About

I am a writer and researcher focusing on the Islamic scholarly tradition, Western philosophy and the life sciences. I hope to get research degrees in one or more of these fields when I am able. I spend almost all of my free time studying scholarly works and academic journals.

As for my religious views, I am a follower of the consensus of the scholars of respected mainstream institutions like Al-Azhar University in Egypt and Al-Qarawiyyin University in Morocco. I also admire many other scholars and intellectuals. I can be labeled as an empiricist humanist Muslim. I feel no dogmatic allegiance toward any scholar or school of thought, my only allegiance is to the truth (or at least I try to live in such a way). I believe that Truth, being one of the names of God in Islam, is the ultimate ideal that a scholar must always follow regardless of where it takes them.

I love Western civilization and consider it the heir of classical Islamic civilization, which itself was the heir of Greek civilization. I believe it is the height of historical naivete to think that modern Western civilization could have come about had it merely inherited Greek learning directly (as many think). It was the uniquely Islamic understanding of Greece that the West inherited and which launched the Renaissance (see George Makdisi’s The Rise of Colleges and The Rise of Humanism). Byzantine civilization had Greek learning and Christianity and managed to do nearly nothing with them for 1000 years. Byzantine civilization represents a case study of what the West would have been like had it not embraced Islamic learning and modes of thought. It is a great injustice of history that the use of Islam’s great masterpieces in Medieval European universities, such as al-Ghazali’s Revival of the Religious Sciences (which synthesizes Greek philosophy, Islamic law and Sufi spirituality), are not considered as foundational to launching the Renaissance as Greek and Roman works. Thomas Aquinas, perhaps the greatest Christian thinker of history, was inspired to write his masterpiece the Summa Theologiae by al-Ghazali’s work and used it as a model. In the Middle Ages, Islamic civilization was the high standard that the West eagerly tried to live up to, just as today Islamic civilization tries to live up to Western standards. To me, therefore, contributing to Western civilization and the flowering of its intellectual tradition is as Islamic as minarets and Ottoman calligraphy.

I believe that Islamic civilization will catch up to the West in the 21st century and will become its heir in turn. The Christian German philosopher Hans-Georg Gadamer writes:

It is far from my intention to suggest that the path along which we have travelled from Greek antiquity through to Christianity will extend, in some mysterious way, into a broad and promising future.

There seems to be a broad sense of skepticism and even despair among Western  thinkers about the prospects of their civilization and humanity in general. I believe they are right to be skeptical of the future of the West the way things are going, but unlike them I am extremely optimistic about the future of humanity: Western civilization will pass the torch to Islamic civilization (which includes the millions of Muslims living in the West itself), which will revitalize it and carry it forward for the next few centuries. I have deeply taken to heart the Quran’s theory of history, which can be summarized as: God is already in charge; humanity can do Him no favors; humanity will not be allowed to destroy itself; God will always maintain a balance of powers between empires, never letting any one power dominate the world for long; God directs history according to His own plans and humans are free actors within these plans (who may also cause changes to some plans), because history is a dynamic conversation between humanity and God.

The Quran’s theory of history leads to total optimism because we know we cannot fail. We have already succeeded, because God is already in charge. We can fail individually, and even as a generation, but since God is in charge of history, history will not fail. Even if our generation fails to live up to the highest ideals, God can raise a better generation than us in very little time the way He measures time. As Muslims, we do not work for success. We have already succeeded. We work to sustain the project of the flowering of God’s will throughout the world through seeking His approval and love.

1. The faithful have already succeeded.

2. Those who are humble in their prayers.

3. Those who avoid nonsense.

4. Those who work for charity.

5. Those who safeguard their chastity. (The Quran, verses 23:1-5)

I am a Hawrami.

Me as a child in Iran

I am a web developer by profession. I live with my wife and two daughters in Arizona, the United States.

My Studies

Since I do not (yet) have any formal degrees in Islamic studies, people sometimes ask me what qualifies me to write about religion. Below is a list of classical works, scholarly books and journal articles that I have studied (meaning I have read them from beginning to end except where noted otherwise). The works are arranged by publication date or the date of the death of the author.

Islamic Studies (Books)

Arabic Books

630’s

  • The Quran

720’s

  • Mujāhid bin Jabr, Imam Mujāhid’s Commentary on the Quran (Tafsīr al-Imām Mujāhid) (ed. Abū al-Nīl) (d. 721 CE) (1 volume, 790 pages) (in progress)

1200’s

  • Ibn al-Jawzī, Quarry of the Mind (Ṣayd al-Khāṭir) (d. 1200)
  • Ibn al-Jawzī, The Manners of al-Ḥasan al-Baṣrī (Ādāb al-Ḥasan al-Baṣrī) (d. 1200)
  • Ibn al-Jawzī, An Introduction to the Study of the Quran (Funūn al-Afnān fī ʿUyūn ʿUlūm al-Qurʾān) (d. 1200)

