The Institute of Ismaili Studies

Dr Alnoor Dhanani


Dr Alnoor Dhanani specialises in intellectual history, in particular the interaction between science, theology and philosophy in the civilisations of Islam. He was educated at Columbia University in New York, McGill University and Harvard University where he obtained his PhD degree in 1991. He has been a Fellow at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University, a tutor in the Department of the History of Science and the Department for the Study of Religion at Harvard University, and a Visiting Lecturer at the Department of Comparative Religion at Tufts University. The courses he has taught include: Quran and the Islamic Tradition, Islam and Modernity, Human Rights and Islam, and Philosophy and Theology in Islam.

Dr Dhanani is former head of the Department of Graduate Studies of The Institute of Ismaili Studies. He is currently affiliated with Harvard University and Tufts University. His current research projects include reactions to Avicenna's critique of atomism, how atomists explain personal identity following resurrection and contemporary Muslim theological speculation on the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe.

He is the author of The Physical Theory of Kalam: Atoms, Space, and Void in Basrian Mu'tazili Cosmology. He has contributed to encyclopaedias, academic journals, as well as conference proceedings. These include Before and After Avicenna, The Muslim Almanac, The History of Science and Religion in the Western World: An Encyclopaedia, A Historical Introduction to Science and Religion, The Macmillan Encyclopedia of Science and Religion and Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers.