Islamic law, theology/philosophy, exegesis and history; Sunni-Shi'i relations and sectarianism; philosophical theology and philosophy of religion; historiography and philosophy of history; modernity and the nation-state; the concept of tradition
Aun Hasan Ali joined the Department of Religious Studies in 2015. He works on the Islamic tradition. Ali studied Religion and Philosophy at Rutgers University, receiving his BA in 2003. That same year he travelled to Yemen to continue studying Arabic. He earned an MA in Islamic Studies from McGill University in 2007, and will receive his PhD in Islamic Studies from McGill University in 2015. Ali's research focuses on the intellectual history of Shi'ism, including both the pre-modern and modern periods. In particular, he is interested in studying Shi'ism through the lens of the concept of tradition and social network theory. Ali is also interested in Shi'i law and legal theory, especially the interplay between shariah and legislation. His current project examines intellectual life in the city of Hillah in southern Iraq in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries CE. Ali is also preparing the final draft of an article in which he examines the relationship between Sunnism and Shi'ism through the lens of the issue of documentary evidence in Islamic law. His recent publications include a translation of a Persian chapter about the Qajar philosopher Abu'l-Hasan Jilveh in Philosophical traditions in Qajar Iran, set to be published by Brill in 2015, and two articles on Shi'i legal theory, classical and modern, in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Law.
“Abū al-Ḥasan Jilveh” in Philosophical traditions in Qajar Iran. Translator. Forthcoming in 2015.
“Legal Theory: Classical Shiʿite” in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Law.
“Legal Theory: Modern Shiʿite” in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Law.
“The discourse on ʿilm al-waḍʿ in modern Shīʿī scholarship.” Islamic Studies 50, no. 3-4 (2011): 325-345.
Review of Sajjad H. Rizvi, Mulla Sadra and Metaphysics: The Modulation of Being (London: Routledge, 2009) in American Journal of Islamic Social Science 28, no. 1 (2011): 126-129.
“Kitāb muṣṭalaḥāt al-fiqh” in Interpretations of Law and Ethics, Aptin Khanbaghi, ed. (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2010).
“Masāʾil-i namāz kā insā’iklopidiya,” in Encyclopedias about Muslim civilizations, Aptin Khanbaghi, ed. (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2009).
Review of Schooling Islam: the Culture and Politics of Modern Muslim Education, Robert W. Hefner and Muhammad Qasim Zaman, ed. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007) in Journal of the Faculty of Religious Studies, McGill University(December 2007).
(2014, November) The School of Hillah: Twelver Shi'ism in the Ilkhanid Era. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion, San Diego, California.
(2013, November) The Shīʿī madhhab and its relationship to Sunnism in light of the issue of documentary evidence in Islamic law. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion, Baltimore, Maryland.
(2013, September) Second-order imperatives in Islamic law. Paper presented at the 2nd annual conference of the Ahl al-Bayt Forum, Streamwood, Illinois.
(2012, August) The Quran and contemporary Iranian Shīʿī discourse on the origins of language. Paper presented at the 9th Biennial Conference on Iranian Studies, Istanbul, Turkey.
(2011, April) Some notes on ʿilm al-waḍʿ. Paper presented at the MIISSC Graduate Student Symposium, Montreal, Quebec.
(2010, May) Revisiting the Rational Turn in Twelver Shīʿism. Paper presented at the 8th Biennial Conference on Iranian Studies, Santa Monica, California.
(2010, September) Orientalism. A guest lecture in modern Islamic history delivered at McGill University.
(2010, January) Stages in the development of Shīʿī law up to the 16th century. A guest lecture in Islamic law delivered at McGill University.
(2009, August) Abū Jaʿfar al-Baqir’s role in the development of Twelver Shīʿism. A public lecture delivered at Concordia University.
(2006, March). Shīʿite Rationalism in the Buyid Era. Paper presented at the 8th annual Middle Eastern Studies conference, University of California, Santa Barbara.
(2006, March). From traditionism to rationalism: the rationalist turn in Imamite Shīʿite theology during the Buyid era. Paper presented at the Institute of Islamic Studies' Brown Bag lecture series, Montreal, Quebec.