1940’s

  • ʿAbd al-Ḥamīd Jawda al-Saḥḥar, Abu Dhar: Ascetic Communist (Abū Dhar al-Ghaffārī: Al-Ishtirākī al-Zāhid) (1943)

1950’s

  • ʿAlī al-Wardī, The Spiritual Advice-peddlers of the Rulers (Wuʿʿāẓ al-Salāṭīn)  (1954)
  • ʿAlī al-Wardī,The Comedy of the Human Intellect (Mahzala al-ʿAql al-Basharī) (1955)
  • ʿAlī al-Wardī, Morality: That Which is Lacking in Moral Resources (al-Akhlāq: al-Ẓāʾiʿ min al-Mawārid al-Khalqīya) (1958)

1960’s

  • Sayyid Qutb, Milestones (Maʿālim fī l-Ṭarīq) (1960)
  • ʿAlī al-Wardī, Logic of Ibn Khaldun (Manṭiq Ibn Khaldūn) (1962)
  • Muhammad Qutb, Man between Materialism and Islam (al-Insān bayn al-Māddīya w-al-Islām) (1962)
  • ʿAlī al-Ṭanṭāwī, A General Introduction to the Religion of Islam (Taʿrīf ʿām bi-Dīn al-Islām) (1969)
  • Saʿīd Hawwā, God, Glory to Him (Allāh Jalla Jalāluh) (1969)

1970’s

  • Yusuf al-Qaradawī, The Existence of God (Wūjūd Allāh) (1970)

1980’s

  • Ṣalāḥ ʿAbd al-Fattāḥ al-Khālidī, Sayyid Qutb from Birth to Martyrdom (Sayyid Quṭb min al-Mīlād ilā al-Istishhād) (1983)
  • Mohammed al-Ghazali, Prophetic Tradition between the People of Fiqh and the People of Hadith (Al-Sunnah al-Nabawīya bayn Ahl al-Fiqh wa Ahl al-Ḥadīth) (1989)
  • Muhammad Qutb, The Issue of Women’s Liberation (Qaẓīya Taḥrir al-Marʾa) (1989)

1990’s

  • Yusuf al-Qaradawi, The Fiqh of Priorities (Fiqh al-Awlawīyāt) (1995)

2000’s

  • Aḥmad Muṣtafā Faḍlīya, Muhammad Abdullah Draz: Studies by His Students and Contemporaries (Muḥammad ʿAbd Allāh Drāz: Dirāsāt wa-Buḥūth bi-Aqlām Talāmidhatih wa-Muʿāṣirīh) (2007)

2010’s

  • Muḥammad ibn al-Mukhtār al-Shanqīṭī, The Philosopher of the Quran, Muhammad Abdullah Draz: His Life and Works (Faylasūf al-Qurʾān al-Karīm Muḥammad ʿAbd Allāh Drāz: Ḥayātuh wa-Āthāruh) (2017)

English Books

1910’s

  • Adam Mez, The Renaissance of Islam (in English, written 1917, translated 1937)

1960’s

  • W. Montgomery Watt, Muslim Intellectual: A Study of al-Ghazali (1963)
  • J. J. Saunders (ed.), The Muslim World on the Eve of Europe’s Expansion (1966)

1970’s

  • J. J. Saunders, Muslims & Mongols (d. 1972, published 1977)

1980’s

  • Robin Wright, In the Name of God: The Khomeini Decade (1989)

1990’s

  • George Makdisi, The Rise of Humanism in Classical Islam and the Christian West (1990)
  • Albert Hourani, A History of the Arab Peoples (1992)
  • Yasin Dutton, The Origins of Islamic Law: The Qur’an, the Muwatta and Madinan Amal (PhD dissertation) (1999)
  • Murteza Bedir, The Early Development of Hanafi Usul al-Fiqh (PhD dissertation) (1999)

2000’s

  • Forough Jahanbakhsh, Islam, Democracy and Religious Modernism in Iran (1953-2000): From Bazargan to Soroush (2001)
  • Tariq Ramadan, Western Muslims and the Future of Islam (2003)
  • Ziauddin Sardar, Desperately Seeking Paradise: Journeys of a Sceptical Muslim (2004)
  • Karen Armstrong, Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time (2006)
  • Tariq Ramadan, In the Footsteps of the Prophet (2007)
  • Jonathan A. C. Brown, The Canonization of al-Bukhari and Muslim  (2007)
  • M. A. Draz and Rebecca Masterton, The Moral World of the Qur’an (published in French in 1951, English in 2008).

