Reza Tabandeh is a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of History at Brock University. He received his BA in Religious Studies from York University. He also completed his MA on Rumi at the University of Toronto. He earned a PhD in Islamic Studies at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter. His thesis was on the revival of Ni‘matullāhī Sufism in Persia.
His doctoral work focused on the second generation of Ni‘matullāhī masters during the period following the return of the order to Persia from India (1776 C.E.). As a guest lecturer, he was invited by Canadian institutions, Brock University, the University of Toronto, and York University, to address subjects related to contemporary Shi‘ite Sufism in Iran, with special attention toward Ni‘matullāhī Sufism and the persecution of Sufis in Persia. He was also a visiting lecturer at the University of Bradford, United Kingdom, where he examined issues related to cultural influences of Islamic states (Iran, Lebanon, and Palestine).
Reza also co-convened an international conference with Leonard Lewisohn on Sufis and exoteric scholars, titled “Sufis and Mullahs: Sufis and their Opponents in the Persianate World.” A number of scholars, including Shafique Virani, Erik Ohlander, Asghar Seyed-Gohrab, and James Morris attended the conference, whose proceedings were edited and published as a book by the convenors.
Later, Reza published an article about a Sufi who was an active constitutionalist during the Constitutional Revolution of Iran. In Approaches to the Qur’an in Contemporary Iran, edited by Alessandro Cancian, he contributed a chapter about a Ni‘matullahi master. His postdoctoral research at the University of Toronto was on the love of “People of the House” (that is, the household of the Prophet), its philosophy and beliefs as practiced by Sufis masters from the twelfth to the fifteenth century.