Meisami, Sayeh

Associate Professor, University of Dayton, Ohio

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Sayeh Meisami is Associate Professor of Philosophy at University of Dayton in Ohio. She studied at Universities of Tehran and Toronto for her Postgraduate degrees. Before starting her position in Dayton, she taught philosophy in Iran and Canada. She has published several books and articles in the fields of philosophy and religion. She is the author of Mulla Sadra (2013), Knowledge and Power in the Philosophies of Ḥamīd al-Dīn Kirmānī and Mullā Ṣadrā Shīrāzī (2018), and Nasir al-Din Tusi: A Philosopher for All Seasons (2019). In line with her interdisciplinary interests, her most recent articles demonstrate the significance of poetic techniques of thinking and writing in later Islamic philosophy and sufism, and her ongoing research is on the continuity of mythological and philosophical discourses in the Persianate context.

University of Toronto

PhD, Department for the Study of Religion 2017

The dissertation studies the mutual empowerment of epistemic and religio-political discourses in the Shīʿī contexts of the Fatimid Egypt and the Safavid Persia. Informed by the methodology of critical discourse analysis, the author investigates concepts, narratives, and arguments constituting several key texts that have contributed to the generation and development of philosophical Shiʿism that empowers the discourse of absolute authority of the imam and his representatives. The comparative study of the Ḥamīd al-Dīn Kirmānī and Mullā Ṣadrā Shīrāzī reveals the discursive continuation of the Shīʿī dynamics of knowledge and power. To demonstrate this, a large number of passages from primary texts in the original Arabic language are translated and closely analysed in terms of the concepts and narratives used. In analyzing the primary texts, the author particularly highlights the synthesis of different discourses including philosophical, Sufi, theological, and scriptural. Beginning with Kirmānī and Mullā Ṣadrā’s discourses on knowledge, the study highlights what their epistemic narratives have  in common regarding the source and scope of human knowledge and to what extent they incorporate both Greek philosophy and Qurʾanic narratives of spiritual perfection.