Jonathan A.C. Brown

Curriculum Vitae

JONATHAN A.C. BROWN
Box 353120 Seattle, WA 98195
206-616-2390
brownj9@u.washington.edu

CURRENT POSITIONS:

University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations

Oxford Encyclopedia of Islamic Law, Editor in Chief

FORMER POSITIONS

Oxford Online Islamic Studies Bibliography
Advisory Editor, 2008-2009

Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World
Advisory Editor, 2005-2008

EDUCATION:   

University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
Ph.D. in Islamic Thought, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations,
2001-August 2006 with honors
Minor: Modern Middle East History

Center for Arabic Study Abroad (CASA), Cairo, Egypt
Certificate in Arabic language, June 2000-June 2001

Georgetown University, Washington, DC
Bachelor of Arts in History, magna cum laude, May 2000
Minor in Russian Language
Phi Beta Kappa awarded junior year (May 1999)
Completed Certificate in Islam and Muslim-Christian Understanding

PUBLICATIONS:

Monographs:

Peer Reviewed Journals:

  • "Even if it's not True it's True: Using Unreliable Hadiths in Sunni Islam," Islamic Law and Society, forthcoming.
  • "Is the Devil in the Details?: Tension between Minimalism and Comprehensiveness in the Shariah," Journal of Religious Ethics, forthcoming.
  • "Did the Prophet Say It or Not?: the Literal, Historical and Effective Truth of Hadiths in Sunni Islam," Journal of the American Oriental Society 129, no. 2 (2009): 259-285.
  • "How We Know early Hadith Critics Did Matn Criticism and Why It’s So Hard to Find,” Islamic Law and Society 15 (2008):  143-84.
  • “New Data on the Delateralization of Dād and its Merger with Zā in Classical Arabic: Contributions from Old South Arabian and the Earliest Islamic Texts on D / Z Minimal Pairs,” Journal of Semitic Studies 52, no. 2 (2007): 335-368.
  • “Critical Rigor vs. Juridical Pragmatism: How Legal Theorists and Hadith Scholars Approached the Backgrowth of Isnads,”  Islamic Law and Society 14, no. 1 (2007): 1-41.
  • “The Last Days of al-Ghazzali and the Tripartite Division of Sufi World: Abu Hamid al-Ghazzali’s Letter to the Seljuq Vizier and Commentary.” The Muslim World 96, no. 1 (2006): 89-113.
  • “Criticism of the Proto-Hadith Canon: al-Daraqutni’s Adjustment of al-Bukhari and Muslim’s Sahihs.”  Oxford Journal of Islamic Studies 15/1 (2004): 1-37.
  • “The Social Context of Pre-Islamic Poetry: Poetic Imagery and Social Reality in the Mu'allaqat.”  Arab Studies Quarterly 25/3 (2003): 29-50.

Non-Peer Reviewed Articles & Book Chapters:

  • “Between Faith and Reason in Our Western/Muslim Reading of the Past,” in Faith and Reason: Islamic Perspectives (forthcoming).
  • Translation from Arabic, “Obituary of George Makdisi,” by Ridwan Sayyid, Al-Usur al-Wusta 15/1 (2003): 7-9.

Encyclopedia Articles:

  • “Hadith,” Encyclopedia of Islamic Political Thought, Princeton University Press, forthcoming.
  • “Ibn Majah, Muhammad b. Yazid,” Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam, forthcoming.
  • “Al-Bukhari, Muhammad b. Ismail,” Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam, forthcoming.
  • “Al-Tirmidhi, Abu ‘Isa Muhammad,” Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam, forthcoming.
  • “Maslaha,” Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam, forthcoming.

Book Reviews:

  • “Review of The Encyclopedia of Canonical Hadith,” Journal of Islamic Studies 19, n. 3 (2008): 391-97.

FELLOWSHIPS:

American Academy of Religion Collaborative Research Grant (with Ebrahim Moosa, Duke U.)

  • Awarded for volume on 'The Contours of Late Sunni Traditionalism'

Simpson Center for Humanities (University of Washington) Society of Scholars Fellowship

  • Awarded for research and discourse on monograph project ‘Lying about the Prophet of God: Forgery, its Manipulation and Unmasking in Islamic Civilization’

American Institute for Yemeni Studies Research Grant

  • Awarded for manuscript research in San’a, summer 2007 for project “Exploring the Horizons of Sunni Thought in the 18th Century: The Innovative Scholarship of Muhammad b. Isma’il al-San’ani”

Mellon Foundation Dissertation Fellowship (May, 2005)

Council for American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC) Multi-Country Grant (March, 2005)

  • Awarded for manuscript research in Morocco, Syria and Turkey, July-September 2005.

