My work spans a number of areas and a number of themes. As a researcher in Islamic theology, my main interests lie in ethics, particularly forms of Islamic ethics with a strong rationalist edge. My early work on the Mu’tazilites was followed by more recent work on the ethical thought of the Hanbalite theologian Ibn Taymiyya. My current research focuses on the development of the virtues in the Islamic intellectual tradition, taking al-Ghazālī as a linchpin figure. Part of my aim in exploring this tradition is to place it in conversation with the larger history of philosophical and theological approaches to the virtues.
Outside Islamic ethics, I have been interested in the complex phenomenon of wonder and the many conceptual threads that meet on its grounds-intellectual, spiritual, ethical, aesthetic. This is the prism through which I have approached the philosophy of Schopenhauer and engaged with its aesthetic and ethical dimensions.
At present, one of my projects is to produce an English translation of the Arabic literary-philosophical work al-Hawāmil wa’l-shawāmil, by the 10th/11th-century thinkers Abū Ḥayyān al-Tawḥīdī and Miskawayh. This is a project I’m undertaking for the Library of Arabic Literature.