Robert Wisnovsky

James McGill Professor

Graduate Program Director

I received my BA (1986) in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from Yale, and my MA (1990) and PhD (1994) in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton, where my supervisor was Prof. Hossein Modarressi. I then took up a Postdoctoral Research Assistantship (1994-1996) in Prof. Richard Sorabji’s Ancient Commentators on Aristotle project, in the Philosophy Department of King’s College London. My first teaching job was in the Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations Department at Harvard, where I was Assistant Professor (1996-2002) and then Associate Professor (2002-2004) of Islamic Intellectual History. In 2004 I came to the Institute of Islamic Studies at McGill, where I am currently James McGill Professor of Islamic Philosophy.  I also served two terms as Director of the Institute, 2005-2008 and 2016-2018.



I specialize in the history of Islamic thought, with an emphasis on the origins, development and influence of the philosophy of Avicenna (Ibn Sīnā, d. 1037). Most of my publications fall into the following five areas:

1)  The Aristotelian, Neoplatonic and kalām antecedents to Avicenna’s metaphysics and theory of the soul, and the evolution and interplay of Avicenna’s most important metaphysical distinctions: his distinction between essence and existence, his distinction between mental existence and concrete existence, and his distinction between intrinsically necessary existence and extrinsically necessary existence (2000; 2001a; 2002a; 2003a; 2003b; 2005).

2) The complex processes by which Avicenna’s metaphysical theories were appropriated by post-Avicennian Muslim mutakallimūn in order to solve long-standing theological problems, and then naturalized in the curricula of the institutions where they taught, all the way up to the late-19th century (2004a; 2004b; 2007a; 2009a; 2009b; 2009c; 2010a; 2011d; 2012a; 2013b; 2013d; 2014; 2018; 2022; In Preparation a; In Preparation b; In Preparation c).

3) Transmission, translation and transformation in medieval textual cultures, including the transmission of philosophical texts from Greek into Arabic (2001b; 2004c; 2011a; 2011b; 2011c; 2016c; 2016d).

4) The edition, translation and study of part of a remarkable codex housed in the library of the Madrasah-i Marwī in Tehran: two dozen philosophical treatises, thought to have been lost, by the Arabic Christian philosopher Yaḥyā ibn ʿAdī (d. 974), a student and colleague of the great Muslim philosopher al-Fārābī (d. 950) (2012b; 2012c; 2013a; 2013c; 2014; 2015; 2016b; 2017a; 2017b; 2017c).

5) Collaborating in the development of an Optical Shape Recognition software that will automatically convert digital images of Arabic philosophical manuscripts into living text in Unicode format (2010b; 2011e; 2012d; 2012e).

Six of these publications have been translated into Turkish (2006a; 2006b; 2007b; 2010c; 2010e; 2018b), three into Persian (2010d; 2013e; 2019b), and two into Arabic (2016a; 2021a).


Currently in preparation

In Preparation a. Post-classical Arabic Philosophy, 1100-1900: Avicennian Metaphysics between Arabic Logic and Islamic Theology, under contract with Oxford University Press (Oxford) [Oxford History of Philosophy, ed. P. Momtchiloff]

In Preparation b. “The commentaries on Avicenna’s Ishārāt: An analytical inventory” (with A. Gacek and R. Pourjavady)

In Preparation c.  Islamic Analytical Theology, Volume II: The Post-classical Period, ca. 1100-1900. A List of Authors and Works


Grants and Fellowships

7) Principal Investigator, “Muḥammad ʿAbduh's Supercommentary on al-Dawānī's Commentary on al-Ījī's Creed: A New Source for the Renewal of Islamic Analytical Theology”, John Templeton Foundation (CDN$307,510; 2019-22).

6) Principal Investigator, “Volume II: Post-classical Islamic Theology”, Kalam Research and Media (CDN$48,804: 2014-15)

5) Principal Investigator, “Post-classical Islamic Philosophy Database Initiative”, Canada Foundation for Innovation: Leaders Opportunity Fund--Funding for Research Infrastructure Alone (CDN$1,526,000; 2008-2013).

4) Principal Investigator, “Transmission, traduction et transformation dans les cultures médiévales”: Fonds Québecois de la Recherche sur la Société et Culture (FQRSC): Soutien aux Équipes de Recherche (équipes en fonctionnement) (CDN$338,725; 2008-13).

