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Mattson was raised as a Roman Catholic but left the church as a teenager. She developed an interest in Islam as a young adult and converted at age She studied philosophy and fine arts at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, receiving a B. After graduating, she spent more than a year in Pakistan, where she worked with Afghan women refugees and met and married a fellow aid worker.
In the s she studied Near Eastern languages and civilizations at the University of Chicago , receiving a doctorate in She joined the faculty of Hartford Seminary in Hartford , Connecticut, in From to she served as president of ISNA—the first woman, the first person from a non-Islamic country, and the first convert to Islam to hold the position.
A highly visible figure, she made frequent appearances on television and radio programs and gave public lectures. Mattson was asked to offer one of the prayers at the National Prayer Service honouring the inauguration of U.
Ingrid Mattson. Info Print Cite. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback. Ingrid Mattson Canadian religion professor. Written By: William Pike. See Article History. Britannica Explores Women Trailblazers. Meet extraordinary women who dared to bring gender equality and other issues to the forefront. From overcoming oppression, to breaking rules, to reimagining the world or waging a rebellion, these women of history have a story to tell.
Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. Roman Catholicism , Christian church that has been the decisive spiritual force in the history of Western civilization.