My abiding interest is in theological and philosophical encounters between Christians and Muslims living in the medieval Islamicate World. I earned my doctorate at the University of Oxford in 2016, and have since held research and teaching positions at the American University of Beirut and the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library, Minnesota. My first book – an intellectual biography of the thirteenth-century bishop and polymath Abdisho of Nisibis – is due out in November 2021.
My current research focuses on two interconnected areas: (i) the history of theological encyclopaedism among Syriac and Arabic-speaking Christians in the medieval Islamicate World and (ii) the Syriac reception of Avicennan philosophy. The first—theological encyclopaedism—examines a widespread genre of literature produced by Christian communities in the medieval Middle East: the summa theologica, or summary expositions of the Christian faith. These texts provide key insights into how authors articulated a Christian world view within a broader, non-Christian religious setting. The second—the Syriac reception of Avicennan philosophy—focuses on the impact of Avicenna’s metaphysics on the philosophical and theological oeuvre of Barhebraeus (d. 1285/6), a near contemporary of Thomas Aquinas and of comparable significance to the Syriac Orthodox tradition.
A further project of mine involves the history of science, in particular, Christian contributions to the development of Islamicate alchemy. Much of this work centres on an unedited alchemical primer attributed to Aristotle, on which I have an article due to appear in a forthcoming issue of Asiatische Studien.