3) Principal Investigator, “Transmission, traduction et transformation dans les cultures médiévales”: Fonds Québecois de la Recherche sur la Société et Culture (FQRSC): Soutien aux Équipes de Recherche (équipes en émergence) (CDN$52,800; 2006-08).

2) Principal Investigator, “Vehicles of Transmission, Translation and Transformation in Medieval Cultures”, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC): Aid to Workshops/Conferences (CDN$25,000; 2006-2007).

1) ACLS/SSRC/NEH International and Area Studies Fellow, American Council of Learned Societies (USD$30,000; 2003-04).



List of publications (by year)

forthcoming “Jalāl al-Dīn al-Dawānī and the Avicennian synthesis”, in U. Rudolph, ed., What is Philosophy in the Islamic World?, Berlin: De Gruyter

2022 “Jamāl al-Dīn ʿAlī ibn Sulaymān’s Miʿrāj al-Salāmah and Miṣbāḥ al-ʿIrfān: Edition (with Introduction) of two early witnesses of the incorporation of Avicennian metaphysics into Imāmī-Shiite kalām” (with H. Ansari), Shii Studies Review 6/1-2 (2022), 340-380

2021 “جانب من المنعطف السّينويّ في علم الكلام السّني” (“Jānib min al-munʿaṭif al-sīnawī fī ʿilm al-kalām al-sunnī”, Arabic translation of 2004a, by H. Bouhadī), in Philosmus (al-Falsafah wa-al-ʿulūm fī al-siyāqāt al-Islāmiyyah) 4 (2021), 1-38

2020 “Avicenna y la tradicíon aviceniana” (Spanish translation of 2005, by J.R. Abuchedid), Tras la palabra | Link to PDF

2019b “متن فلسفی تاز های از یحیی بن عدي : تكمله اى بر ’فهرست توصيفي‘ اندرس” (“Matn-i falsafī-yi tāz-hā-yi az Yaḥyā ibn ʿAdī: Takmila-hā-yi bar ‘Fihrist-i tawṣīfī-yi’ Indriss’”, Persian translation of 2012c, by I.M. Khālkhālī), in Āyinah-i Pizhūhish 174 (1398), 97-111

2019a “One aspect of the Avicennian turn in Sunnī theology” (reprint of 2004a), in M. Shah, ed., Islamic Theological Discourses and the Legacy of Kalam: Gestation, Movements and Controversies [Critical Surveys in Islamic Studies], Berlin: Gerlach, Vol. 2, 119-148

2018b. “Onbirinci ve Onikinci Asır Müslüman Doğuda Varlık ve Mâhiyet: Bir Taslak” (Turkish translation, by B. Taşkın, of “Essence and existence in the Islamic East (Mashriq) in the 11th and 12th centuries CE: A sketch”), Kader 16/2 (2018), 504-524 | Link to PDF

2018a. “On the emergence of Maragha Avicennism”, Oriens 46/3-4 (2018), 263-331 | Link to PDF

2017c.  A Safavid Anthology of Classical Arabic Philosophy. Facsimile Edition of MS Madrasah-i Marvī 19 (ed.), Markaz-i Dāʾirat al-maʿārif-i buzurg-i islāmī -- Intishārāt-i kitāb-i rayzān (Tehran)/McGill Institute of Islamic Studies (Montreal) [Intellectual Heritage of Islamic Civilization Series/سلسله میراث فکری تمدن اسلامی]








2017b. “Yaḥyā Ibn ʿAdī on a kalām argument for creation” (with P. Adamson), Oxford Studies in Medieval Philosophy 5 (2017), 213-239 | Link to PDF

2017a. “Yaḥyā ibn ʿAdī and Ibrāhīm ibn ʿAdī on whether body is a substance or a quantity: Text, translation and commentary” (with S. Menn), Arabic Sciences and Philosophy 27/1 (2017), 1-74| Link to PDF

2016d.  Medieval Textual Cultures: Agents of Transmission, Translation and Transformation (ed., with F. Wallis), Berlin: De Gruyter [Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—Tension, Transmission, Transformation Series]

2016c.  “Introduction: Agents of transmission, translation and transformation” (with F. Wallis), in Medieval Textual Cultures: Agents of Transmission, Translation and Transformation (ed., with F. Wallis), Berlin: De Gruyter [Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—Tension, Transmission, Transformation Series], 1-11 | Link to PDF

