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Ahmet T. Karamustafa

Profile Photo of Ahmet T. Karamustafa

Professor, History
School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
Associate Director for Academic Affairs, Roshan Institute for Persian Studies

(301) 405-4295

3107A Taliaferro Hall
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Research Expertise

Early Modern History
Medieval History
Middle East

 Ahmet T. Karamustafa is Professor of History at the University of Maryland, College Park. His expertise is in social and intellectual history of medieval and early modern Islam in the Middle East and Southwest Asia as well as in theory and method in the study of religion. He is the author of God’s Unruly Friends (University of Utah Press, 1994), a book on ascetic movements in medieval Islam, and Vahidi’s Menakıb-ı Hvoca-i Cihan ve Netice-i Can (The Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University, 1993), a study of a sixteenth-century mystical text in Ottoman Turkish. He also served as an editor for, and wrote several articles in, Cartography in the Traditional Islamic and South Asian Societies (University of Chicago Press, 1992). More recently, he completed a comprehensive historical overview of early Islamic mysticism titled Sufism: The Formative Period (published simultaneously by Edinburgh University Press & University of California Press, 2007). Currently, he is at work on a sequel volume titled The Flowering of Sufism as well as another book project, Vernacular Islam: Everyday Muslim Religious Life in Medieval Turkey. Karamustafa has held several administrative positions, including a five-year term as director of the Religious Studies Program at Washington University in St. Louis. He was the co-chair of the Study of Islam Section at the American Academy of Religion between 2008 and 2011.

Recent Articles and Essays

  • Books on Sufism, Lives of Saints, Ethics and Sermons," (Co-authored with Cemel Kafadar) in Treasures pf Knowledge: An Inventory of the Ottoman Palace Library, 1502/3-1503/4, vol. 1, Essays 439-507. Edited by Cornell Fleischer, Cemel Kafadar and Gulru Necipolgu. Leiden: Brill, 2019 (Supplements to Muqarnas Series 14).
  •  "Shi'is, Sufis and Popular Saints," Chapter 7 in Part II The 'High Caliphate' (ca. 661-950), The Wiley-Blackwell History of Islam, 159-176.  Edited by Armando Salvatore. Hoboken, NJ:  John Wiley & Sons, 2018.
  • "Islamic 'Din' as an Alternative to Western Models of 'Religion'," in King, Richard, ed. Religion, Theory, Critique : Classic and Contemporary Approaches and Methodologies, 163-171. Edited by Richard King. New York: Columbia University Press, 2017.
  • "Reading Medieval Persian Hagiography through the Prism of Adab: The Case of Asrar al-tawhid," in Ethics and Spirituality in Islam: Sufi Adab, pp. 131-141. Edited by Francesco Chiabotti, Eve Feuillebois-Pierunek, Catherine Mayeur-Jaouen, and Luca Patrizi. Leiden: Brill, 2017.
  • "In His Own Voice: What Hatayi Tells us about Sah Ismail's Religious Views," in   Esoterisme shi'ite, ses racines et ses prolongements, 601-611. Edited by Mohammad Ali Amir-Moezzi, Maria De Cillis, Daniel De Smet, Orkhan Mir-Kasimov, Bibliotheque de l'Ecole des Hautes Etudes and The Institute of Ismaili Studies, Paris and London, 2016.
  • “The Ghazālī Brothers and their Institutions,” in Ötekilerin Peşinde: Ahmet Yaşar Ocak’a Armağan (Festschrift in Honor of Ahmet Yaşar Ocak), 265-75. Edited by Mehmet Öz and Fatih Yeşil. Istanbul: Timaş Yayınları,2015).
  • “Islamisation through the Lens of the Saltukname,” in Islam and Christianity in Medieval Anatolia, 349-364. Edited by A. C. S. Peacock, Bruno De Nicola and Sara Nur Yıldız. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate, 2015. (Courtesy of Ashgate/Gower, All Rights Reserved)
  • "Anadolu'nun Islamlasmasi Baglaminda Aleviligin Olusumu," in Turkish ["The Formation of Alevism in the Context of the Islamization of Anatolia"], in Kizilbashk, Alevilik, Bektasilik: Tarih, Kimlik, Inanc, Rituel, 43-54. Edited by Istanbul: Iletisim Yayinlari, 2015.
  • “Antinomian Sufis,” in The Cambridge Companion to Sufism, 101-124. Edited by Lloyd Ridgeon. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015. (Courtesy of Cambridge University Press, All Rights Reserved)
  • “Kaygusuz Abdal: A Medieval Turkish Saint and the Formation of Vernacular Islam in Anatolia.”  In Unity in Diversity: Mysticism, Messianism and Construction of Religious Authority in Islam, 329-42. Edited by Orkhan Mir Kasimov. Leiden: Brill, 2013