Bio

Together with my wife Beth, my parents, and my mother in law, I make my home in Norman, Oklahoma. Our two children are now away in college. My research is concerned with two intersecting themes: how people understand religious others, and how they understand sacred texts—both their own and those of other religions. I teach courses on the Qur’an, Islamic law, Islamic theology, and religious studies at the University of Oklahoma, where I am an Associate Professor in the Religious Studies Program.

My publications have dealt mainly with Islamic thought, including the history of Islamic legal theory (The Formation of Islamic Hermeneutics, A Critical Introduction to Islamic Legal Theory), and with interactions between religious communities, including Muslim studies of the Bible. I am presently studying Muslim versions of the Psalms of David and recent global developments in Qur’anic hermeneutics.

My undergraduate studies in math and philosophy were at Gordon College. I subsequently earned an M.A. in Religious Studies at the University of Colorado, studied Islamic legal theory in Fez, Morocco, and completed a Ph.D. in West and South Asian Religions, with a focus on Islamic thought, at Emory University in 2004. My family and I spent the spring of 2013 in Indonesia.

Both my research and my teaching aim at the development of ethical human relationships characterized by “a process of coming to understand through sacrificial listening” (see my article “Sacrificial Listening: Christians, Muslims, and the Secular University“).

David Vishanoff - high quality headshot

Islamic Studies as Sacrificial Listening