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The Centre for the Study of Islam (CSI) 

Director: Professor Robert Gleave

The Centre for the Study of Islam, based in the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, brings together the core teaching staff in Islamic Studies, other staff who have an interest in Islamic culture and civilisation, and all interested postgraduate students (at MA and PhD level).

We sponsor visiting speakers in Islamic Studies, hold regular seminars and conferences, and convene the Islamic Arabic Texts group.  All are welcome to our events, though those aiming to attend the Text group's session should be aware that competence in reading classical Arabic and Islamic texts in Arabic is assumed.  To join the group and be on the mailing list, you should email Pam Navran.  Attendees receive a copy of the Arabic text one week in advance of the class (by pdf email attachment).  Participants are expected to have read the text before attending.

CSI Staff


Professor Robert Gleave
(Specialisms: Islamic law and legal theory, Shīʿī jurisprudence and exegesis, violence and its justification in Islamic thought)

Islamic Studies Teaching Staff:

Dr Mustafa Baig

(Specialism: Islamic Law, Muslims living in non-Muslim contexts)

Dr Istvan Kristo-Nagy

(Specialisms: late antiquity and early Islam, the role of the intellectual in Islamic civilisation, violence and heresy in early Islam)

Dr Leonard Lewisohn

(Specialisms: the history and doctrines of Sufism, Persian literature and civilisations, Persian mystical poetry)

Professor Emeritus Ian Netton

(Specialisms: history of Islamic philosophy and theology, ritual and Muslim practice, literature, orientalism and Islam)

Professor Sajjad Rizvi

(Specialisms: Islamic philosophy and theology, Quranic exegesis, Shīʿī thought and theories of authority in Shīʿī Islam)

Dr Suha Taji-Farouki

(Specialisms: Modern Islamic thought, political Islam and modern Muslim movements, Islamic mysticism in contemporary Islam)

Research Fellows:

Dr Omar Anchassi

(Understanding Shari’a Project research fellow; specialisms: Islamic intellectual history, hermeneutics).

Dr Paul Gledhill

(Law and Learning in Imami Shiite Islam research fellow project; specialisms: early Islamic law and the formation of the law schools).

Dr Wissam Halawi

(Law and Learning in Imami Shiite Islam research fellow project; specialisms: medieval Islamic social history and the Druze).

Current research projects

The CSI brings together existing research projects including:

Past research projects

Information about the Centre’s activities can be found here.



The Centre for the Study of Islam (CSI) opened on 28th January 2011 with a reception in the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, and a public lecture by Professor Robert Hoyland of the University of Oxford.  Professor Hoyland spoke about “the Language of the Qur’an and Ancient Middle Eastern Storytelling”, in which he examined the Qur’an and its relationships to other ancient texts and traditions.  Around 120 people stayed on to attend the opening of the exhibition “From Here to Eternity”, which combined the art of Dr Elaine Goodwin and the calligraphy of Mohamed Abaoubida.

Professor Robert Gleave, the new Director of the CSI, said, “The Centre will, we hope, provide a research environment which will maintain and develop Exeter’s international reputation as a centre for Islamic Studies.”