CASA II (Center for Arabic Study Abroad) Fellowship (awarded for Spring 2006)

American Institute for Iranian Studies Persian Language Grant:

  • Awarded March, 2003 for summer language study at the Dekhoda Institute in Tehran, Iran.

Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) Grants:

  • Full Year Grants awarded for 2002-03 and 2003-04.
  • Summer Grants awarded for summer 2002 and 2003.

University of Chicago merit fellowship from unendowed funds (2001-2005)

LANGUAGES:

  • Arabic (fluent Classical, Egyptian and Saudi Arabic)
  • Persian (advanced reading knowledge, fluent spoken)
  • Urdu (basic)
  • Epigraphic South Arabian (reading knowledge of Ma’inian, Sabaic and other dialects of ancient South Arabian)
  • Latin
  • French (fluent reading and speaking)
  • German (reading knowledge)

AREAS OF SPECIALIZATION & COMPETENCE:

Specialization

  • History of Islam, Islamic Law, Qur’an and Hadith, Sufism, Salafi and Wahhabi Islam, Islamic Historiography, Hermeneutic Traditions in Islam, Early Islamic History, Modern Islam

Competence

  • Canonization and Intertextuality, Hermeneutic Traditions, Modern Islamic History

LECTURES & PRESENTATIONS:

Academic Papers and Invited Lectures

  • Conference on 'The Contours of Late Sunni Traditionalism,' co-organizer, Duke Univerisity, 4/28-30/10
  • "Images of Muhammad," Willamette University, Salem, 3/30/10
  • "Even if It's not True It's True: the Role of Forged Material in the Islamic Tradition," University of Chicago, 2/2/10
  • "Tradition Trumping Text in Christianity and Islam: Eusebius, al-Tirmidhi and Shaykh Ali Gomaa," Georgetown University, 1/21/10
  • "Lying about the Prophet of God: Forgery and its Manipulation in the Islamic Tradition," Princeton University, 10/12/09
  • "Female Circumcision and the Shariah in the Egyptian High Administrative Court," invited presentation at workshop on Islamic Law in the Courts: Judicial Interpretations of Shariah in Modern Muslim States, University of Washington, 6/5-6/09
  • "Consensus and the Amman Declaration," invited presentation at workshop on Islam and International Humanitarian Law, Syracuse University 4/17/09
  • "A Man for All Seasons: Ibn 'Uqda and Transcending the Sunni/Shiite Divide in the 10th Century," American Oriental Society Annual Meeting, 3/14/09
  • "Scholars and Charlatans on the Baghdad/Khurasan Circuit from the Ninth to the Eleventh Centuries," American Historical Association, 1/3/09
  • "Islam and Sexuality: Beyond the Headlines," Centennial Lecture Series for University of Washington Alumni Association, 11/5/08
  • “The Hadith Master of Our Age: Ahmad al-Ghumari (d. 1960), the Influential Salafi, Shiite, Sufi, Sunni Muslim,” panel on ‘Makers of “Traditional” Islam: Identifying a Phenomenon through its Architects,’ American Academy of Religion Annual Conference, 11/3/08 (panel organizer)
  • “Is the Devil in the Details?: Tension between Minimalism and Comprehensiveness in Islamic Law,” panel on ‘A Disobedient Prophet?: Tensions between the Quran and Prophetic Precedent in Islam,’ American Academy of Religion Annual Conference, 11/1/08
  • “When Shariah Meets Reality: Giving Fatwas in Egypt Today,” invited paper at conference ‘Is There a Role for Shariah in Modern States,’ Georgetown University, 10/23/08
  • “Spokesmen of the Shariah: Working as a Mufti in Egypt Today,” University of Arizona, 10/20/08
  • “Plus ça change…: The New Old Debate on Science and Hadith,” Critical Islamic Reflections Conference, Yale University, 4/12/08
  • “Critical Rigor vs. Juridical Pragmatism,” Joseph Schacht Revisited Workshop, Harvard University, 4/4-5/08
  • “Martyrdom in Islam,” lecture at the University of Chicago, 2/1/08
  • “Muhammad and the Origins of Islam in the West,” lecture at Eastern Washington University, Spokane WA, 1/08
  • “The Roles of Muhammad in Islamic Civilization,” lecture at Eastern Washington University, Spokane, WA, 1/08
  • "Lying for the Prophet of God: Forgery and its Manipulation in the Islamic Tradition," at Duke University 1/10/08
  • Respondent and organizer for panel "What Do Hadith Do?: the Functions of Hadith in Islamic Civilization," American Academy of Religion Annual Conference, 11/07
  • "Even If It's Not True It's True: Historical Truth in the Western and Islamic Traditions, lecture at the University of British Columbia 11/26/07
  • "Tear Down Those Quotation Marks: Canons in the Islamic Tradition," lecture at the University of British Columbia 11/25/07
  • "Early Matn Criticism," Conference on Religious Texts in Islam: Authority, Reception and Use, June 8-9, 2007, Martin Luther University, Halle/Wittenberg, Germany
  • “Central Asian Contributions to Hadith Scholarship in the Classical And Early Modern Periods,” 2nd International Conference on Issues of Comparative Religious Studies in Central Asia, University of Washington 4/15/2007
  • “Islamic Scholarship Defined by Islamic Disciplines: Fiqh and Hadith,” on The Muslim World on the Eve of the Modern Era: Reframing Islamic History, American Historical Association, 1/6/07
  • “The Tarikh Baghdad in the History of Sunni Hadith Criticism, or, Did Al-Khatib Not Like Al-Hakim Al-Naysaburi?” panel on Ta'rikh Baghdad and the Formation of the Islamic Intellectual Traditions, Middle East Studies Association Annual Conference 11/19/06.
  • “Gathering the Threads: An Excursion into the History of the Hadith Science,” Massachusetts Institute of Technology 11/18/06.
  • “A New Look at the Hadith Criticism of Muhammad b. Ismail al-Bukhari,” Issues of Comparative Religious Studies in Central Asia, Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
  • “Iconoclasm and Institutional Security: Muhammad Nasir al-Din al-Albani and Criticism of the Canonical Hadith Collections,” on Critical Approaches to Salafi Islam Panel, American Academy of Religions, 11/21/05.
  • “Imam al-Haramayn al-Juwayni: Unsung Architect of the Shafi’i/Ash’ari Tradition,” presented at the 2nd Early Islamic Historical Traditions Conference, Chicago, IL, 11/13/05.
  • “The Canonization of al-Bukhari and Muslim,” Bilim va Sanat Wakfı, Istanbul, 9/13/2005.
  • “Why the Sahihayn?  The Formation of the Sunni Hadith Canon,” presented at the 20th Annual Middle East History and Theory Conference, University of Chicago, 5/15/2005.
  • “The Hadith Tradition in the Abbasid Period: a Cult of Authenticity,” presented at the Early Islamic Historical Traditions Conference, Chicago IL, 4/9-10/2005.
  • Safar-e mosavvar-e man dar Iran (My Illustrated Trip in Iran),” Anjoman-e Sokhan-e Farsi (Persian Circle), University of Chicago, 10/2004.
  • “The Development of Hadith and Islamic Law,” lecture at American University in Cairo, Cairo 4/28/2004.
  • “The Authenticity of Sufi Terminology,” presentation at the Middle-East History and Theory Workshop, University of Chicago 2/2004.
  • “Criticism of the Proto-Hadith Canon: al-Daraqutni’s Adjustment of al-Bukhari and Muslim’s Sahihs,” presentation at the Middle-East History and Theory Conference, University of Chicago 5/9/2003.