2010’s

  • Umar F. Abd-Allah Wymann-Landgraf, Mālik and Medina: Islamic Legal Reasoning in the Formative Period (2013)
  • Jonathan A. C. Brown, Misquoting Muhammad (2014)
  • Kenneth Garden, The First Islamic Reviver: Abu Hamid al-Ghazali and His Revival of the Religious Sciences (2014)
  • Karen Bauer, Gender Hierarchy in the Qurʾān (2015)
  • A.S. Amin, Conflicts of Fitness: Islam, America, and Evolutionary Psychology (2015)
  • Shahab Ahmed, What is Islam: The Importance of Being Islamic (2016)
  • Ali Ezzatyar, The Last Mufti of Iranian Kurdistan (2016)
  • Henri Lauzière, The Making of Salafism: Islamic Reform in the Twentieth Century (2016)
  • Shahab Ahmed, Before Orthodoxy: The Satanic Verses in Early Islam (2017)
  • Christopher de Bellaigue, The Islamic Enlightenment The Struggle Between Faith and Reason (2017)
  • M. A. Draz and Basma Abdelgafar, Morality in the Qur’an: The Greater Good of Humanity (2018)

Kurdish Books

  • Said Nursi, Message to the Ill (Payāmī Bīmārān) (d. 1960)
  • Said Nursi, Message of “I” (Payāmī Min) (d. 1960)
  • Said Nursi, Message to the Elderly (Payāmī Pīrān) (d. 1960)
  • Barham, Brother Naser Sobhani: Martyr of Freedom of Speech (Shahīdī Āzādī Bīrūřā kāka Nāṣirī Subḥānī) (2006)
  • Taḥsīn Ḥama Gharīb, The Last Ones: The Last Mystic, the Last Philosopher, the Last Jurist. Reading the Thought of Said Nursi, Ahmad Moftizadeh and Naser Subhani (Dwāyīnakān: Dwāyīn ʿĀrif, Dwāyīn Faylasūf, Dwāyīn Faqīh. Khwendnaway Fīkrī Saʿīd Nūrsī w Aḥmadī Muftīzāda w Nāṣirī Subḥānī.
  • Sarwat Abdullah, Ahmad Moftizadeh: A Gateway to an Unknown Struggle (Māmostā Aḥmadī Muftīzāda: Darwāzayak bo Khabātekī Nanāsrāw) (2010)
  • Sarwat Abdullah, A Collection of Ahmad Moftizadeh Quotes (Kharmanek la wta Zeřīnakānī kāk Aḥmadī Muftīzāda) (2014)

Farsi Books

  • Ibn Rajab al-Ḥanbalī, The Proper Etiquette of the Formal Prayer (Khushuʿ wa Niyāyish dar Ṣalāt) (d. 1393)
  • Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Worship in Islam (ʿIbādat dar Islām) (1961)
  • Mustafa Khorramdel, The Nūr Commentary on the Quran (Tafsīr-i Nūr) (1992)
  • Ahmad Moftizadeh, Islamic Government (Ḥukūmat-i Islāmī) (1980)
  • Naser Sobhani, Custodianship and Leadership (Wilāyat wa Imāmat) (c. 1989)
  • Naser Sobhani, Proof of God’s Existence (Ithbāt-i Wujūd-i Khudā) (c. 1989)

Islamic Studies (Papers)

1850’s

  • George Augustus Wallin, “Narrative of a Journey from Cairo to Medina and Mecca, by Suez, Arabá, Tawilá, Al-Jauf, Jubbé, Háil, and Nejd, in 1845.” The Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London (1854)

1880’s

  • Wilfrid Scawen Blunt, “A Visit to Jebel Shammar (Nejd). New Routes Through Northern and Central Arabia.” Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society and Monthly Record of Geography (1880)
  • Guy Le Strange, “Description of the Noble Sanctuary at Jerusalem in 1470 A.D., by Kamâl (or Shams) Ad Dîn as Suyûtî.” Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland (1887)
  • “Ibn Abbas” (pseudonym of author), “Why Am I a Moslem?” The North American Review (1888)

1920’s

  • Harold Bowen, “The Last Buwayhids.” Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland (1929)

1940’s

  • Minorsky, V., and Shāh Ismā’īl I. “The Poetry of Shāh Ismā’īl I.” Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies (1942) [only the poetry]

1950’s

  • George Makdisi, “Notes on Ḥilla and the Mazyadids in Medieval Islam” Journal of the American Oriental Society (1954)
  • George Makdisi, “Autograph Diary of an Eleventh-Century Historian of Baghdād (Part I)” Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies (1956)
  • George Makdisi, “Autograph Diary of an Eleventh-Century Historian of Baghdād (Part II)” Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies (1956)
  • George Makdisi, “Autograph Diary of an Eleventh-Century Historian of Baghdād (Part III)” Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies (1957)
  • George Makdisi, “Autograph Diary of an Eleventh-Century Historian of Baghdād (Part IV)” Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies (1957)
  • George Makdisi, “Autograph Diary of an Eleventh-Century Historian of Baghdād V (Concluded).” Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies (1957)
  • George Makdisi, “The Topography of Eleventh Century Baġdād: Materials and Notes (I).” Arabica (1959)
  • George Makdisi, “The Topography of Eleventh Century Bagdād: Materials and Notes (II).” Arabica (1959)

