• Ph.D.(1987) McGill University, Institute of Islamic Studies
  • M.A. (1980) McGill University, Institute of Islamic Studies
  • B.A. (1976) University of British Columbia, English Literature



  • Faculty Lecturer, McGill University, Institute of Islamic Studies (1995-1998)
  • Assistant Professor, Islamic Studies, University of Toronto, Department of Middle East and Islamic Studies (1988-1994)


Mystical Quranic Exegesis, Islamic Thought, Shi’ism, Sufism

TEACHING (General Subject Areas):

  • Islamic Religion
  • Islamic Thought
  • Shi'i Islam
  • Modern Developments in Islam Quranic Commentary
  • Arabic

  • Islamic Mystical Tradition Islamic History


Courses Graduate (current)

  • Islamic Religious Thought (NMC2052Y)
  • Images of the Prophet Muhammad in Literature (NMC 2053Y)

Undergraduate (current)

  • Introduction to Islam (NMC185Y)
  • The Qur’an (NMC285Y)
  • Shi’i Islam (NMC386HF)
  • Islamic Mystical Tradition (NMC387HS)

Graduate (previously taught)

  • Islamic Philosophy: Intellect
  • Major Themes of Islamic Religious Expression
  • Islam: Origin and Early Developments
  • Islam: Later Developments A Survey of the Development of Islamic Thought

Undergraduate (previously taught)

  • Jesus in the Qur’an


INVITED LECTURES (most recent):

  1. University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies and the Center for Islamic Studies: "Qur'an as Epic" Biennial Conference, sponsored by the Centre of Islamic Studies, SOAS, 12-14: "The Qur'an: Text, History & Culture," November 2009, major paper, 30 minute lecture
  2. University of Göttingen: "Transcendence and Immanence in the Qur'an: a critique of categories" for Gott und Welt. Transzendenz und Immanenz im Altertum Internationales Symposion des Graduiertenkollegs Götterbilder-Gottesbilder-Weltbilder Polytheismus und Monotheismus in der Welt der Antike Georg-August-Universität Göttingen: 29.-30. Oktober 2009. Major paper and 1 hour lecture
  3. Institute of Ismaili Studies: October 2009 Conference on Tafsir (continued, see recent AAR panel below), panel on esoteric commentaries: "How to understand the notion of ‘spiritual' in Islamic thought: "Joseph and His Shirt"
  4. University of Göttingen: May 27-29, 2008. Roads to Paradise (an international conference) organized by Profs. Günther and Lawson. "Paradise in the Qur'an as Apocalyptic Motif."
  5. University of Chicago: Center for Middle Eastern Studies, February 13, 2009. Friday Lecture Series. "The Myth of the False Qur'an from the Safavids to the Qajars."
  6. Orient Institut Beirut: (Prof. Stefan Leder, director), December 12-13, 2008. Conference on Cultural and Linguistic Aspects of Bible Translations, "The Book of Revelation and the Qur'an: A Structural, Terminological and Thematic Comparison"
  7. University of Zanjan: November 4-7, 2008: Tehran, Qom, Kashan: International conference on Feyz e Kashani (invitation declined), paper offered for translation: "Fayz Kashani and the Hidden Words"
  8. University of Göttingen: November 6-7, 2008: Internationales Symposium des GraKo: Weltkonstruktionen. Topographie und Konstellationen von Chaos und Kosmos "Coherent Chaos and Chaotic Cosmos: The Quran and Its Apocalyptic Substrate"
  9. University of Göttingen: November 5, 2008: Göttinger Orient-Symposium "The Crucifixion and the Quran"
  10. AAR pre conference special panel, Chicago, October 31, 2008: The Origins of Exegesis – Contexts and Sources, AAR pre conference special day-long seminar. Panel: The Esoteric and the Exoteric: Methods and Taxonomies. Sponsored by Institute of Ismaili Studies and AAR Qur'an Group: "Time and Typology: In Search of the Spiritual"
  11. Baha'i Summer School Morrisville, Ont: August 3-4, 2008: "History and Prayer according to the Islamic Intellectual Tradition"
  12. Irfan Colloquium Acuto, Italy: July 6-9, 2008: "The Salat Kabīr in Bahai Texts"
  13. Musim Student Association: Islam Awareness Week, University of Toronto, March 26, 2008: "The Qur'ān as World Literature"
  14. American University of Beirut: Anis Makdisi Program in Literature, February 20, 2008: "On the Poetics of Opposition in the Qur'an: The Apocalypstic Substrate"
  15. Centre for Islamic Studies, Damascus: February 18, 2008:, 8-10pm: "The Study of Islam and the Life of the Mind in Canada" Filmed for a 1 hour program on al-Jazeera (Arabic channel, broadcast next day)
  16. Shaykh Ahmad Kuftaru Centre, Abu Nour Mosque, Damascus: February 18, 2008, 12:00-4:00 pm: "Islam and Multiculturalism"
  17. University of London: SOAS: The Poetics of Duality: The Apocalyptic Substrate of the Qur'an, 7-9 November, 2007
  18. Iranian Institute of Philosophy, Tehran, Tabriz & Khoy: Corbin's Rumi, 2-5 November, 2007 (withdrawn)
  19. Freiburg Universität, Orientalische Seminar: Duality and Opposition in the Qur'an: The Apocalyptic Substrate, May 2006
  20. Strasbourg, Marc Bloch Université: Iranian Humanism: The Theology of Humanism, May 2006
  21. Northern Command Headquarters: Islam and the life of the Mind, January 2006
  22. Universite Marc Bloch, Strasbourg, International Colloquium “Dialogue, Culture et Mondialisation” 22-24 November 2005: Shi’ism and Globalization
  23. Department of Near Eastern Languages, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana: Akhbari Tafsir Revisited.
  24. Sorbonne, 6-8 November 2003: H. Corbin et le Coran [Colloque Henry Corbin (1903 – 1978): Philosophies et Sagesses des Religions du Livre]
  25. McGill University, 2-6 June 2003: The Rhetoric of Good and Evil in the Qur'an [Evil in International Affairs, Carnegie Foundation]
  26. University of Toronto, 26-27 May, 2002: Nicholas of Cusa and Islam [Yvonne Y. Haddad Plenary and Symposium, CSSR]
  27. Isfahan, April 27-29, 2002: The Imaginal World East and West [Cordoba & Isfahan: Two Schools of Islamic Philosophy, Society for the appreciation of Cultural Works, et alii]
  28. University of Toronto, 1 February 2002: The Poetics of Duality in the Qur'an [Department for the Study of Religion]
  29. University of Copenhagen, 22-24 August, 2001: From the Parochial to the Universal: the Transformation of Shi’ism into the Bahai Faith
  30. Bristol University, 5 September 2000: Ahmad Ahsa’i’s Critique of Fayz Kashani on the Problem of God’s Knowledge
  31. Concordia University, 27 April, 2000: Islam and the "Lower Senses": The Story of Joseph. Uncommon Senses: An Interdisciplinary Conference on the Senses in Art and Culture April 27-29, Montreal


