, her research has been supported by fellowships from the Center for the Study of Religion (twice, in Religion and Culture and Religion and Public Life), the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (Fall 2019-Fall 2020), and the Center for Digital Humanities (Summer 2020). She has also been awarded the national Foreign Language and Area Studies Scholarship and the Critical Language Scholarship. 

Prior to joining the Department of Religion at Princeton, Faulkner received an M.A. in Islamic Studies from Columbia University with a thesis on phenomenology and metaphysics of religious experience. She received dual B.A. summa cum laude in Philosophy and Religion from the University of Georgia, where she also completed a certificate in Native American Studies.