2016b.  “MS Tehran - Madrasa-yi Marwī 19: An 11th/17th-century codex of classical falsafah, including ‘lost’ works by Yaḥyā ibn ʿAdī (d. 363/974)”, Journal of Islamic Manuscripts 7/1 (2016), 89-122 | Link to PDF

2016a.  “ملاحظات حول مفهوم الشيئية عند ابن سينا” (Arabic translation of 2000, by A. Shihadeh), in R. Rashed, ed., Bayna al-falsafah wa-al-riyāḍiyyāt: min Ibn Sīnā ilā Kamāl al-Dīn al-Fārisī. Silsilat Dirāsāt tārīkhiyyah fī al-falsafah wa-al-ʿulūm fi al-ḥaḍārah al-arabiyyah al-islāmiyyah 3, Beirut: Centre for Arab Unity Studies/al-Tafāhum (2016), 101-150

2015.  “A newly discovered Yaḥyā b. ʿAdī treatise against atomism” (with D. Bennett), in D. Janos, ed., Ideas in Motion: Philosophical and Theological Exchanges between Christians and Muslims in Baghdad and Beyond in the Ninth and Tenth Centuries C.E., Leiden: Brill (2015), 298-311 | Link to PDF

2014a. "Towards a genealogy of Avicennism", Oriens 42/2-4 (2014), 323-363 | Link to PDF

2013e. “سيمايى از گرايش به ابن سينا در كلام اهل سنّت” (Persian translation, by Ḥ. ʿAṭāʾī Naẓarī, of “One aspect of the Avicennian turn in Sunnī theology”), Kitāb-i māh-i dīn 179 (1391 sh./2013), 84-103 | Link to PDF

2013d.“Avicennism and exegetical practice in the early commentaries on the Ishārāt”, Oriens 41/2-4 (2013), 349-378 | Link to PDF

2013c. “Yaḥyā ibn ʿAdī on the location of God” (with P. Adamson), Oxford Studies in Medieval Philosophy 1 (2013), 205-228 | Link to PDF

2013b. “Avicenna’s Islamic reception”, in P. Adamson, ed., Interpreting Avicenna: Critical Essays, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (2013), 190-213 | Link to PDF

2013a. “Yaḥyā ibn ʿAdī’s discussion of the prolegomena to the study of a philosophical text”, in M. Cook et al., eds, Law and Tradition in Classical Islamic Thought, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan (2013), 187-202 | Link to PDF

2012e. “Sparse descriptor for lexicon reduction in handwritten Arabic documents” (with Y. Chherawala* and M. Cheriet), Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Pattern Recognition (ICPR 2012), 3729-3732

2012d. “A prototype system for handwritten sub-word recognition: Toward Arabic-manuscript transliteration” (with R. Farrahi Moghaddam*, M. Cheriet and T. Milo), Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Information Sciences, Signal Processing and their Applications (2012), 1198-1204 | Link to PDF

2012c. “Yaḥyā ibn ʿAdī’s Essay on the Four Scientific Questions regarding the Three Categories of Existence: Divine, Natural and Logical. Editio princeps and translation” (with S. Menn), Mélanges de l’Institut dominicain d’études orientales du Caire (MIDEO) 29 (2012), 73-96 | Link to PDF

2012b. “New texts of Yaḥyā Ibn ʿAdī: A supplement to Endress’ ‘Analytical Inventory’”, in D. Reisman and F. Opwis, eds, Islamic Philosophy, Science, Culture, and Religion: Studies in Honor of Dimitri Gutas, Leiden: Brill (2012), 307-326 | Link to PDF

2012a. “Indirect evidence for establishing the text of the Shifāʾ”, Oriens 40/2-3 (2012), 257-273 | Link to PDF

2011e. “TSV-LR: Topological signature vector-based lexicon reduction for fast recognition of pre-modern Arabic sub-words”  (with Y. Chherawala* and M. Cheriet), Proceedings of the 2011 Workshop on Historical Document Imaging and Processing, New York: Association for Computing Machinery (2011), 6-13 | Link to PDF

2011d. “Essence and existence in the Islamic East (Mashriq) in the 11th and 12th centuries CE: A sketch”, in A. Bertolacci and D. Hasse, eds, The Arabic, Hebrew and Latin Reception of Avicenna’s Metaphysics, Berlin: De Gruyter (2011), 27-50 | Link to PDF

