«Biographies of Speakers NICHOLAS BOYLSTON studies Islamic intellectual history and Persian literature through the lenses of religious, intellectual ...»
SUFIS AND MULLAHS: SUFIS AND THEIR OPPONENTS
IN THE PERSIANATE WORLD
Biographies of Speakers
NICHOLAS BOYLSTON studies Islamic intellectual history and Persian literature through
the lenses of religious, intellectual and literary pluralism. He is particularly interested in
the way twelfth century Persian authors create texts that are discursively pluralistic –
drawing on multiple sources and espousing multiple intellectual and ethical perspectives - whilst also maintaining both narrative and intellectual consistency. He also researches literature as a means of negotiating multiple religious identities in late Qājār Iran, focusing on the versified commentary and translation of the Qur’ān by the Shi‘ite Sufi, Safī ‘Ali-Shāh. These projects are part of a wider concern for understanding how Muslim authors have come to terms with the diversity of their own tradition and understood the religious other in differing cultural contexts. He received a B.A. from Harvard College in 2007, an M.A. in Islamic Philosophy from the University of Tehran in 2011. He is currently writing a dissertation entitled, “The Significance of Religious Diversity in the Works of Sanā’ī, ‘Attar and ‘Ayn al-Quḍāt Hamadānī,” for a Ph.D. at Georgetown University in the Department of Theological and Religious Studies. In 2014-15 he served on the faculty of Harvard University as ‘Preceptor of Persian’ in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations.
ALESSANDRO CANCIAN is a Research Associate in the Qur’ānic Studies unit at The Institute of Ismaili Studies, London. He completed a Ph.D. at the University of Siena in Anthropology, concentrating on the Cultural Anthropology of Muslim Societies and the Anthropology of Religion, with a work on the Shi‘ite theological colleges (hawza ‘ilmiyyas) in Syria. He obtained an M.A. in the History of Iran at Ca’ Foscari University, Venice concentrating on Religious History and Literature of Iran and Persianate Cultures;
Shi’ism, Sufism and Zoroastrianism between Iran and South Asia. Dr. Cancian completed his B.A. in Oriental Languages and Cultures at Ca’ Foscari University, Venice. He is also a review editor for the Journal of Shi’a Islamic Studies and has edited and published articles and papers, contributed book chapters and encyclopaedia entries and lectures. Dr Cancian’s areas of expertise and interest includes the intellectual history of Shi’ism, Shi‘ite Sufism in early modern times andthe anthropology of Islam, Shi’ism and modern Iran. He is currently working on the Shi‘ite mystical exegesis of the Qur’ān, its influences and reception in modern times, and the sources of religious authority in contemporary Shi’ism.
DEVIN DEWEESE is a Professor in the Department of Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University; he earned his Ph.D. at Indiana University in 1985. He is the author of Islamization and Native Religion inthe Golden Horde: Baba Tükles and Conversion to Islam in Historical and Epic Tradition (Pennsylvania State University Press, 1994) and (with Ashirbek Muminov) of Islamization and Sacred Lineages in Central Asia: The Legacy of Ishaq Bab in Narrative and Genealogical Traditions, Vol. I: Opening the Way for Islam: The Ishaq Bab Narrative, 14th-19th Centuries (Almaty: Daik-Press, 2013). His 1 numerous articles on the religious history of Islamic Central Asia and Iran focus chiefly on problems of Islamization, on the social and political roles of Sufi communities, and on Sufi literature and hagiography in Persian and Chaghatay Turkic. Recent articles include “ʻAlāʼ al-Dawla Simnānī’s Religious Encounters at the Mongol Court near Tabriz,” in Politics, Patronage and the Transmission of Knowledge in 13th-15th Century Tabriz, ed.
Judith Pfeiffer (Leiden: Brill, 2014); “Aḥmad Yasavī in the Work of Burhān al-Dīn Qïlïch: The Earliest Reference to a Famously Obscure Central Asian Sufi Saint,” Asiatische Studien/Études asiatiques (Bern), 67/3 (2013); “‘Dis-ordering’ Sufism in Early Modern Central Asia: Suggestions for Rethinking the Sources and Social Structures of Sufi History in the 18th and 19th Centuries,” in History and Culture of Central Asia, ed.
Bakhtiyar Babadjanov and Kawahara Yayoi (Tokyo: The University of Tokyo, 2012);
“Spiritual Practice and Corporate Identity in Medieval Sufi Communities of Iran, Central Asia, and India: The Khalvatī/῾Ishqī/Shaṭṭārī Continuum,” in Religion and Identity in South Asia and Beyond: Essays in Honor of Patrick Olivelle, ed. Steven Lindquist (New York/London/Delhi: Anthem Press, 2011); and “Succession Protocols and the Early Khwajagani Schism in the Maslak al-ʻārifīn,” Journal of Islamic Studies, 22 (2011).
