University of Calgary

Mushegh Asatryan

  • Associate Professor

Office Hours

Winter 2018


I am interested in the religious, social, and intellectual history of the pre-modern Muslim Middle East.  In particular, I work on in medieval Muslim constructions of heresy and orthodoxy, sectarianism, and the politics of religious polemics.

My first book, Controversies in Formative Shi’i Islam: The Ghulat Muslims and their Beliefs (I.B. Tauris, 2017), is an investigation of one of the earliest sectarian groups in Islamic history, examining their history in the crucible of early Islamic religious polemics, their literature, and their belief system.

 My forthcoming book is a study and translation of the 10th-century Mu’tazili theologian al-Khayyat's Kitab al-Intisar (under review with Gorgias Press), one of the earlies Islamic theological texts available to date, and a unique witness to the culture of debate and sectarian polemics in the Abbasid empire. The study explores the sectarian and intellectual milieu within which Khayyat wrote and the culture of debate in which he participated.

In 2019 I was awarded (as co-director) the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant, together with Dr. David Hollenberg of the University of Oregon (project director), for the project entitled Recovering Early Nusayri Shiism: A Critical Edition and Translation of the Manhaj al-‘ilm,  in the amount of USD 132,266. The aim of the project is a critical edition, study, and translation of an 11th-century theological and cosmological text (ca. 400 manuscript pages). The critical edition and study of the text is currently under review at Brill, to be followed by the translation as a separate volume.  

My articles explore Muslim heresiology, the continuity between Late Antique religious trends and Muslim sectarianism, antinomianism, and religious polemics. They have appeared (or will appear) in History of Religions, Studia Islamica, Global Intellectual History, and other journals.




Book Chapter

Book Chapters/Contributions - Peer Reviewed

Journal Articles - Non-Peer Reviewed

Journal Articles - Peer Reviewed

Curriculum Vitae


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