Ziauddin Sardar (born 31 October 1951, Pakistan) is a London-based scholar, writer, cultural-critic and public intellectual who specialises in Muslim thought, the future of Islam, futures studies and science and cultural relations. Prospect magazine has named him as one of Britain’s top 100 public intellectuals and The Independent newspaper calls him: ‘Britain’s own Muslim polymath’.
Ziauddin Sardar, writer, broadcaster and cultural critic, is Visiting Professor, the School of Arts, The City University, London. He has been described as a ‘critical polymath’ and works across a number of disciplines ranging from Islamic Studies and future studies to science policy, literary criticism, information science to cultural relations, art criticism and critical theory. He was born in Pakistan in 1951 and grew up in Hackney, East London.
Sardar describes himself as a ‘critical polymath’. His thought is characterised by a strong accent on diversity, pluralism and dissenting perspectives. Considered a pioneering writer on Islam and contemporary cultural issues, he has produced some fifty books over a period of 30 years, some with his long-time co-author Merryl Wyn Davies. These books include the classic studies, The Future of Muslim Civilisation (1979) and Islamic Futures: The Shape of Ideas to Come (1985), a vigorous intellectual assault on postmodern thought, Postmodernism and the Other (1998) and Orientalism (1999), and the international bestseller Why Do People Hate America? (2002). Two collections of his essays and critical writings are available as readers: Islam, Postmodernism and Other Futures: A Ziauddin Sardar Reader (2003) and How Do You Know? Reading Ziauddin Sardar on Islam, Science and Cultural Relations (2006).
Sardar’s alternative to postmodernism is what he calls “transmodernity”. He describes this as: “the transfer of modernity and postmodernism from the edge of chaos to a new order of society”. Transmodernity for Sardar is about finding a synthesis between “life enhancing tradition” – tradition that is amenable to change and transition – and a new form of modernity that respects the values and lifestyles of traditional cultures.