RODERICK GRIERSON is Menteşezade Research Fellow and Director of the Rumi Institute at Near East University, Nicosia, Cyprus. He has recently edited and written an introduction to Deviant Histories: New Perspectives on Turkish Sufism, a translation of Ahmed Yaşar Ocak’s Türk Sufîlîğine Bakışlar. He has also edited and prepared an introduction and bibliography for a revised version of The City of the Heart, the first translation into English of the complete text of Yunus Emre’s Divan according to the edition published in 1961 by Abdülbâki Gölpınarlı. In 2009 he delivered the Süha Faiz Memorial Lectures, which will be published as The Road to the City of the Heart. In 2014 he delivered the Robertson–Hastie Lectures at the University of Glasgow, in which he discussed the career of William Hastie, the author of The Festival of Spring from the Díván of Jeláleddín. He has just completed the first English translation of the Risalat alNushiyya of Yunus Emre and is preparing an exhibition catalogue of historic engravings, lithographs and photographs of Mevlevi dervishes. In 2015, he guest-edited vol. VI of the Mawlana Rumi Review, a special issue devoted to Rumi and the Mevlevi Sufi tradition.
AHMET T. KARAMUSTAFA is Professor of History at the University of Maryland, College Park. His expertise is in the social and intellectual history of Sufism in particular and Islamic piety in general in the medieval and early modern periods. His publications include God’s Unruly Friends (1994) and Sufism: The Formative Period (2007). He is currently working on a book project titled Vernacular Islam: Everyday Muslim Religious Life in Medieval Anatolia (co-authored with Cemal Kafadar) as well as a monograph on the history of early medieval Sufism titled The Flowering of Sufism.
ANNABEL KEELER obtained a BA in Persian from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London in 1981, after which she came to Cambridge to read for a PhD in Islamic Studies, the subject of her thesis being a 12th century Persian Sufi commentary on the Qur’ān. In 2002, she became a Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson College, concurrently holding a Research Fellowship in Qur’ānic Studies at the Institute of Ismaili Studies in London. She regularly assists with the teaching of classical Persian literature at the Faculty. Her research interests are largely centred on the hermeneutics of Sufi Qur’ān commentaries, those composed in both Arabic and Persian, and the investigation of ways in which mystics have expounded their doctrines through the interpretation of the Qur’ānic verses. This has led her more widely to research doctrinal developments in the 2 formative period of Islamic mysticism (between 9th and 12th centuries CE). Among her many books and learned articles may be mentioned: The Esoteric Interpretation of the Qur’ān, ed. with Sajjad Rizvi, (Oxford University Press/Institute of Isma’ili Studies, 2015), Tafsir al-Tustari, translated by Annabel Keeler and Ali Keeler, annotated and with an introduction by Annabel Keeler, (Louisville Fons Vitae, April 2011); and Sufi Hermeneutics: The Qur’ān Commentary of Rashīd al-Dīn Maybudī (Oxford University Press, in association with the Institute of Ismaili Studies, 2006).
BILAL KUŞPıNAR received his B.A. in theology from Selçuk University, Konya, his M.A.
in philosophy, logic and history of science from the Middle East Technical University, Ankara, his first Ph.D. in the history of philosophy from Selçuk University, and his second Ph.D. in Islamic philosophy and mysticism from McGill University. He specializes in medieval Islamic philosophy and mysticism. His research investigates into various philosophical and mystical traditions, especially within the context of the Ottoman intellectual history. He taught at several academic institutions, including International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization (ISTAC), Kuala Lumpur, and Concordia and McGill Universities, Montreal. He is the author of several books including: Isma‘il Ankaravi on the Illuminative Philosophy (1996) and Ibn-i Sina’da Bilgi Teorisi (Ibn Sina’s Theory of Knowledge) 2nd ed. (2001). And his third book on Ankaravi’s Commentary on the Light Verse was published in 2011 (Oxford: Anqa Publishing). Until 2010 he was Professor of the History of Islamic Philosophy in the College of Arts, Science & Education, Ahlia University, Bahrain; he is currently Professor of Philosophy and Director of the International Rumi Center for the Studies of Civilizations, Necmettin Erbakan University, Konya, Turkey.
