Leadership Fellows

Professor Robert Gleave

University of Exeter

Islamic Reformulations: Belief, Governance and Violence

Robert Gleave is Professor of Arabic Studies at the University of Exeter. His research interests include Hermeneutics and Scriptural Exegesis in Islam; Islamic Law, in particular works of Islamic legal theory (usul al-fiqh); Violence and its justification in Islamic thought; and Shi’ism, in particular Shi’i legal and political theory.

Robert is Secretary-Treasurer of the International Society for Islamic Legal Studies and President of the British Institute of Persian Studies. He also holds the position of Chair of the Advisory Board for the Higher Education Academy’s Islamic Studies Network.

In 2013, Robert was a Visiting Mellon Scholar at the University of Chicago. He has also been a Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Jerusalem and a Visiting Scholar at the Leiden University Centre for the Study of Islam and Society.

Project Summary

Robert’s Global Uncertainties Leadership Fellowship is entitled Islamic Reformulations: Belief, Governance and Violence and aims to explore how Muslim thought has developed in the modern period, and how these modern developments relate to the pre-modern tradition of Islamic thought.
The project focuses on the interlinked themes of belief, governance and violence and includes two elements:

  • A network of scholars examining the role of religious belief and ideological commitment in explaining action; and
  • An analysis of the current state and future trajectories of Islamic thought on belief, governance and violence.

The project will extend research conducted by Robert as part of the Legitimate and Illegitimate Violence in Islamic Thought project, which explored the contested relationship between ideological adherence and action.
It will examine the possible developments of Muslim thinking on violence within the current context by reference to past patterns of justification. By examining recent ideological developments in the context of previous Muslim notions of violence and its legitimacy, the current intellectual landscape of the Muslim world and its potential ideological trajectories can be better understood.

Related Information

Project Website

University Website

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