Bio

Together with my wife Beth, our two teenagers, my parents, and my mother in law, I make my home in Norman, Oklahoma. My research is principally concerned with how religious people interpret and conceptualize sacred texts—both their own and those of other religious traditions. I teach courses on the Qur’an, Islamic law, Islamic theology, and comparative religion 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 early history of Islamic legal theory (The Formation of Islamic Hermeneutics), and with interactions between religious communities, including Muslim rewritings of the Psalms of David. I am presently finishing up a modern commentary on Imām al-Ḥaramayn al-Juwaynī’s Leaflet on Legal Theory (Kitāb al-Waraqāt fī uṣūl al-fiqh) and studying recent developments in Qur’anic hermeneutics in Indonesia, where I spent the spring of 2013 as a Fulbright senior scholar.

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.

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