Most of the other pages on this site will be staying put for some time to come. This is a slightly more mobile page, which I'll be using as a kind of noticeboard for various things I'm up to. While I'm not a prolific performer, here you'll find the details for any upcoming talks in case you happen to be in the neighbourhood and the topics sound interesting. You'll also find the details of some of my older talks, not just because I needed to make the list look longer, but also because it gives an idea of my present interests and the irons I currently have in the fire. Many (though not all) of my current projects revolve around talks I've given.
Talks & events (2019-20)
On March 20-23, 2020 I'll be giving a talk on "Ethics as Aesthetics in al-Ghazālī" at the Annual Meeting of the American Oriental Society in Boston.
On May 29-30, 2020 I'll be discussing the place of practical reasoning in al-Ghazālī's ethics at the conference Wrestling with Ethical Decisions: Theories of Ethics in Islamic Theology and Law and their Relevance to the Modern Discourse on Applied Ethics at Goethe University in Frankfurt.
On November 20, 2019I'll be giving a talk on "The Place of the Beautiful in al-Ghazālī's Ethics" at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies.
On August 30-September 1, 2019I'll be taking part in the seminar to be held at the Centre for Islamic Legislation and Ethics at Hamad Bin Khalifa University exploring Islamic Ethics: State of the Art and Future Directions, presenting my recent book on the "virtues of greatness" in the Arabic tradition.
On July 4-6, 2019I'll be investigating another theme in al-Ghazālī's ethics at the conference Casuistry, Contingency, and Ambiguity: New Approaches to the Study of Ethics in the Islamic Traditions at the University of Cambridge. This time my focus will be onal-Ghazālī's medical conception of ethics and its implications for his understanding of virtue.
On May 8-9, 2019 I'll be giving a keynote exploring approaches to the virtues in the Islamic world, and the role of philosophical and scriptural influences in shaping them, at the workshop Perspectives on Virtue: From Qumran to the Qur’an and Beyondat the University of Helsinki.
On May 2-3, 2019I'll be giving a talk that tackles the question whether it is appropriate or helpful to approach al-Ghazālī's ethical ideas as a species of virtue ethics, as philosophers usually understand this category ("Does al-Ghazālī Have a Theory of Virtue?"). This will be at the conference Mysticism and Ethics in Islam, to be held at the American University of Beirut.
On April April 26-27, 2019 I'm co-organising a conference on the relations between Sufism and philosophy with my colleague Richard Todd at the University of Birmingham. For further details, see here.
On April 5-6, 2019 I'll be talking about the role of theological argument as a (defeasible?) mediator of experiences of wonder at the conference Wonder, Education, and Human Flourishing to be held at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. VU hosts the "Wonderful Education Project," funded by the John Templeton Foundation, on which I serve as an adviser. For more details on the project, see here.
On March 13, 2019I'll be giving a talk on attitudes to self-esteem in the Islamic tradition at the University of Lancaster. Is there room for virtuous pride in Islamic ethics?
Writing and suchlike
One of my main writing projects just now is a philosophical study of al-Ghazālī's ethics of virtue. Other, shorter, projects centre on wonder (where I'm returning to a question that has often haunted me, concerning its rationality), and on some of Schopenhauer's philosophical ideas, which I find follow me around even at times when the World as Will and Representation gathers dust on my shelf.
On a different front, having recently started teaching a class on Islamic ethics, I realised the need for developing resources that would help both students and the general reader to come to grips with the subject. One of my long-term aspirations is to put together a reader for Islamic ethics, which includes translations of selected Arabic texts.
Alongside these projects, I'm also pursuing something a little different, which I'll post more details on once it's successfully out of the wrapping paper . . .