Department of Arabic Language & Literature

University of Haifa

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Dr. Roy Vilozny
Eshkol Tower, Floor 15, room 1519
Reception Hours:Tue. 15:00-16:00 Only by appointment
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Internal No.: 8220

Medieval Shīʽī thought and literature (mainly during the 9th-11th centuries CE): ideological crystallization and the emergence of a theological discourse.
Curriculum vitae

I joined the department of Arabic Language and Literature at the University of Haifa as a lecturer in 2016. My research focuses on Imāmī-Shīʽī thought as it emerges from a close reading of Shīʽī sources. In my recent publications, I examined questions related to various literary genres in the Shīʽī canon, from the mythic dimension characterizing the early strata of this corpus as well as the way it was approached by later Shīʽī scholars. Alongside my preoccupation with Shīʽī sources, I am also interested in the history and development of Shīʽī studies in the West since the beginning of the 20th century.
I was awarded my PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2012. In my dissertation I examined and analyzed one of the earliest Shīʽī sources extant, the Kitāb al-maḥāsin by the Qummī scholar Aḥmad b. Muḥammad al-Barqī (d. 888 or 894 CE), and compared it with contemporary and later sources. During my studies I was also a visiting scholar at the Universities of Freiburg, Berlin (Freie Universität) and at the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris. In 2013-2014 I was a research associate at the Biblia Arabica German-Israeli joint project and from 2014-2016 I was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Polonsky Academy for Advanced Study at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute. I taught in various universities including the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv University.
I teach courses such as The Qurʾān and its Exegesis, Reading Early Shīʽī Literature, The Qurʾān from an Imāmī-Shīʽī Perspective, Imāmī-Shīʽī Qurʾān Exegesis, Ḥadīth Commentaries in the Safavid Era (1501-1722), Fundamental Issues in Shīʽī Theology.
In my research and publications I explore various aspects of Imāmī-Shīʽī (Twelver Shīʽī) thought on the basis of thorough readings and analyses of Shīʽī sources - from the earliest extant source (the 9th century CE) until sources from the late Safavid era (1501-1722). In the autumn of 2020 I received funding from the Israel Science Foundation for a three year research project whose topic is the phenomenon of ḥadīth qudsī (non-Qurʾānic divine utterances) in the Shīʽī literary heritage. This project has started and will be completed by late 2023.

The following is a selected list of my most recent publications:
1. Roy Vilozny. “Transmitting Imāmī Ḥadīth, Preserving Knowledge: Remarks on Three Amālī Works of the Buwayhī Period.” Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam 50 (2021): 167-183.
2. Roy Vilozny. “Some Remarks on Ibn Taymiyya’s Acquaintance with Imāmī Shīʽism in light of his Minhāj al-sunna al-nabawiyya.” Der Islam 97/2 (2020): 456-475. DOI:
3. Roy Vilozny. “Imāmī Records of Divine Sayings: Some Thoughts on al-Ḥurr al-ʿĀmilī’s al-Jawāhir al-saniyya fī-l-aḥādīth al-qudsiyya.” Shiʽi Studies Review 3 (2019): 107-128. DOI:
4. Roy Vilozny. “On the limited representation of the Ismailis in al-Ṣadūq’s (d. 381/991) Kamāl al-Dīn.” In Intellectual Interactions in the Islamicate world: The Islmaʿili Thread. Ed. by Orkhan Mir-Kasimov. London: The Institute of Ismaili Studies and I. B. Tauris, 2019: 51-66.
5. Roy Vilozny. “Between Myth-Making and Shiite Exegesis: Nasnās and Qurʾān 2:30.” Intellectual History of the Islamicate World 6.3 (2018): 281-299.
6. Roy Vilozny. Constructing a Worldview: al-Barqī's Role in the Making of Early Shīʽī Faith. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols Publishers; series: Miroir de l'Orient Musulman, 2017.