  1. San Francisco, 21-24 November 2004: Suluk according to Ahmad Ahsa’i and Kazim Rashti [Middle East Studies Association]
  2. San Diego, 22-24 March 2004: A ‘New’ Book by Rajab Bursi [American Oriental Society] Ravenna, 6-11 October 2003: Philosophy and Fundamentalism [Fifth European Conference of Iranian Studies]
  3. Bamberg, 3-6 July 2003: Tafsir, Qajar and Safavid [Fourth Safavid Round Table]
  4. Concordia University: 27 April, 2000: Islam and the "Lower Senses": The Story of Joseph. Uncommon Senses: An Interdisciplinary Conference on the Senses in Art and Culture April 27-29, Montreal
  5. Edinburgh University, August 19, 1998: A 'New Testament' for the Safavids: 17th Century Iranian Quran Commentary Third International Round Table on Safavid Persia, 19-22 August 1998 The Edinburgh Institute for the Advanced Study of Islam and the Middle East, Edinburgh


  • Full Member, School of Graduate Studies, University of Toronto, (current)
  • Visiting Fellow, Australian National University, Canberra, Autumn, 1998.
  • Graduate Studies Council, McGill University, 1995-96
  • Faculty of Graduate Studies, McGill University, 1995-1998
  • Associate Member, School of Graduate Studies, University of Toronto (1991-1994)
  • Scholarship Committee, Inst. Islamic Studies, McGill (1995-1998)
  • Secretary/Treasurer, Oriental Club of Toronto, University of Toronto (1992-1994)
  • Departmental liaison for the Centre for Computing in the Humanities, University of Toronto (1988-94)


  • American Oriental Society
  • British Institute of Persian Studies
  • Canadian Society for the Study of Religion
  • Middle East Studies Association
  • Societas Iranologica Europaea