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Professor Robert Gleave

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Telephone: 01392 724025

Professor of Arabic Studies

Rob Gleave is currently involved in three funded research projects:

1. Principal Investigator on the project "Islamic Reformulations: Belief, Governance and Violence", a three year project Global Uncertainties Leadership Fellowship, funded under the RCUK Global Uncertainties programme. The project comprises two elements: (1) the development of a network of scholars examining the role of religious belief and ideological commitment in explaining action and (2) an analysis of the current state and future trajectories of Islamic thought on belief, governance and violence.  The project develops the themes of Rob Gleave's previous ESRC/AHRC project on "Legitimate and Illegitimate Violence in Islamic Thought".  Islamic Reformulations began on 1st September 2012 and will run until 31st August 2015.  Rob Gleave will be working with the Project's Research Fellow, Dr Mustafa Baig.  Project budget is £495,384 (Grant Code: ES/K000330/1)

2. Co-Investigator with Professor Esther Reed in Theology and Religion on the project "Religion in Public Life: British and Iranian Experiences", a British Academy International Partnerships award.  The project examines Christian and Muslim views on religion, public life and government and forms part of the Network for Religion in Public Life.  The grant funds visiting Iranian scholars to the UK, conferences and workshops, and PhD master classes for PhD students in the UK and Iran.

3.  Principal Investigator of The Sharia Project, joint with Professor Léon Buskens of Leiden University, and funded by the AHRC and the NWO.  This project will establish a network of scholars in the UK and the Netherlands working on Islamic legal questions, convening four workshops (two in Exeter, two in Leiden).  The first workshop was led by Professor Baudouin Dupret; the second workshop was held 17-19 April 2013 in Exeter.  The third workshop was held at the University of Leiden, 15th-16th November 2013 and was led by Professor Kecia Ali. The Fourth Workshop will take place 6-7th February 2014 at the University of Exeter, and will be led by Professor Wael Hallaq.

From January to March 2013, Rob Gleave was Visiting Mellon Scholar at the University of Chicago.  As part of that fellowship, he gave a public lecture and led a module on Shiism, Messianism and Violence.

Between October 2010 and January 2011, Rob Gleave was a Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Jerusalem as part of the interdisciplinary research group: Encountering Scripture in Overlapping Cultures: Early Jewish, Christian and Muslim Strategies of Reading and their Contemporary Implications.  His most recent book Islam and Literalism (EUP, 2012) explored themes developed during that fellowship.

In October and November 2009, Rob Gleave was Visiting Scholar at the Leiden University Centre for the Study of Islam and Society, giving lectures on Law, Power and Exegesis in Shiite Islam - he is currently editing these lectures for publication.

His recently completed projects include:

5.  Principal Investigator on the project "Legitimate and Illegitimate Violence in Islamic Thought", a three-year project, funded by the AHRC and ESRC as part of the Global Uncertainties Programme. The project commenced on 1st January 2010 and ended on 31st September 2013. The project examines the legal reasoning of Muslim jurists and ethical thinkers by which acts of violence are justified or condemned. It has held three international conferences and a number of workshops.  The Research Fellow attached to this project is Dr Istvan Kristo-Nagy.  More information on the project can be found on the project website, www.livitproject.net. There are two PhD students associated with the project, Mr Tayyeb Mimouni and Ms Bianka Speidl. Project Budget is £594,251 (Grant Code: ES/G034397/1)

6. Principal Investigator for the three-year collaborative project (2009-2011) between the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) and the British Institute of Persian Studies (BIPS), sponsored by the British Academy, entitled Clerical Authority in Shi'ite Islam: The Seminaries of Iraq and Iran with a total budget of £142,000 for visiting fellowships, workshops, and research projects. This project brought together a collection of international scholars to work collaboratively between March 2009 and March 2012. The workshops have been addressed by Professor Roy Mottahedeh (Harvard University), Professor Sabrina Mervin (CNRS) and Professor Laurence Louer (Sciences-Po).  The Hawza Project ended in March 2012 with a major conference at Keble College, Oxford.

7. Principal Investigator of the AHRC/ESRC Religion and Society Networks and Workshops Project: Network of British Researchers and Practitioners of Islamic Law. For more information on the project, click here.

8. Co-Investigator on the AHRC/ESRC Religion and Society Project: Shah Abbas and the Safavid Shrines (started January 2008, with Dr Sheila Canby of the British Museum). For a project summary, click here. The exhibition linked with this project was on show at the British Museum. Click here for details.

Rob Gleave is Secretary/Treasurer of the International Society for Islamic Legal Studies.  He is a member of Sub-Panel 27 Area Studies of the Research Excellence Framework and is a member of both AHRC and ESRC peer review colleges. Until July 2012, he was Chair of the Advisory Board for the UK Islamic Studies Network, funded by HEFCE.

For office hours and research leave go here.