2011c. “Towards a natural-history model of philosophical change: Greek into Arabic, Arabic into Latin, and Arabic into Arabic”, in R. Wisnovsky, F. Wallis, J. Fumo and C. Fraenkel, eds, Vehicles of Transmission. Translation and Transformation in Medieval Textual Culture, Turnhout: Brepols (Cursor Mundi: Viator Studies of the Medieval and Early Modern World, Vol. IV) (2012), 143-157 | Link to PDF

2011b. “Introduction: Vehicles of transmission, translation and transformation in medieval textual culture” (with F. Wallis, J. Fumo and C. Fraenkel), in R. Wisnovsky, F. Wallis, J. Fumo and C. Fraenkel, eds, Vehicles of Transmission, Translation and Transformation in Medieval Textual Culture, Turnhout: Brepols (Cursor Mundi: Viator Studies of the Medieval and Early Modern World, Vol. IV) (2012), 1-22 | Link to PDF

2011a. Vehicles of Transmission, Translation and Transformation in Medieval Textual Culture (ed., with F. Wallis, J. Fumo and C. Fraenkel), Turnhout: Brepols  (2012) [= Cursor Mundi: Viator Studies of the Medieval and Early Modern World, Vol. IV] [x + 433 pp.]


8) Mediaevistik 26/1 (2015)
7) Tijdschrift voor Filosofie 76/3 (2014)
6) Al-Masāq (2014)
5) The Medieval Review 2014-10 (2014)
4) Medieval Encounters 19/5 (2013)
3) Francia-Recensio (2013)
2) Comitatus: A Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies 44/1 (2013)
1) Bulletin critique des Annales islamologiques 28 (2012)

2010e. “Şiī Kelāmda Ekberī Dönüşümün Bir Yönü” (Turkish translation, by E. Alkan, of “One aspect of the Akbarian turn in Shīʿī theology”), Tasavvuf 26 (2010), 237-252 | Link to PDF

2010d. متافيزيك ابن سينا (Persian Translation, by M. Najafi Afra, of Avicenna’s Metaphysics in Context), Tehran: ‘Ilm (2010)

متافيزيك ابن سينا

2010c. İbn Sīnā Metafisiǧi (Turkish translation, by I.H. Ucer, of Avicenna’s Metaphysics in Context), Istanbul: Kure Yayinlari (2010)

İbn Sînâ Metafisiǧi

2010b. “IBN SINA: A database for research on processing and understanding of Arabic manuscripts images” (with R. Farrahi Moghaddam*, M. Cheriet, M. Adankon, and K. Filonenko), Proceedings of the 9th IAPR International Workshop on Document Analysis Systems, New York: Association for Computing Machinery (2010), 11-17 | Link to PDF

2010a.  “Arabic logicians on perfect and imperfect syllogisms: A supplement to Patzig’s ‘Historical Excursus’”, in T. Langermann, ed., Avicenna and his Legacy: A Golden Age of Science and Philosophy, Turnhout: Brepols (2010), 257-273 | Link to PDF

2009c. “Jowzjāni, Abu ʿObayd”, in E. Yar-Shater, ed., Encyclopedia Iranica, Vol. 15, New York: Encyclopedia Iranica Foundation (2009), 82-84 | Link to PDF

2009b. “Fakhr al-dīn al-Rāzī’s Commentary on the Metaphysics of Avicenna’s Kitāb al-ishārāt wa al-tanbīhāt” (trans.), in S.H. Nasr and M. Amin Razavi, eds, An Anthology of Philosophy in Persia, Vol. 3: Philosophical Theology in the Middle Ages, London: I.B. Tauris (2009), 189-202

2009a. “Philosophy and Theology (Islam)”, in R. Pasnau, ed., The Cambridge History of Medieval Philosophy, Vol. 2, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (2009), 698-706 | Link to PDF

2007b. “İbn Sīnā ve İbn Sīnācı Gelenek” (Turkish translation, by M. Cüneyt Kaya, of “Avicenna and the Avicennian tradition”) in İslam Felsefesine Giriş, Istanbul: Küre Yayinlari (2007), 103-149 | Link to PDF

2007a. “One aspect of the Akbarian turn in Shīʿī theology”, in A. Shehadeh, ed., Sufism and Theology, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press (2007), 49-62 | Link to PDF