1960’s

  • R. M. Savory, “The Principal Offices of the Ṣafawid State during the Reign of Ismā’īl I (907-30/1501-24).” (1960)
  • George Makdisi, “Muslim Institutions of Learning in Eleventh-Century Baghdad.” Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies (1961)
  • George Makdisi, “Ashʿarī and the Ash’arites in Islamic Religious History I.” Studia Islamica (1962)
  • A. L. Tibawi, ‘Origin and Character of “al-madrasah”.’ Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies (1962)
  • George Makdisi, “Ash’arī and the Ash’arites in Islamic Religious History II.” Studia Islamica (1963)
  • G. W. J. Drewes, “The Struggle Between Javanism and Islam as Illustrated by the Sĕrat Dĕrmagandul.” Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Southeast Asia  (1966)
  • Ann K. S. Lambton. “The Evolution of the Iqṭā’ in Medieval Iran.” Iran (1967)
  • Richard M. Frank, “Al-ma’nà: Some Reflections on the Technical Meanings of the Term in the Kalâm and Its Use in the Physics of Mu’ammar.” Journal of the American Oriental Society (1967)
  • Andrew C. Hess. “The Moriscos: An Ottoman Fifth Column in Sixteenth-Century Spain.” The American Historical Review (1968)
  • Nikki R. Keddie, “The Roots of the Ulama’s Power in Modern Iran.” Studia Islamica (1969)
  • Joseph Eliash, “The Ithnā’asharī-Shī’ī Juristic Theory of Political and Legal Authority.” Studia Islamica (1969)
  • Wilferd Madelung, ‘The Assumption of the Title Shāhānshāh by the Būyids and “The Reign of the Daylam (Dawlat Al-Daylam) I”.’ Journal of Near Eastern Studies (1969)
  • Wilferd Madelung, ‘The Assumption of the Title Shāhānshāh by the Būyids and “The Reign of the Daylam (Dawlat Al-Daylam) II”.’ Journal of Near Eastern Studies (1969)

1970’s

  • George Makdisi, “The Marriage of Tughril Beg.” International Journal of Middle East Studies (1970)
  • George Makdisi, “Madrasa and University in the Middle Ages.” Studia Islamica (1970)
  • George Makdisi, “The Significance of the Sunni Schools of Law in Islamic Religious History.” International Journal of Middle East Studies (1979)
  • Joseph Eliash, “Misconceptions regarding the Juridical Status of the Iranian ‘Ulama’.” International Journal of Middle East Studies (1979)

1980’s

  • Andrew Rippin, ‘Al-Zuhrī, “Naskh al-Qur’ān” and the Problem of Early “Tafsīr” Texts.’ Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies (1984)
  • William A. Graham, “The Earliest Meaning of Qur’an.” Die Welt des Islams (1984)
  • George Makdisi, “The Juridical Theology of Shâfi’î: Origins and Significance of Uṣûl Al-Fiqh.” Studia Islamica (1984)
  • John Makdisi, “Legal logic and equity in Islamic law.” The American Journal of Comparative Law (1985)
  • Pierre-Yves Manguin and Robert Nicholl, “The Introduction of Islam Into Campa.” Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society (1985)
  • George Makdisi, “The Diary in Islamic Historiography: Some Notes.” History and Theory (1986)
  • Peter Heath, “Creative Hermeneutics: A Comparative Analysis of Three Islamic Approaches.” Arabica (1989)
  • Talal Asad, “The Idea of an Anthropology of Islam.” Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (1989)

1990’s

  • Aref Ali Nayed, “The Radical Qur’ānic Hermeneutics of Sayyid Qutb.” Islamic Studies (1992)
  • George Makdisi, “Ṭabaqāt-Biography: Law and Orthodoxy in Classical Islam.” Islamic Studies (1993)
  • Karen Harding. “Causality Then and Now: Al Ghazāli and Quantum Theory.” American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences (1993)
  • Wael B. Hallaq, “Was Al-Shafii the Master Architect of Islamic Jurisprudence?” International Journal of Middle East Studies (1993)
  • Karen Harding, “Causality Then and Now: Al Ghazāli and Quantum Theory.” American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences (1993)
  • Christopher Melchert, “George Makdisi and Wael B. Hallaq.” Arabica (1997)
  • John A. Makdisi, “The Islamic Origins of the Common Law.” North Carolina Law Review (1999)

2000’s

  • Frank Griffel, “Toleration and Exclusion: Al-Shāfiʾī and al-Ghazālī on the Treatment of Apostates.” Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies (2001)
  • David C. Reisman, “A New Standard for Avicenna Studies.” ReOrient (2002)
  • Frank Griffel, “The Relationship between Averroes and al-Ghazali.” In Medieval Philosophy and the Classical Tradition (2002)
  • Samer Traboulsi, “An Early Refutation of Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhāb’s Reformist Views.” Die Welt Des Islams (2002)
  • Cemil Akdogan, “Ghazālī, Descartes, and Hume: The Genealogy of Some Philosophical Ideas.” Islamic Studies (2003)
  • Yossef Rapoport, “Legal Diversity in the Age of Taqlīd: The Four Chief Qāḍīs under the Mamluks.” Islamic Law and Society (2003)
  • Manuela Marín, “Disciplining Wives: A Historical Reading of Qur’ân 4:34.” Studia Islamica (2003)
  • Frank Griffel, “Al-Ġazālī’s Concept Of Prophecy: The Introduction Of Avicennan Psychology Into Aš‘arite Theology.” Arabic Sciences and Philosophy (2004)
  • Jonathan A. C. Brown, “The Last Days of al-Ghazzali and the Tripartite Division of Sufi World.” The Muslim World (2009)
  • Garnik Asatrian, “Prolegomena to the Study of the Kurds.” Iran & the Caucasus (2009)

