By Callie Ewing, BA '03 MH '22
Shah received his A.B. in government, magna cum laude, from Harvard University in 1992. He received his Ph.D. in political science, also from Harvard, in 2002.
“As a Catholic Christian, I know I am a child of grace, and the gift of being welcomed into the University of Dallas community is one more sign in my life of just how gracious God is,” said Shah. “I am deeply grateful to President Tom Hibbs and Provost J.J. Sanford for inviting me to join this great university, which continues to embrace and pass on the depth and breadth of the Catholic tradition with such joy and clarity.
“As someone who came into the Catholic Church as an adult, only five years ago, the Faith for me has an astonishing freshness, like I am opening Christmas gifts every day,” he added. “What is startling about UD is that the whole university culture and community see the Faith the same way — not as something old and worn out, but as something alive and fresh, with infinite new treasures to be discovered and shared.”
“The University of Dallas is blessed to be able to count Dr. Shah as one of our own,” said Provost Jonathan J. Sanford, Ph.D. “His renowned scholarship is changing the landscape of conversations on human dignity, freedom and justice, and he is an indefatigable champion of religious freedom. I am eager to see the ways in which our students and others at the university can join in the vital work he is doing.”
Shah is the author of Even If There Is No God: Hugo Grotius and the Secular Foundations of Modern Political Liberalism (OUP, forthcoming) and Religious Freedom: Why Now? Defending an Embattled Human Right (Witherspoon Institute, 2012). He is co-author of God’s Century: Resurgent Religion and Global Politics (W.W. Norton, 2011) and, most recently, co-editor of Under Caesar’s Sword: Christian Responses to Persecution (Cambridge, 2018) and co-editor of Homo Religiosus?: Exploring the Roots of Religion and Religious Freedom in Human Experience (Cambridge, 2018).
“I have had the privilege of working with Dr. Shah on a number of projects over the years and have come to admire greatly his erudition, his intellectual and verbal clarity, and his unwavering commitment to religious liberty for everyone, everywhere,” said UD President Thomas S. Hibbs, Ph.D., BA ’82 MA ’83. “We are honored to have him as a member of the UD community.”
“The appointment of Timothy Shah as a distinguished research scholar in the Department of Politics further burnishes the standing of the University of Dallas as a leader in scholarship and teaching on the most important moral questions of our day,” said Robert P. George, J.D., D.Phil., D.C.L., McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. “Dr. Shah’s exceptional work in the promotion of religious liberty, both at home and across the globe, has established him as a major figure in national and international discussions of what we Americans have long — and rightly — regarded as ‘the first freedom.’”
“He is a fine scholar and a leading champion of religious freedom,” said Mary Ann Glendon, J.D., Professor of Law Emerita at Harvard University.
"Dr. Tim Shah is one of the world's foremost authorities on international religious freedom. He will bring a wealth of practical experience in the human rights field, as well as a thorough understanding of Catholic human rights theory, to his work at the University of Dallas,” said George Weigel, Distinguished Senior Fellow and William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.
Shah recently served as the Religious Freedom Institute’s vice president for strategy and international research and dIrector of RFI’s South and Southeast Asia’s action team. With a $1.6 million grant from the Templeton Religion Trust, he spearheaded an analysis of the religious freedom landscape as well as viable religious freedom strategies in South and Southeast Asia from 2017 to 2020. In addition to serving as distinguished research scholar of politics at the University of Dallas, he also serves as a senior fellow at the Archbridge Institute and as the principal investigator of the Freedom of Religious Institutions in Society (FORIS) project.
"Timothy Shah is a leading authority on, and advocate for, freedom of religion around the world. He will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to his new position at the University of Dallas," said John Keown, D.Phil., Ph.D., D.C.L., Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Christian Ethics in the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University.
“I am a proud Catholic and a proud Indian living in India, so I am particularly grateful and proud to be part of a university with such strong ties to India, thanks to the Gupta family and the Gupta College of Business,” said Shah. “I look forward in the coming months and years to working with UD’s leadership to strengthen these ties even further and to position UD to serve some of India’s pressing needs. The world’s largest democracy with the third largest Catholic community in Asia, India will become an increasingly strategic global power as the 21st century unfolds. I am confident that together we can position UD to engage India in a thoughtful and humble way, and with results that will be strategic both for UD and for the great nation of India.”