2006b. “İbn Sina’nın Şey’iyye Kavramı Üzerine Notlar” (Turkish translation, by A. Meral, of “Notes on Avicenna’s concept of thingness (shay’iyya)”),  Marmara Üniversitesi İlâhiyat Fakültesi Dergisi 26/1 (2004), Istanbul: Marmara Universitesi Ilahiyat Fakültesi (2006), 85-118 | Link to PDF

2006a. “Sünnī Kelāmda İbn Sīnācı Dönüşümün Bir Yönü” (Turkish translation, by A. Meral, of “One aspect of the Avicennian turn in Sunnī theology”), Marmara Üniversitesi İlāhiyat Fakültesi Dergisi 26/2, Istanbul: Marmara Universitesi Ilahiyat Fakültesi (2006), 149-177

2005. “Avicenna and the Avicennian tradition”, in P. Adamson and R. Taylor, eds, The Cambridge Companion to Arabic Philosophy, Cambridge: Cambridge U.P. (2005), 92-136 | Link to PDF

2004d. Review of A. Alami, L’ontologie modale: Étude de la théorie des modes d’Abū Hāshim al-Jubbāʾī, in Archives de Philosophie 67 (2004), 513-514

2004c. “Alexander of Aphrodisias: Excerpts from the Arabic versions of On the Principles of the Universe and Essay on the Differentia” (trans.), in R. Sorabji, ed., The Ancient Commentators on Aristotle: A Source Book, London: Duckworth (2004)

2004b. “One aspect of the Avicennian turn in Sunnī theology”, Arabic Sciences and Philosophy 14/1 (2004), 65-100 | Link to PDF

2004a. “The nature and scope of Arabic philosophical commentary in post-classical (ca. 1100-1900 AD) Islamic intellectual history: Some preliminary observations”, Bulletin of the Institute Of Classical Studies (University of London) 47 (2004), 149-191 (Special Issue 83/2: Philosophy, Science and Exegesis in Greek, Arabic and Latin Commentaries, edd. P. Adamson, H. Baltussen and M.W.F. Stone) | Link to PDF

2003b. “Towards a history of Avicenna’s distinction between immanent and transcendent causes”, in D. Reisman, ed., Before and After Avicenna, Leiden: E.J. Brill (2003), 49-68 | Link to PDF

2003a.  Avicenna’s Metaphysics in Context, London: Duckworth / Ithaca, NY: Cornell U.P. (2003) [xii + 305 pp.] | Link to PDF

Avicenna's Metaphysics in Context


17) Journal of [the Japanese Society of] Medieval Philosophy (『中世思想研究』) 55 (2013)
16) Sakarya Üniversitesi İlāhiyat Fakültesi Dergisi 14/25 (2012) [Turkish translation]
15) İslām Araştırmaları Dergisi 19 (2009)
14) Recherches de théologie et philosophie médiévales 75/1 (2008)
13) Journal of Near Eastern Studies 67/2 (2008)
12) Archives de philosophie 70/3 (2007)
11) International Journal of the Classical Tradition 13/1 (2006)
10) Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 88/1 (2006)
9) Journal of Islamic Philosophy 2/1 (2006)
8) Speculum 81/2 (2006)
7) Journal of the History of Philosophy 43/1 (2005)
6) The Thomist 69/2 (2005)
5) Journal of Islamic Studies 16/1 (2005)
4) Ars Disputandi 5 (2005)
3) Historia Philosophica: International Journal 3 (2005)
2) Journal of the American Oriental Society 124/2 (2004)
1) The Classical Review 54/2 (2004)

2002c. Review of Y. Michot, ed. and trans., Ibn Sīnā: Lettre au vizir Abū Saʿd, in Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society 12/3 (2002), 363-366

2002b. “Heavenly Book”, Encyclopaedia of the Qur’ân, Vol. 2, Leiden: E.J. Brill (2002), 412-414 | Link to PDF

2002a. “Final and efficient causality in Avicenna’s cosmology and theology”, Quaestio: The Yearbook of the History of Metaphysics 2 (2002), 97-123 | Link to PDF

2001b. “Yaḥyā al-Naḥwī (John Philoponus)”, Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Vol. 11, Leiden: E.J. Brill (2001), 251-253 | Link to PDF

2001a. Aspects of Avicenna (ed.), Princeton: Markus Wiener (2001) [= Princeton Papers, Vol. 9] [xiv + 182 pp.] | Link to PDF