Community Outreach Lectures

  • Panel "Faithful to the Earth: An Interfaith Dialogue on Sustainability," Seattle University, 4/21/10
  • "Images of the Prophet in the West," Meridian Association, Istanbul, 4/10-11/10
  • "Introduction to the Shariah," Seattle University, 1/10
  • "Islam and Sexuality: Beyond the Headlines," lecture for Centennial Lecture Series by the University of Washington Alumni Association, Seattle 11/5/08
  • Two-day course on Hadith and the Development of the Western Historical Critical Method,
    Maghrib Institute, Houston 8/13-14/08
  • “Navigating the Debates over Hadith in the Modern World,” ALIM Program, Detroit 7/31/08
  • Two-day course of the Islamic Hadith tradition, ALIM Program, Detroit 7/30-31/08.
  • "The Importance of Knowledge in Islam," lecture at Islamic Center of Greater Detroit, 5/3/08
  • "Sunni and Shiite Islam," lecture for the World Affairs Council, Seattle, 5/30/07
  • “Differences between Shiites and Sunni” KBCS Radio 2/22/07 http://www.bcc.ctc.edu/kbcs/downloads/One_World_Report/OWR_20070222/OWR_20070222_Shia_Sunni_JD.mp3
  • “De-Mystifying the Middle East,” lecture at Moraine Valley School, Chicago IL. 10/29/2004
  • “The Religion of Islam,” lecture at St. Xavier College, Chicago IL. 5/27/2004
  • “Islam and 9/11,” lecture at St. Albans School, Washington DC 9/11/2002

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS

  • American Academy of Religion
  • Middle East Studies Association
  • American Historical Association

 

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