Biography

Dr Maria De Cillis
Senior Research Associate and Managing Editor for Shi'i Heritage Series
Area of focus:
  1. Islamic theology
  2. The Qur'an
  3. Islamic philosophy
  4. Islamic spirituality and mysticism
  5. Shi'i Islam
  6. Ismaili Philosophy
  7. Islamic Tradition in the Formative Period

Introduction

Maria De Cillis is a Senior Research Associate at the Institute of Ismaili Studies, London, where she is also the Managing Editor of the Shiʿi Heritage Series.

Dr De Cillis completed her undergraduate studies in the field of Languages and Literatures (English and Arabic) graduating from the Università degli Studi di Napoli - L’Orientale in Naples, Italy in 2001 (cum laude). She received an MA degree in Islamic Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London in 2004 for which she was awarded a distinction.

She continued her PhD studies at the same university, graduating in October 2010. Her PhD Thesis has been published with the title of Free Will and Predestination in Islamic Thought: Theoretical Compromises in the Works of Avicenna, al-Ghazālī and Ibn ʿArabī (2014). De Cillis has co-edited Shiʿi Esotericism: Its Roots and Developments (2016) as well as writing a number of journal articles and encyclopaedia entries. She has taught on the Qurʾan at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and on medieval Islamic philosophy and speculative theology at and at Birkbeck College, University of London. She continues to lecture on Kalām and Falsafa at The Institute of Ismaili Studies. Her research interests include Islamic metaphysics, Sufisminfo-icon, Shiʿi esotericism and Ismaili philosophy.

 

 Books

Salvation and Destiny in Islam. The Shiʿi Ismaili Perspective of Ḥamīd al-Dīn al-Kirmānī. (I. B. Tauris and The Institute of Ismaili Studies, London and New York, 2018).

 

Free Will and Predestination in Islamic Thought. Theoretical Compromises in the Works of Avicenna, al-Ghazālī and Ibn ʿArabī. (Routledge: London and New York, 2014). External Link      

 

Translations (book-length)

Translation from the French of the introductory paper by Prof M. Yahia featuring in The Study of Shiʿi Islam. History, Theology and Law, F. Daftary and G. Miskinzoda, ed., (I. B. Tauris and the Institute of Ismaili Studies, London and New York, 2014), pp. 253-270.

 

Supervision of the translation into Arabic of Free Will and Predestination in Islamic Thought. Theoretical Compromises in the Work of Avicenna, al-Ghazālī and Ibn ʿArabī. National Center for Translation (NCT) Cairo. (Forthcoming).

 

Edited Volumes

Esotérisme shi’ite, ses racines et ses prolongements. Shiʿi Esotericism: Its Roots and Developments, M. A. Amirinfo-icon-Moezzi, M. De Cillis, D. De Smet, O. Mir-Kasimov, eds., (Brepols, Turnhout, 2016).  

 

Book Chapters

A Preliminary Study on the Significance of Qaḍāʾ and Qadarinfo-icon in the Eighth Chapter of al-Kirmānī’s Kitāb al-Riyāḍ’ in Esotérisme shi’ite, ses racines et ses prolongements: Shiʿi Esotericism: Its Roots and Developments, M. A. Amir-Moezzi, M. De Cillis, D. De Smet, O. Mir-Kasimov, eds., (Brepols, Turnhout, 2016).  

 

Journal Articles

Avicenna on Matter, Matter’s Disobedience and Evil: Reconciling Metaphysical Stances and Qur’anic Perspectives, Transcendent Philosophy 12 (2011), pp. 147-168.
The above article has been edited and published on the IIS website in 2013

 

‘Discussions on Love, Determinism and Providence in Ibn Sina (Avicenna) and al-Kirmani’ Conference Proceedings (International Conference of Arabic and Islamic Studies), Venice, June 13-14, 2016.

 

‘La Questione del libero Arbitrio nel pensiero Islamico Classico’. Rivista Fondazione Oasis. Cristiani e Musulmani nel Mondo Globale 26 (2017). In Italian. Translated into English as ‘Muslims and Free Will’ in Oasis. Christians and Muslims in the Global World, 26 (2017). External Link

 

‘Al-Kirmānī’s Perspective on Spiritual Assistance and the Accomplishment of Prophethood in the Story of Moses and Shuʿayb’. (Forthcoming).

 

Encylopaedia Entries

8 Encyclopaedia Entries/ 5 Encyclopaedia Translations for the Biographical Dictionary of Islamic Civilisation and Culture, Mustafa Shah and Abdel Haleem, ed. (Forthcoming, December 2018):

- Abū Ya'lā Ibn al-Farrā

- Abū'l-Mu'īn al-Nasafī

- Ishāq ibn Hunayn

- Abū Ishāq al-Isfarāyīnī

- Izz al-Dawlainfo-icon Ibn Kammūna

- Ja'far al-Barmakī

- Al-Kharrāz

- Al-Khāzin

- al-Ḥanafī, Abū Ḥanīfah (Translation from the French)

- Al-Haytham b. ‘Abdar-Raḥmān (Translation from the French)

- Muḥammad b. ‘Umar b. Wāqid al-Wāqidī (Translation from the French)

- Ubaydah b. Zayd (or Rā’iṭah) al-Baṣrī an-Numayrī (Translation from the French)

- Muḥammad Ibn Isḥāq ibn Yasār ibn Khiyār (Translation from the French)

 

‘Free Will, Predestination and Acquisition’ for the Dictionary of Islamic Bioethics, Oxford University Press (Forthcoming, 2019).

 

Conferences

“The Ontology of the Soul in Medieval Arabic Thought” held at SOAS in September 2010.