Professor of Islamic Studies
On Leave Winter 2023
Current research interests:
Islamic mysticism (Sufism) in all of its shapes and forms; Islamic theological, philosophical, and juridical thought in its historical development. Vicissitudes of Islamic/Islamist movements in local contexts (especially in Yemen, North Africa, Russia and the Northern Caucasus) with special reference to conflicts between Sufis and Salafis. Islam in/and Russia. The idea of the Islamic state and attempts at its realization across time and space.
Sufism: A Modern Perspective (commissioned by Princeton University Press) critically and self-reflectively discusses Sufism’s: 1. Teachings (discourses); 2. Practices; 3. Communities and institutions; 4. Leaders and 5. Various regional Sufi-Salafi confrontations today. Islam and Empire in the Northern Caucasus (commissioned by Princeton University Press) examines the uses of Islam by the ethnically diverse communities of the Northern Caucasus as the ideology of resistance to the Russian conquest and subsequent domination of the area (from the 1820s until today). Executive Editor of Encyclopedia of Islamic Mysticism and section editor for “Sufism,” Encyclopedia of Islam, Third Edition (both published online and in paper format by E.J. Brill, Leiden and Boston). Editor of the ongoing translation of al-Suyuti’s “Qur’anic Encyclopedia” (al-Itqan).
Sufism; Qur’anic Studies; Modern Islamic Movements; Doxography; Islamic Intellectual History