Aspects of Avicenna



2) The Middle East Journal 56/4 (2002)
1) Middle East Studies Association Bulletin 39 (2005)

2000. “Notes on Avicenna’s concept of thingness (shayʾiyya)”, Arabic Sciences and Philosophy 10/2 (Sept. 2000), 181-221 | Link to PDF

1998. Review of S. Inati, Ibn Sina and Mysticism, in Harvard Middle Eastern and Islamic Review (1998)

1996. Review of P. Lettinck, Aristotle’s Physics & Its Reception in the Arabic World, in Classical Review 45/2 (1996), 288-289

Courses and Supervision

Undergraduate Teaching

McGill (2004-present):

6) ARLE 102 (Arts Legacy: The Medieval Islamic and Christian Worlds – with Prof. F. Wallis, Dept. of History, McGill)
5) ISLA 200 (Islamic Civilization)
4) ISLA 380 (Islamic Philosophy and Theology)
3) ISLA 523 (Higher Intermediate Arabic: Classical Arabic)
Harvard (1996-2004):
2) ISLAMIC CIVILIZATIONS 145 (Islamic Philosophy and Theology)
1) ARABIC 130a and 130b (Advanced Classical Arabic)

Graduate Teaching

McGill (2004-present):

ISLA 602 (Islamic Philosophy and Theology); ISLA 769 (Special Seminar); ISLA 770 (Islamic Logic); ISLA 777 (Islamic Philosophy); ISLA 788 (Special Topics in Islamic Thought); ISLA 789 (Special Seminar).

Topics include:

32) “Rhetoric: From Aristotelian khaṭābah to Arabic-Islamic balāghah” (2023 Winter)
31) “Philosophy, theology and logic in Egypt during the long 19th century” (2022 Fall)
30) “The life and thought of al-Ghazālī” (2021 Fall)
29) “The School of Bahrain: Imāmī-Shīʿī Thought in the 7th/13th Century” (2021 Winter)
28) “Dawānī’s philosophy and theology” (2020 Fall)
27) “The reception of Avicenna’s metaphysics in post-classical Islamic intellectual history” (2019 Fall) – with Prof. S. Menn
26) “Philosophical thought, jurisprudence and Sufism during the Safavid period” (Fall 2018) – with Prof. R. Abisaab
25) “Avicenna’s modal syllogistic and its reception” (Winter 2017) – with Prof. S. Menn
24) “Muḥammad ʿAbduh’s philosophy and theology” (Winter 2016)
23) “Ṭūsī’s Tajrīd al-ʿaqāʾid and Qūshjī’s commentary” (Winter 2015) – with Prof. J. Ragep
22) “The philosophy of Abū l-Barakāt al-Baghdādī” (Winter 2014) – with Prof. S. Menn
21) “Al-Fārābī’s philosophy of music” (Fall 2013) – with Prof. A. Laywine
20) “Avicenna’s Ishārāt and its commentary tradition” (Winter 2013)
19) “Basran and Baghdadi Mu‘tazilism” – with Prof. S. Menn (Winter 2012)
18) “Suhrawardī and Ishrāqī philosophy” – with Dr R. Pourjavady (Fall 2009)
17) “Modal syllogistic” (Winter 2009)
16) “Ibn ‘Arabī and Akbarian metaphysics” (Fall 2008)
15) “Philosophy of language and ʿilm al-waḍʿ” (Winter 2008)
14) “Dialectic and ādāb al-baḥth” (Winter 2007)
13) “Creeds (ʿaqāʾid) and credal commentaries” (Winter 2005)
12) “Philosophy of Ibn Sīnā” (Winter 2005)

Harvard (1996-2004):

ARABIC 249r (Arabic Philosophical Texts); ARABIC 250r (Arabic Theological Texts).