HERMANN LANDOLT has been a major contributor to modern scholarship on Sufism and Iranian Philosophy, and a student of Fritz Meier and Henry Corbin, Prof. Landolt was educated at Basel University, Switzerland and Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (Sorbonne), Paris. He taught Islamic Studies and Persian at McGill University in Montreal, Canada from 1964 to 1999, during which he was also affiliated to the University’s Tehran Branch. From 1982 to 1984, Professor Landolt served as the Head of the then-Department of Graduate Studies and Research at the Institute of Ismaili Studies where he is currently a Senior Research Fellow. His publications include Correspondence spirituelle echangee entre Nuroddin Esfarayeni (ob. 717/1317) et son disciple ‘Ala]oddawleh Semnani (ob. 736/1336) (1972); Nuruddin Abdurrahman Isfarayini: Le Revlateur des mysteres (1980; 2nd ed. 1986; 3rd ed. 2005), as well as numerous articles in various languages including a selection of his articles that was republished as Recherches en spiritualité iranienne (2006). He is preparing a book on the Ishraqi philosopher Suhrawardi, and several other publications including a new edition and translation of the Ismaili thinker Sijistani’s Kashf al-mahjub. A Festschrift consecrated to Prof. Landolt’s scholarship in Sufi and Islamic Studies, entitled Reason and Inspiration in Islam: Theology, Philosophy, and Mysticism in Muslim Thought. Essays in Honour of Hermann Landolt, edited by Todd Lawson, was published in London in 2005 (I.B. Tauris in association with the Institute of Ismaili Studies).
LEONARD LEWISOHN is Senior Lecturer in Persian and Iran Heritage Foundation Fellow in Classical Persian and Sufi Literature at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies of the University of Exeter in England where he currently teaches Islamic Studies, Sufism, the history of Iran, as well as courses on Persian texts and Persian poetry in translation. He specializes in translation of Persian Sufi poetic and prose texts. He is the author of 3 Beyond Faith and Infidelity: The Sufi Poetry and Teachings of Mahmud Shabistari (London: Curzon Press 1995), and the editor of three volumes on The Heritage of Sufism, vol. 1: The Legacy of Mediæval Persian Sufism, vol. 2: Classical Persian Sufism from its Origins to Rumi Classical Persian Sufism from its Origins to Rumi, vol. 3 (with David
Morgan): Late Classical Persianate Sufism: the Safavid and Mughal Period (Oxford:
1999)—covering a millennium of Islamic history. He is editor of the Mawlana Rumi Review, an annual journal devoted to Jalal al-Din Rumi (d. 1273), now in its sixth volume. He is also editor (with Christopher Shackle) of The Art of Spiritual Flight: Farid al-Din ‘Attar and the Persian Sufi Tradition (London: 2006), co-translator with Robert
Bly of The Angels Knocking on the Tavern Door: Thirty Poems of Hafiz (New York:
HarperCollins 2008), editor of Hafiz and the Religion of Love in Classical Persian Poetry (London: 2010), and editor of The Philosophy of Ecstasy: Rumi and the Sufi Tradition (Bloomington, Indiana: 2014). Dr. Lewisohn has contributed articles to the Encyclopedia of Love in World Religions, Encyclopedia of Islam (2nd and 3rd editions), Encyclopædia Iranica, Encyclopædia of Philosophy, 2nd Edition, Encyclopædia of Religion, 2nd Edition, Iran Nameh, Iranian Studies, African Affairs, Islamic Culture, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society and the Temenos Academy Review.
ORKHAN MIR-KASIMOV obtained his Ph.D. in Islamic studies from the École Pratique des Hautes Études (Sorbonne University, Paris), and has lectured at the École Pratique as well as the National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilisations (INALCO) in Paris.
He is currently a Research Associate at The Institute of Ismaili Studies in London. He has published several articles and book chapters on various aspects of Ḥurūfī thought as well as on broader issues related to Islamic mysticism and messianism. His publications include Words of Power: Ḥurūfī Teachings between Shiʿism and Sufism in Medieval Islam. The Original Doctrine of Faḍl Allāh Astarābādī (2015), and an edited volume, Unity in Diversity: Mysticism, Messianism and the Construction of Religious Authority in Islam (2013).
JAMES MORRIS since 2007 has been professor in the Department of Theology at Boston College. He held the Sharjah Chair of Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter (1999and he has taught previously at Princeton University, Oberlin College, Temple University, and the Institute of Ismaili Studies in Paris and London. He has served as visiting professor at the École Pratique des Hautes Études (Paris), University of Malaya, and University of Sarajevo, and he lectures and gives workshops widely throughout Europe and the Muslim world. Among his many books may be mentioned: The Wisdom of the Throne: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Mulla Sadra (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1981); The Master and the Disciple: An Early Islamic Spiritual Dialogue, Arabic critical edition and English translation and Introduction to Ja‘far b.