2010’s

  • Henri Lauzière, “The Construction of Salafiyya: Reconsidering Salafism from the Perspective of Conceptual History.” International Journal of Middle East Studies (2010)
  • Munim Sirry, “Muqātil b. Sulaymān and Anthropomorphism.” Studia Islamica (2012)
  • Jonathan A.C. Brown, “The Rules of Matn Criticism: There Are No Rules.” Islamic Law and Society (2012)
  • Howard Tzvi Adelman, “A Rabbi Reads the Qur’an in the Venetian Ghetto.” Jewish History (2012)
  • David Decosimo, “An Umma of Accountability: Al-Ghazālī against Domination.” Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal (2015)
  • Jibreel Delgado, “Religions, Lifeways, Same Difference: Defining Dīn in the US.” American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences (2016)
  • Ali Paya, “The Faqīh as Engineer: A Critical Assessment of Fiqh’s Epistemological Status.” American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences (2016)
  • Eltigani Abdelgadir Hamid, “The Politics of the Two Qiblahs and the Emergence of an Alternative Islamic Monotheism.” American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences (2016)
  • Ahmed Fekry Ibrahim, “Rethinking the Taqlīd Hegemony: An Institutional, Longue-Durée Approach.” Journal of the American Oriental Society (2016)
  • Karam AbuSehly. “Avicenna on Matter: Implications for Ernst Bloch’s Marxist Aesthetics.” ReOrient (2017)
  • Giedre Sabaseviciute, “Sayyid Qutb and the Crisis of Culture in Late 1940s Egypt.” International Journal of Middle East Studies (2018)
  • Fred M. Donner, “Talking about Islam’s Origins.” International Journal of Middle East Studies (2018)
  • Frank Griffel, “Ibn Taymiyya and His Ashʿarite Opponents on Reason and Revelation: Similarities, Differences, and a Vicious Circle.” Muslim World (2018)

Sociology, Human Ethology and the Life Sciences (Books)

1960’s

  • James Watson, The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA (1968)

1990’s

  • David Stove, Darwinian Fairytales: Selfish Genes, Errors of Heredity, and Other Fables of Evolution (d. 1994)
  • Matt Ridley, Genome: The Autobiography of a Species In 23 Chapters (1999)

2000’s

  • Peter Richerson and Richard Boyd, Not by Genes Alone (2005)

2010’s

  • Rebecca Stott, Darwin’s Ghosts: The Secret History of Evolution (2012)
  • David W. Deamer, First Life: Discovering the Connections Between Stars, Cells, and How Life Began (2011)
  • Addy Pross, What is Life? How Chemistry Becomes Biology (2012)
  • Andreas Wagner, Arrival of the Fittest: Solving Evolution’s Greatest Puzzle (2014)
  • Elizabeth Kolbert, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History (2014)
  • Michael Tennesen, The Next Species: The Future of Evolution in the Aftermath of Man (2015)
  • Richard C. Francis, Domesticated: Evolution in a Man-Made World (2015)
  • Alister E. McGrath, Dawkins’ God: From The Selfish Gene to The God Delusion (2015)

Sociology, Human Ethology and the Life Sciences (Papers)

1800’s

  • William Preston, “On the Choice of Subjects for Tragedy.” The Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy (1802)

1900’s

  • Georg Simmel, “A Contribution to the Sociology of Religion.” American Journal of Sociology (1905)
  • A. T. Sinclair, “Tattooing – Oriental and Gypsy.” American Anthropologist (1908)

1910’s

  • Shailer Mathews, “The Evolution of Religion.” The American Journal of Theology (1911)
  • Francis G. Peabody, “The Socialization of Religion.” American Journal of Sociology (1913)
  • W. Tudor Jones, “The Philosophy of Values.” Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society (1914)
  • Morris R. Cohen, “History Versus Value.” The Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods (1914)
  • W. L. Westermann, “The Economic Basis of the Decline of Ancient Culture.” The American Historical Review (1915)
  • W. F. Albright, “Historical and Mythical Elements in the Story of Joseph.” Journal of Biblical Literature (1918)

1990’s

  • David C. Queller, “The Spaniels of St. Marx and the Panglossian Paradox: A Critique of a Rhetorical Programme.” The Quarterly Review of Biology (1995)
  • John Alcock, “Unpunctuated Equilibrium in the Natural History Essays of Stephen Jay Gould.” Evolution and Human Behavior (1998)