Topics include:
11) “Twelver Shīʿism” (Spring 2003)
10) “Assertoric syllogistic” (Fall 2002)
9) “Ethics” (Winter 2002)
8) “Ḥanbalism and Wahhābism” (Fall 2001)
7) “Māturīdism” (Fall 2000)
6) “Special metaphysics and theology” (Winter 2000)
5) “General metaphysics and ontology” (Winter 1999)
4) “Psychology and epistemology” (Winter 1998)
3) “Ashʿarism” (Fall 1997)
2) “Natural philosophy” (Winter 1997)
1) “Muʿtazilism and Neo-Muʿtazilism” (Fall 1996)

Graduate Supervision


Doctoral level:

I am the supervisor or co-supervisor of nine current Ph.D. students, who are working on different aspects of the history of Islamic thought. I have also supervised or co-supervised 21 Ph.D. dissertations to completion, on the following topics:

2022b   The Reception of Ptolemy’s Latitude Theory in Islamic Astronomy (McGill: IIS) (co-supervisor: R. Morrison)
2022a   The Composition and Transmission of Avicenna’s al-Najāt, Ilāhiyyāt and al-Mabdaʾ wa-al-Maʿād: Critical Edition (McGill: IIS)
2018b   Intellectual Life in the Ḥijāz in the 17th Century: The Works and Thought of Ibrāhīm al-Kūrānī (1025-1101/1616-1690)
2018a   The Metaphysics of Conserving Causation in Avicenna (supervisor: S. Menn)
2015     Maḥmūd ibn Muḥammad ibn ʿUmar al-Jaghmīnī’s al-Mulakhkhaṣ fī al-hayʾa al-basīṭa: An Edition, Translation, and Study (co-supervisor: F. Wallis)
2014b   Avicenna (d. 1037), Logical Theory, and the Aristotelian Tradition
2014a   Reason, Revelation and the Reconstruction of Rationality: Taqī al-Dīn Ibn Taymiyya’s Darʾ Taʿāruḍ al-ʿAql wa-l-Naql (supervisor: W. Hallaq)
2013     Freeing Philosophy from Metaphysics: Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī’s Philosophical Approach to the Study of Natural Phenomena
2012c   Islamic Thought and Revivalism in the Russian Empire: An Intellectual Biography of Abū Naṣr Qūrsāwī (1776-1812)
2012b   Intellect, Substance and Motion in al-Fārābī’s Cosmology (co-supervisor: J. Ragep)
2012a   The Dialectical Forge: Proto-system Juridical Disputation in the Kitāb ikhtilāf al-ʿIrāqiyyīn (supervisor: W. Hallaq)
2010b   The Authority of Poetry: Meaning, Philosophy and the Islamic Textual Tradition (supervisor: P. Buckley)
2010a   Politics and Cosmology in al-Fārābī and St Augustine (supervisor: E. Ormsby)
2009b   Ismaʿil al-Faruqi (1921-1986) and Interfaith Dialogue
2009a   The Ethical Evaluation of Brain-dead Persons and Organ Transplantation in Contemporary Muslim Ethics (co-supervisor: A. Snedden)
2008     The Mystical Teachings of Muḥammad ʿAbd al-Karīm al-Sammān, an 18th-century Sufi
2006     Ethics of War in Islamic Thought
2005     The Doctrine of Imamate in Twelver Shiʿism: Traditional, Theological, Philosophical and Mystical Perspectives
2002b   Al-Fārābī and the Starting-point of Philosophy: A Study of the Kitāb al-jadal (Book of Dialectic)
2002a   Creation: A Comparative Study between Avicenna’s and Aquinas’ Positions
2000     At the Threshold of Philosophy: A Study of al-Fārābī’s Introductory Works on Logic


Masters level:

I am the supervisor of one current MA student, who is working on the history of Islamic thought. I have also supervised nine MA theses to completion, on the following topics:

2021      Yaḥyā ibn ʿAdī on Divine Foreknowledge and the Status of Future Contingents (McGill IIS)
2015      Pure Generosity, Divine Providence, and the Perfection of the Soul in the Philosophy of Ibn Sīnā
2014      Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī on the Soul: A Study of Chapter 5 of Section 2 of Book II of al-Mabāḥith al-Mashriqiyya
2011      Two Ottoman Intellectuals on the Issue of God’s Knowledge: Khwāja-zādeh and ʿAlā al-dīn al-Ṭūsī
2007      Kaʿb al-Aḥbār and the Isrāʾīliyyāt in the Tafsīr Literature
2007      Reading Sabzawārī’s Commentary on Rūmī’s Mathnawī: A Philosophical Approach
2007      Ahmad Zarrūq and the Ashʿarite School
2006      Power Discourse and Heresy in al-Andalus: The Case of Ibn Masarra
2005      An Ontological Inquiry in Early Qurʾān Commentaries

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