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The Department of Islamic Philosophy and Theology

The Department of Islamic Philosophy and Theology promotes deep engagement with the Muslim intellectual tradition on questions surrounding the nature of God and the world, divine governance, and eschatology, amongst others. The research stemming from the Department covers a broad spectrum of Muslim traditions, time periods, and themes, demonstrating the continued dynamism of the Muslim intellectual tradition. Such scholarship enables a profound comprehension of the Creator, creation, and the connection between the two. As part of its research acitivities, the deparment hosts an biannual international research conference, research seminars, book talks by renowned academics and authors, visiting research fellows, and also produces translations of prominent works within the field of Islamic philosophy and theology.

Head of Department:

Wahid M. Amin, DPhil (2017), University of Oxford, is a Lecturer in Islamic Philosophy and Head of Publications at Al-Mahdi Institute. He is also an Associate Lecturer in Islamic Studies at the University of Birmingham. Dr Wahid Amin completed a BSc in Physics from Imperial College London and a PGCE from the Institute of Education, University College London. He then began his studies at the Al-Mahdi Institute and simultaneously embarked on a BA in Islamic Studies at the University of Birmingham, graduating from both in 2008. He went on to read for an MSt in the Study of Religions at the University of Oxford. His DPhil, also from Oxford, studied the reception of Avicenna’s metaphysics between the 11–13th centuries with a special focus on the ideas and contributions of Naṣīr al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī (d. 672/1274). His main interests revolve around post-classical Islamic philosophy and theology. He is also interested in the intersection between Islamic philosophy and political theory, Qurʾanic exegesis and modern Shīʿī legal theory.  

Research Conferences

The Department of Islamic Philosophy and Theology hosts a biannual international conference, which serves as a forum for scholars and academics from around the world to share and discuss their latest research findings in the field of Islamic philosophy and theology. Below are details of the previous conferences held:

Islamic Perspectives on God and (Other) Monotheism(s)

The two-day conference, held from February 20th to 21st 2023, featured seven panels that delved into Islamic monotheism and the Muslim approach to other monotheistic religions, employing diverse methodological approaches. Seventeen papers were presented by distinguished scholars specialising in theology, philosophy, religious studies, intellectual history, philosophy of religion, and Islamic studies. The workshop’s goal was to examine the concept of divine unity through various lenses, including historical, theological, philosophical, and modern viewpoints, to illuminate both the shared aspects and the distinctions among various groups within Islam. The department, in partnership with AMI Press also intends to compile these papers into a published volume in 2024. Read more.

Research Seminars

Research Seminars welcome academics and dedicated researchers specialising in Islamic Philosophy and Theology to present their latest research findings. These seminars serve as a confluence of expertise and innovative perspectives, designed to benefit students, scholars, and individuals who are passionate about staying abreast of the latest advancements within this field. Some of the most recent seminars held include:

Before “After Virtue”: The Philosophy of Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr

Mr Mehdi Ali

Fārābī on the Future Contingent Propositions and God’s Knowledge of them

Dr Mohammad Saleh Zarepour

God’s Relation to Body and Space in the Theology of Ibn Taymiyyah

Dr Jon Hoover

Book Talks

Book Talks feature renowned academics and authors from the field of Islamic philosophy and theology to deliver insightful reviews and discussions of their most prominent works, to enrich the global community of researchers, scholars, and individuals with an interest in this specialist field. Some of the most recent book talks held include:

Unsaying God: Negative Theology in Medieval Islam

Dr Yaser Mirdamadi

Ash’arism Encounters Avicennism: Sayf al-Dīn al-Āmidī on Creation

Dr Laura Hassan

Transcendent God, Rational World: A Maturidi Theology

Dr Ramon Harvey

Publications

The Department of Islamic Philosophy and Theology has produced the following translations in conjunction with AMI Press:

Visiting Fellows

To encourage the development and dissemination of ideas, AMI invites visiting research fellows for 1-3 months to actively participate in the institute’s research activities such as workshops, seminars, book talks and contribute towards teaching/mentoring of students on the Hawza Programme. The visiting fellows hosted by the department include:

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Professor Gholamreza Aavani

Professor Gholamreza Aavani is an Iranian philosopher and emeritus professor of philosophy at Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran. A former head of the Institute for Research in Philosophy, Aavani is a member of the Academy of Sciences of Iran and a steering committee Member of the International Federation of Philosophical Societies. He has also served as the Kenan Rifai Distinguished Professor of Islamic Studies at Beijing University, China. During his stay at AMI, he presented his research at the Islamic Philosophy and Theology conference and the Quranic Studies conference in addition to teaching a module on the ‘Philosophy of Rumi‘ as part of AMI’s Hawza Programme.

Latest News

Below are the latest news and developments related to the Department of Islamic Philosophy and Theology:

The Department of Islamic Philosophy and Theology’s visiting fellow Professor Gholamreza Aavani teaches a new course on the ‘Philosophy of Rumi.’

Read more.

The Department hosts its innaugural workshop on ‘Islamic Perspectives on God and (Other) Monotheism(s)’ on 20th – 21st February 2023.

Read more.

Mehdi Ali of the University of Southern California delivers a research seminar on ‘Before “After Virtue”: The Philosophy of Muhammad Baqir Al-Sadr’

Read more.