Tehseen Thaver

Assistant Professor of Religion
136 - 1879 Hall
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Field of Study


At Princeton since 2018, Tehseen Thaver is Assistant Professor of Religion/Islam. Tehseen holds a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She teaches courses on the Qur’an and its interpretation, Sufism and Muslim Ethics, Muslim humanities, Shi‘ism, and religion and culture of Iran. Her research focuses on multiple forms of Muslims’ engagement with scripture – pre-modern and modern, oral and textual, interpretive and performative. In her current book, Beyond Sectarianism: Ambiguity, Hermeneutics, and the Formations of Religious Identity in Islam, she explores the interplay of politics, religious identity, and Qur’an exegesis in early Islam, focusing on the Arabic Qur’an commentary of renowned Shi‘i theologian, poet, and historian of Baghdad, al-Sharif al-Radi (d.1015CE). Her second book monograph engages the Persian Qur’an commentary of the prominent twelfth century scholar, Abu’l-Futuh Razi (d. 1144CE), and interrogates the interaction of orality, exegesis and affect in Muslim intellectual thought.

Representative publications include:

“Ambivalences of Modernity in Contemporary Turkish Sufism: Cemalnur Sargut’s Affective Qur’an Community,” Journal of the American Academy of Religion, 90.3 (2022); 713-737; “Language as Power: Literary Interpretations of the Qur’an in Early Islam,” Journal of The Royal Asiatic Society, 28.2 (2018): 207-230; Beauty and Light: Mystical Discourses by a Contemporary Female Sufi Master (editor), (Fons Vitae, 2017); “Encountering Ambiguity: Mu‘tazili and Twelver Shi‘i Approaches to the Qur’an’s Ambiguous Verses,” Journal of Qur’anic Studies, 18.3 (2016): 91–115.