Professor; Co-Director, Contending Modernities Initiative
Islamic thought; Studies in Ghazali; history and hermeneutics; ethics and moral philosophy
University of Cape Town, 1995
Research and Teaching Interests
My research and teaching focuses on two areas, medieval and modern Islamic thought. I work on the ideas the seminal medieval Muslim thinker and polymath Abū Ḥāmid al-Ghazālī (d. 1111) whose work was the subject of my monograph, Ghazālī and the Poetics of Imagination (University of North Carolina Press, 2005 and winner of the American Academy of Religion’s best first book in the History of Religions category.
Contemporary traditional institutions of learning, known as madrasas, are the subject of my forthcoming book, What is a Madrasa? (University of North Carolina Press, 2015)
I am also completing a book on Muslim ethics. Another book examines the reasons of tradition by undertaking close readings of the application of Islamic law in contemporary Muslim practices ranging from the application of family laws, bioethics and the human person.
“Muslim Political Theology: Defamation, Apostasy, and Anathema,” in Profane: Sacrilegious Expression in a Multicultural Age. Eds. Christopher S. Grenda, Chris Beneke, David Nash (Oakland, Calif & London: University of California Press, 2014), 169-188.
“Sunni Orthodoxy” Critical Muslim 10, Sects Eds. Ziauddin Sardar & Robin Yassin-Kassab, London: Hurst, April-June 2014, 19-36.
“The Law in the Alchemy of the Self: Abū Ḥāmid al-Ghazālī” in Islamic Legal Thought: A Compendium of Muslim Jurists eds. Oussama Arabi, David S. Powers, Susan Spectorsky (Brill 2013).
with Aasim I. Padela, Steven W. Furber, Mohammad A. Kholwadia, “Dire Necessity And Transformation: Entry-Points For Modern Science In Islamic Bioethical Assessment Of Porcine Products In Vaccines,” in Bioethics, 2013, 1:8
co-edited book with Jefferey Kenny: Islam in the Modern World (Routledge 2014)
co-edited book with Shamil Jeppie and Richard Roberts: Muslim Family Law in Sub-Saharan Africa: Colonial Legacies and Post-Colonial Challenges, (Amsterdam University Press, Spring, 2010).
What is a Madrasa? (University of North Carolina Press, 2015).
Co-edited book with Charles Villa-Vicencio and Erik Doxtader, The African Renaissance and the Afro-Arab Spring (Georgetown University Press, 2015).
Office: 1145 Flanner Hall
Department of History
219 O'Shaughnessy Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556