2000’s

  • Bruce Edmonds, “Three Challenges for the Survival of Memetics.” Journal of Memetics (2002)
  • Bruce Edmonds, “The revealed poverty of the gene-meme analogy – why memetics per se has failed to produce substantive results.” Journal of Memetics (2005)
  • Amir N. Licht, Chanan Goldschmidt, and Shalom H. Schwartz, “Culture rules: The foundations of the rule of law and other norms of governance.” Journal of Comparative Economics (2007)
  • David Sloan Wilson, “Beyond Demonic Memes: Why Richard Dawkins is Wrong about Religion.” Skeptic (2007)
  • Barry R. Weingast, “Why Developing Countries Prove So Resistant to the Rule of Law.” (2008)

2010’s

  • Harmand et al., “3.3-million-year-old stone tools from Lomekwi 3, West Turkana, Kenya.” Nature (2015)
  • Henri C. Santos, Michael E. W. Varnum, and Igor Grossmann, “Global Increases in Individualism.” Psychological Science (2017)
  • Yuji Ogihara, “The Rise in Individualism in Japan: Temporal Changes in Family Structure, 1947-2015.” Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology (2018)

Western Philosophy and Ideas (Books)

340’s BC

  • Plato, Euthyphro (d. 347 BC)
  • Plato, The Apology (d. 347 BC)
  • Plato, Crito (d. 347 BC)
  • Plato, Phaedo (d. 347 BC)
  • Plato, Symposium (d. 347 BC)
  • Plato, Republic (d. 347 BC)

550’s

  • Procopius, Anekdota: The Secret History of the Court of Justinian (d. c. 554)

1530’s

  • Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince (1532)

1610’s

  • The King James Version of the Bible (1611) (Old Testament and Gospels only)

1850’s

  • Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species (1859)

1860’s

  • John Ruskin, Unto This Last and Other Essays on Political Economy (1861)

1870’s

  • Friedrich Nietzsche, Preface to The Greek State (1871)
  • Friedrich Nietzsche, On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense (1873)
  • Friedrich Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human (1878)

1880’s

  • Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morality (1887)

1900’s

  • Otto Weininger, Sex and Character (1903)

1930’s

  • Eric Gill, An Essay on Typography (1931)
  • Albert Jay Nock, The Theory of Education in the United States (1932)
  • Albert Jay Nock, Isaiah’s Job (1936)
  • George Orwell, The Road to Wigan Pier (1937)

1940’s

  • T. S. Eliot, Notes toward the Definition of Culture (1948)

1950’s

  • Karen Horney, Neurosis and Human Growth (1950)

1960’s

  • Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962)

1980’s

  • Roger Scruton, The Meaning of Conservatism (1980)
  • Jonathan Barnes, Aristotle (1982)
  • Roger Scruton, Sexual Desire: A Philosophical Investigation (1986)

1990’s

  • Daniel Amneus, The Garbage Generation (1990)
  • Paul Woodruff, On Justice, Power, and Human Nature: Selections from The History of the Peloponnesian War (1993)
  • W. Norris Clarke, Person and Being (Aquinas Lecture) (1993)
  • David Stove, What’s Wrong with Benevolence: Happiness, Private Property, and the Limits of Enlightenment (d. 1994)
  • Roger Scruton, A Short History of Modern Philosophy (1995)
  • Roger Scruton, An Intelligent Person’s Guide to Philosophy (1996)
  • J. J. Clarke, Oriental Enlightenment (1997)
  • Neil Howe and William Strauss, The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy (1997)
  • Tzvetan Todorov, Imperfect Garden: The Legacy of Humanism (1998)

2000’s

  • Tom Sorell, Descartes: A Very Short Introduction (2000)
  • Christopher Butler, Postmodernism: A Very Short Introduction (2002)
  • Samir Okasha, Philosophy of Science: A Very Short Introduction (2002)
  • Edward Craig, Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction (2005)
  • Christopher Shields, The Blackwell Guide to Ancient Philosophy (2003)
  • Roger Scruton, Beauty (2008)
  • Nicholas Wade, The Faith Instinct (2009)

2010’s

  • Fritz Allhoff (ed.), Philosophies of the Sciences: A Guide (2010)
  • David Wengrow, What Makes Civilization? The Ancient Near East and the Future of the West (2010)
  • Christopher Butler, Modernism: A Very Short Introduction (2010)
  • Judith Brown and Anthony Parel (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Gandhi (2011)
  • Babette Babich, Alfred Denker & Holger Zaborowski (eds.), Nietzsche & Heidegger (2012) (English-language chapters alone)
  • Roger Scruton, The Face of God: The Gifford Lectures (2012)
  • Roger Scruton, Fools, Frauds and Firebrands: Thinkers of the New Left (2015)

Economics (Books)

