Senior Humanities Research Fellow
Affiliation: NYU Abu Dhabi
Education: BA, University of London (SOAS); MSt, Oxford University; PhD, Oxford University.
Research Areas: Intellectual history of the pre-modern Islamic world, especially the history of philosophy and theology
Ayman Shihadeh is an intellectual historian specialized in philosophy and theology in the pre-modern Islamic world. After studying at the Universities of Oxford and London, he worked at the University of Edinburgh before moving in 2008 to SOAS University of London, where he is currently Reader in Arabic Intellectual History at the School of History, Religions, and Philosophy.
His main areas of research interest include the Avicennan philosophical tradition, the tradition of systematic theology known as kalām, and the interaction between philosophy and theology between the 11th-13th century. He is interested in the ideas, especially in metaphysics, ethics, anthropology, epistemology, and dialectical practices, as well as the sources and historical contexts in which these ideas originated and developed. His publications include seven books. He currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of the Bulletin of SOAS published by Cambridge University Press (the leading journal on Asia, Africa and the Middle East, published since 1917), as Section Editor for Philosophy and Theology on the Editorial Board of the Encyclopaedia of Islam (published by Brill since 1913), and as the editor of the Islamic Translation Series (Brill, published since 1997). He was the Chair of the British Association for Islamic Studies between 2012-2019, and also served as Chair of the BRAIS-De Gruyter Prize in the Study of Islam and the Muslim World.
At NYUAD, he explores the impact of philosophy on theology in the late 11th century focusing particularly on the influential jurist and theologian al-Juwaynī (d. 1085), the teacher of the famous al-Ghazālī (d. 1111). His research project will result in several outputs, which will offer a new reading of this pivotal, and hitherto understudied, phase in Arabic and Islamic intellectual history.