Biography

Dr Orkhan Mir-Kasimov
Research Associate
Area of focus:
  1. Intellectual history of Shi'i Islam
  2. Influence of the Ismaili thought on the post-Mongol mystical and messianic movements
  3. Intellectual interactions between Muslims and other religious traditions
  4. Islamic mysticism and messianism
  5. Ottomans
  6. Safavids and Mughals.

Introduction

Dr Mir-Kasimov is Senior Research Associate at the Department of Academic Research and Publications, The Institute of Ismaili Studies, London. He also teaches on the IIS graduate programmes (GPISH & STEP). He is an Associate Member of Higher Education Academy. He obtained his doctorate from the École Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE), Paris. In 2003 he was the recipient of IIS’ Dissertation Writing Scholarship. His dissertation was devoted to the reconstruction of the doctrinal views of the Hurufis, one of the messianic movements strongly influenced by Shi‘i ideas which was influential in Iran and Anatolia in 14th and 15th centuries.

He previously studied intellectual history of Islam and oriental languages (Arabic and Persian) at Moscow University from which he received his BA, and at the EPHE, where he obtained a Diploma, with a grant from the French Government. After defending his doctoral dissertation, Dr Mir-Kasimov continued as post-doctoral fellow first at the Institut d’Etudes Avancées (IEA) in Nantes, France, and then at the Institut für Islamwissenschaft of the Freie Universität in Berlin, Germany, with the grant of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. He has also lectured at the French National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilisations (INALCO), and at the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris.

Dr Mir-Kasimov’s research interests include the intellectual history of the Shiʿi Islam, Islamic mysticism and messianism, and their role in the history and intellectual history of the Muslim societies in medieval and early modern times.

Dr Mir-Kasimov has published a monograph Words of Power: Ḥurūfī Teachings between Shiʿism and Sufisminfo-icon. The Original Ḥurūfī Doctrine of Faḍl Allāh Astarābādī  (IIS, ‘Shi’i Heritage’ series, 2015). He has also edited and co-edited several volumes, including Unity in Diversity: Mysticism, Messianism and the Construction of Religious Authority in Islam (2013); Les Nuṣayris et les Druzes, deux communautés ésotériques à la périphérie doctrinale de l’islam (2011); and Shiʿi Esotericism: Roots and Developments (forthcoming in 2016). He has contributed articles and book chapters to several academic journals and edited volumes.