Martin Nguyen

Martin Nguyen is an Assistant Professor of Islamic Religious Traditions in the Religious Studies Department at Fairfield University. His areas of research include the Qur’an and its exegesis (tafsīr), Muslim theology, Sufism, Arabic manuscript research, and hermeneutics. Martin received his B.A. in Religious Studies and History from the University of Virginia and then went on to earn a Masters of Theological Studies (M.T.S.) from the Harvard Divinity School.  Following this, he joined the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University where he completed a joint-program Ph.D. in Middle Eastern Studies and History.  His book Sufi Master and Qur’an Scholar: Abu’l-Qasim al-Qushayri and the Lata’if al-isharat (Oxford University Press, 2012) explores the confluence of Qur’anic exegesis, theology, and Sufism in the life of al-Qushayri, a prominent mystic and scholar of 5th/11th century Nishapur.

Curriculum Vitae

Assistant Professor of Islamic Religious Traditions
Department of Religious Studies
Fairfield University

1073 North Benson Road
Donnarumma 343
Fairfield, CT 06824

{2009}   Harvard University, Ph.D.  /  Middle Eastern Studies & History
{2006}   Harvard University, M.A.  /  History
{2003}   Harvard Divinity School, M.T.S.  /  Islam & Christian Theology
{2001}   University of Virginia, B.A.  /  Religious Studies & History

Sufi Master and Qur’an Scholar: Abū’l-Qushayrī and the Laṭāʾif al-ishārāt. London: Oxford University Press & the Institute of Ismaili Studies, 2012.

[Forthcoming] “Exegesis of the Ḥurūf al-muqaṭṭaʿa: Polyvalency in Sunnī Traditions of Qur’anic Interpretation,” Journal of Qur’anic Studies 14.2 (2012).

[Forthcoming] “Letter by Letter: Tracing the Textual Genealogy of a Sufi Tafsīr” in The Aims and Methods of Qur’anic Exegesis (8th – 15th centuries), edited by Karen Bauer. London: Oxford University Press & the Institute of Ismaili Studies, 2012.

[Forthcoming] “Al-Qushayrī’s Exegetical Encounter with the Miʿrāj” in Esoteric Interpretation of the Qur’an, edited by Annabel Keeler & Sajjad Rizvi.

“Hermeneutics as Translation: As Assessment of Islamic Translation Trends in America,” Muslim World, vol. 98, no. 4 (October 2008), pp. 485-501.

Encyclopedia Entries
[Forthcoming] The I.B. Tauris Biographical Dictionary of Islamic Civilization and Culture. Edited by Muhammad A.S. Abdel Haleem and Mustafa A.A. Shah. London: I.B. Tauris.
-al-Hasan ibn Muhammad ibn Habib
-al-Fudayl ibn ‘Iyad

[Forthcoming] Encyclopedia of Islamic Political Thought. Edited by Gerhard Böwering, et al. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2012.
-Piety and Asceticism

Encyclopedia of Medieval Pilgrimage.  Edited by Larrisa J. Taylor, et al.  Leiden: Brill, 2009.

Encyclopedia of Islam in the United States, 2 vols. Edited by Jocelyne Cesari. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 2007.
-Bawa Muhaiyadin Fellowship
-Khan, Hazrat Inayat (1882-1926)
-Muhammad (570-632)
-United Submitters International

Book Reviews
[Forthcoming] Gavin Picken, “Spiritual Purification in Islam: The Life and Works of al-Muḥāsibī,” Journal of Sufi Studies.

Sophia Vasalou, “Moral Agents and Their Deserts: The Character of Mu‘tazilite Ethics”, Review of Middle East Studies, vol. 43, no. 2 (Winter 2009), pp. 291-293.

Abdullah Saeed, “Interpreting the Qur’an: Towards a Contemporary Approach,” American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, vol. 24, no. 1 (Winter 2007), pp. 117-120.