  • Michael Hudson, E. Peshine Smith: A Study in Protectionist Growth Theory and American Sectionalism (1968)
  • Ha-Joon Chang, Economics: The User’s Guide (2014)

History (Books)

1980’s

  • Gale E. Christiansen, In the Presence of the Creator: Isaac Newton and His Times (1984)

2000’s

  • Anne Applebaum, Gulag: A History (2003)
  • James Reston Jr., Defenders of the Faith: Christianity and Islam Battle for the Soul of Europe, 1520-1536 (2009)

2010’s

  • Eric H. Cline, 1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed (2014)
  • S. Frederick Starr , Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane (2015)

Fiction and Literature (Books)

Below is an incomplete listing of fiction I have read, for those interested to know about my non-scholarly reading habits. I read many best-selling contemporary novels when I was a teenager since I did not know better, those books are not listed. The list only contains the books that I think were worth the effort, books I am not ashamed to admit to having read or that I am still fond of.

2100 BC

  • Epic of Gilgamesh (c. 2100 BC)

750 BC

  • Homer, The Iliad (c. 750 BC)
  • Homer, The Odyssey (c. 750 BC)

1400’s

  • Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales (c. 1400)

1750’s

  • Voltaire, Candide (1759)

1770’s

  • Frances Burney, Evelina, Or, The History of a Young Lady’s Entrance Into the World (1778)

1790’s

  • Jane Austen, Lady Susan (1794)
  • Giacomo Casanova, Memoirs of Casanova (d. 1798)

1800’s

  • François-René de Chateaubriand, Atala (1801)

1810’s

  • Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (1813)
  • Jane Austen, Emma (1815)
  • Jane Austen, Persuasion (1817)

1840’s

  • Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol (1843)
  • Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Double (1846)
  • Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre (1847)
  • Anne Brontë, Agnes Grey (1847)
  • Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights (1847)

1850’s

  • Charles Dickens, David Copperfield (1850)
  • Charles Dickens, Hard Times (1854) (In Arabic and English, abridged)
  • Nalî, The Collected Poems of Nalî (d. 1856) (Kurdish)
  • Thomas Hughes, Tom Brown’s School Days (1857) (abridged)
  • George Eliot, Adam Bede (1859)

1860’s

  • George Eliot, The Mill On The Floss (1860)
  • Charles Dickens, Great Expectations (1861) (In Farsi, Arabic and English, abridged)
  • Fyodor Dostoevsky, Notes from Underground (1864)
  • Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment (1866)
  • Louisa May Alcott, Little Women (1869) (abridged)

1870’s

  • George Eliot, Middlemarch (1871)
  • Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) (abridged)

1880’s

  • Lewis Wallace, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1880)
  • Mark Twain, The Prince and the Pauper (1881) (In Farsi and English, abridged)
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, A Study In Scarlet (1887)

1890’s

  • Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890) (abridged)
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1893)

1900’s

  • Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth (1905)

1910’s

  • Maxim Gorky, My Childhood (1913)
  • Edith Wharton, The Custom of the Country (1913)
  • James Joyce, Dubliners (1914)
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Valley of Fear (1915)
  • W. Somerset Maugham, Of Human Bondage (1919)
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, His Last Bow (1917)
  • W. Somerset Maugham, The Moon and Sixpence (1919)

1920’s

  • Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence (1920)
  • Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet (1923)
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby (1925)
  • Evelyn Waugh, Decline and Fall (1928)
  • Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front (1929)

1930’s

  • Evelyn Waugh, Vile Bodies (1930)
  • Aldous Huxley, Brave New World (1932)
  • J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit (1937)

1940’s

  • George Orwell, Animal Farm (1945)
  • Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited (1945)
  • George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949)

1950’s

  • Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451 (1953)
  • J. R. R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring (1954)
  • J. R. R. Tolkien, The Two Towers (1954)
  • William Golding, Lord of the Flies (1954)
  • J. R. R. Tolkien, The Return of the King (1955)
  • Evelyn Waugh, The Complete Stories of Evelyn Waugh (covers stories from 1925-1962)

1960’s

  • Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird (1960)
  • Arthur Crew Inman, The Inman Diary (2 vols, ed. Daniel Aaron) (d. 1963)
  • Frank Herbert, Dune (1965)
  • Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967)
  • Frank Herbert, Dune Messiah (1969)
  • Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five (1969)

1970’s

  • J. R. R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion  (d. 1973, published 1977)
  • Benedicta Ward, The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (1975)
  • Terry Pratchett, The Dark Side of the Sun (1976)
  • Frank Herbert, Children of Dune (1976)
  • Stephen King, The Stand (1978)
  • Aziz Nesin, The Idiot (1970’s?) (in Kurdish translation)

