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ERI BuildingUniversity of Birmingham
For many years one of my specialist interests has been the history of religious thought in Islam and the structure of Islamic religious thinking. A particular aspect of this is relations between Muslims and followers of other faiths especially Christianity, which I have made a major topic of my research and writing.
Professor Thomas has been a specialist in Islam and Christian-Muslim relations for many years. After undergraduate work at Oxford, he worked in the northern Sudan, where his interest in Islam was kindled. He took this further in theological studies at Cambridge and in PhD research at Lancaster.
Professor Thomas worked in parts of the UK for some years on relations between the churches and Muslim communities, and in 1993 he was appointed onto the staff of the then Centre for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, Selly Oak. He was promoted to Reader in 2004, and in 2007 was appointed Professor of Christianity and Islam. In 2011 he was appointed Nadir Dinshaw Professor of Interreligious Relations.
Professor Thomas teaches a module on Introduction to Islam at undergraduate level, and modules on Christian-Muslim Relations and Islamic Philosophy at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
Professor Thomas is currently concluding Christian-Muslim Relations, a bibliographical history a major international project funded by the AHRC to compile the history of Christian-Muslim relations in the period 600-1500. This is the first part of a history of recorded encounters between the two faiths from the beginning to the year 1900. It is published in print and online versions by Brill, Leiden.
He is Islam editor of The Encyclopaedia of the Bible and its Reception, a projected 30-volume publication from De Gruyter, Berlin, which traces the ‘reception’ of themes and figures from the Bible in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, world faiths, literature, art, music, theatre and film.
He is managing editor of the Brill series The History of Christian-Muslim Relations, and senior editor of the journal Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations.
The religious history of Islam and main theological movements; history and theology of Christian-Muslim relations, particularly in the attitudes of Muslims towards Christians and Christian beliefs
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