Fellowships / Grants
Council of American Overseas Research Centers Multi-Country Research Fellowship (2011-12)
Wabash Center Teaching & Learning Workshop for Pre-Tenure Asian & Asian-American Religion and Theology Faculty (2011-12)
American Academy of Religion Individual Research Grant (2011)
Fairfield University Faculty Research Grant (2010, 2011)
Department of Religious Studies & College Board of Advisors Grant (2010)
Harvard University GSAS Dissertation Completion Fellowship (2008-09)
Foreign Language Area Studies Fellowship: Academic Year (2006-07)
Foreign Language Area Studies Fellowship: Summer (2004, 2005, 2006)

Courses Taught
Fairfield University, Assistant Professor, 2009-present
[RS10] Intro to Religious Studies – Understanding the Qur’an: Authority and Scripture
[RS10] Intro to Religious Studies – Major Themes in Islam
[RS 105] Introduction to Islam
[RS 275] Islam in America
[RS277] Sufism and Islamic Spirituality
[RS 301] Independent Study: Sufism

Brandeis University, Instructor, Spring 2008
[NEJS 191A] Introduction to Islamic Theology
[NEJS 98B] Independent Study: Sufism and Theology

University of Massachusetts Boston, Instructor, Spring 2005
[RELSTY 233] Introduction to Islam

Conferences / Workshops
The Exegetes of Nishapur: A Preliminary Survey of Previously Unexamined Qur’anic Works / The Qur’an: Text, Society & Culture 2011 / School of Oriental and African Studies, London / 10-12 Nov. 2011

Al-Tafsīr al-kabīr: The Authenticity and Sources of al-Qushayri’s Major Commentary / Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion (AAR), Islamic Mysticism Group / Atlanta, GA / 31 Oct 2010

Qur’anic Reading and Reasoning Workshop / George Mason University, Fairfax, VA / 21-23 May 2010

Equivocality and the Mysterious Letters of the Qur’an / Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion (AAR), Study of Islam Section & Qur’an Group / Montreal, Quebec / 9 Nov 2009

Genealogies of Exegesis in al-Qushayrī’s Laṭāʾif al-ishārāt / Qurʾān Commentaries Workshop / Institute of Ismaili Studies, London / 3 Oct 2009

Islamic Theologies in Face of the Face / The Face of God in Eastern Christianity and Islam / Harvard Divinity School, Cambridge, MA / 13 Mar 2009

Translation Studies and Islamic Literature in the West / Islam in the West Program at Harvard University / Cambridge, MA / 8 Dec 2008

On the Way to God’s Word: At the Crossroads of Kalām and Sufism in the Works of al-Qushayrī (d. 465/1072) / Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion (AAR), Islamic Mysticism Group / Chicago, IL / 2 Nov 2008

The Esoteric and the Exoteric: Methods and Taxonomies / Roundtable Discussant at AAR Qurʾān Commentaries Workshop / Chicago, IL / 31 Oct 2008

Bringing Sacred Law and Dogma into English: Competing Translation Networks Among Muslims in the West / 25th Annual Meeting of the American Council for the Study of Islamic Societies (ACSIS) / Washington, D.C. / 12 Apr 2008

The Subtleties of the Subtleties: Investigating al-Qushayrī’s Sufi Commentary of the Qurʾān / Annual Meeting of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) / Montreal, Quebec / 18 Nov 2007

Hermeneutics as Translation: An Assessment of Islamic Translation Trends in America / 5th Critical Islamic Reflections Conference: Hermeneutics and the Future of Islam in America / Yale University, New Haven, CT / 14 Apr 2007

Enlightenment Orientalism Translated: George Sale and the English Translation of the Qurʾān / 3rd Duke-UNC Graduate Islamic Studies Conference: Translating Islam / Durham, NC / 15 Apr 2006

Institutionalization and Practice Among Sufi Orders in Boston  /  Pluralism Project / Harvard University, Cambridge, MA / 15 Oct 2003