1980’s

  • Frank Herbert, God-Emperor of Dune (1981)
  • Stephen King, Different Seasons (1982)
  • Terry Pratchett, The Colour of Magic (1983)
  • Frank Herbert, Heretics of Dune (1984)
  • Frank Herbert, Chapterhouse: Dune (1985)
  • Paul Amir, The Lord of Alamut (1985) (in Farsi translation)
  • Terry Pratchett, The Light Fantastic (1986)
  • Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites (1987)
  • Terry Pratchett, Mort (1987)
  • Terry Pratchett, Sourcery (1988)
  • Terry Pratchett, Wyrd Sisters (1988)
  • Terry Pratchett, Pyramids (1989)
  • Terry Pratchett, Guards! Guards! (1989)

1990’s

  • Terry Pratchett, Eric (1990)
  • Terry Pratchett, Moving Pictures (1990)
  • Terry Pratchett, Witches Abroad (1991)
  • Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man (1991)
  • Terry Pratchett, Small Gods (1992)
  • Terry Pratchett, Lords and Ladies (1992)
  • Terry Pratchett, Men at Arms (1993)
  • Terry Pratchett, Soul Music (1994)
  • Terry Pratchett, Interesting Times (1994)
  • David Gutterson, Snow Falling on Cedars (1994)
  • Terry Pratchett, Maskerade (1995)
  • Terry Pratchett, Feet of Clay (1996)
  • Terry Pratchett, Hogfather (1996)
  • Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club (1996)
  • Terry Pratchett, Jingo (1997)
  • J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (1997)
  • Terry Pratchett, The Last Continent (1998)
  • Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum (1998)
  • J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1998)
  • Roberto Bolaño, The Savage Detectives (1998)
  • Jhumpa Lahiri, Interpreter of Maladies (1999)
  • Terry Pratchett, The Fifth Elephant (1999)
  • Chuck Palahniuk, Survivor (1999)
  • J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1999)

2000’s

  • Terry Pratchett, The Truth (2000)
  • J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the the Goblet of Fire (2000)
  • Terry Pratchett, The Last Hero (2001)
  • Terry Pratchett, Thief of Time (2001)
  • Terry Pratchett, The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents (2001)
  • Terry Pratchett, Night Watch (2002)
  • Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet in Heaven (2003)
  • Terry Pratchett, Monstrous Regiment (2003)
  • Terry Pratchett, The Wee Free Men (2003)
  • Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (2003)
  • J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2003)
  • Terry Pratchett, Going Postal (2004)
  • Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky (2004)
  • Roberto Bolaño, 2666 (2004)
  • Terry Pratchett, Thud! (2005)
  • J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2005)
  • Terry Pratchett, Wintersmith (2006)
  • Terry Pratchett, Making Money (2007)
  • J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2007)
  • Terry Pratchett, Unseen Academicals (2009)

2010’s

  • Terry Pratchett, I Shall Wear Midnight (2010)
  • Terry Pratchett, Snuff (2011)

Popular Science Books and Other Non-Fiction

1990’s

  • Christina Hoff Sommers, Who Stole Feminism? (1994)
  • Simon Singh, The Code Book (1999)

2000’s

  • Roy Fielding, Architectural Styles and the Design of Network-based Software Architectures (PhD dissertation) (2000)
  • Timothy Gowers, Mathematics: A Very Short Introduction (2002)
  • John Polkinghorne, Quantum Theory: A Very Short Introduction (2002)
  • Stephen Hawking, The Theory of Everything (2002)
  • Charles Wheelan, Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science (2002)
  • Anil Ananthaswamy, The Edge of Physics: A Journey to Earth’s Extremes to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe (2003)
  • James Gleick, Isaac Newton (2003)
  • Amy Stewart, The Earth Moved (2004)
  • Steve McConnell, Code Complete 2nd edition (2004)
  • Stephen Hawking, A Briefer History of Time (2005)
  • Catherine Johnson and Temple Grandin, Animals in Translation (2005)
  • James Watson, Avoid Boring People: Lessons from a Life in Science (2007)
  • George Musser, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to String Theory (2008)

2010’s

  • Clifford Nass and Corina Yen, The Man who Lied to His Laptop: What Machines Teach Us about Human Relationships (2010)
  • Oliver Sacks, The Mind’s Eye (2010)
  • Siddhartha Mukherjee, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer (2010)
  • Kelly McGonigal, The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It (2011)
  • Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (2011)
  • Brian Alexander and Larry Young, The Chemistry Between Us: Love, Sex, and the Science of Attraction (2012)
  • Caleb Scharf, Gravity’s Engines: How Bubble-Blowing Black Holes Rule Galaxies, Stars, and Life in the Cosmos (2012)
  • Virginia Morell, Animal Wise: The Thoughts and Emotions of Our Fellow Creatures (2013)
  • Amy Stewart, The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World’s Great Drinks (2013)
  • Sandeep Jauhar, Doctored: The Disillusionment of an American Physician (2014)
  • Michael Brooks, At the Edge of Uncertainty: 11 Discoveries Taking Science by Surprise (2014)
  • Rebecca Mead, My Life in Middlemarch (2014)
  • Atul Gawande, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End (2014)
  • Mark Schatzker, The Dorito Effect (2015)