Kazuyo Murata holds a PhD in Islamic Studies with a joint MPhil in Medieval Studies from Yale University, and a BA (summa cum laude) in both Philosophy and Religious Studies from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She has broad academic training in the study of religion, philosophy, medieval intellectual history, and Arabic and Persian literature.
Research interests and PhD supervision
- Pre-modern Islamic Intellectual History
- Quran commentaries
- Thematic study of Islamic thought
- Prophets in Islam
- Philosophy (falsafa)
- Persian literature
Dr Murata has broad interests in the history of ideas, with a specialization in pre-modern Islam. Her research to date has involved systematic analyses of Sufi texts, and her ongoing work can be characterized as conceptual/thematic, historical, or text-critical in approach. Her current research projects centre around the themes of happiness, beauty, and human perfection.
Her monograph, Beauty in Sufism: The Teachings of Ruzbihan Baqli (Albany: SUNY Press, 2017), is the first book-length study of the place of beauty in a common Sufi understanding of God, the world, and the human being, encompassing multiple fields of inquiry such as theology, metaphysics, cosmology, psychology, anthropology, and prophetology. This work takes as the case study the works of a major Sufi master from Shiraz, Persia, Ruzbihan Baqli (d. 1209), in whose vast and complex worldview the notion of “beauty” (husn, jamal, etc.) plays a significant role.
Dr Murata welcomes proposals from prospective students interested in investigating aspects of pre-modern Islamic intellectual history, especially in the areas of Sufism, falsafa, and kalam.
Other textual studies in Arabic and Persian, as well as thematic approaches to religion and culture in the Islamicate world are also welcome.
For more details, please see her full research profile.
Dr Murata will teach on the following modules
- 4AAT1001 Introduction to Islam
- 5AAT2951 Themes in Sufism and Islamic Philosophy
- 7AATC952 Introduction to the Intellectual History of the Muslim World (co-taught with Dr Carool Kersten)
- 7AATC953 Classics of Sufi Literature
- Beauty in Sufism: The Teachings of Ruzbihan Baqli (Albany: SUNY Press, 2017).
- (co-edited) In Search of the Lost Heart: Explorations in Islamic Thought (Albany: SUNY Press, 2012).
Murata, K., 2 Mar 2021, (Accepted/In press) Faces of the Infinite : Neoplatonism and Poetics at the Confluence of Africa, Asia and Europe . Sperl, S. & Dedes, Y. (eds.). Oxford: OUP/British Academy, p. 148-168 21 p. Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › Chapter › peer-review
Murata, K., 24 Jul 2018, Oxford Bibliographies. Oxford University Press, USA Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › Entry in encyclopedia/dictionary › peer-review. DOIs: https://doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195390155-0256
Murata, K., Jan 2018, Albany: SUNY Press. 212 p. Research output: Book/Report › Book › peer-review
Murata, K., 2014, In: Āyīna-yi Pazhūhish. 149-150 , p. 23-29 Research output: Contribution to journal › Article
Murata, K., 2013, (Accepted/In press) Proceedings from the International Congress on the School of Shiraz. Tehran, Iran: Farhangistān-i Hunar Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › Chapter
Chittick, W., Rustom, M. (ed.), Khalil, A. (ed.) & Murata, K. (ed.), 2012, Albany, NY: SUNY Press. 397 p. Research output: Book/Report › Book
Murata, K., Dec 2011, In: Journal of the American Academy of Religion. 79, 4, p. 1094-1097 4 p., N/A. Research output: Contribution to journal › Book/Film/Article review › peer-review. DOIs: https://doi.org/10.1093/jaarel/lfr083
Murata, K., 2011, In: The Bright Future. 6 , p. 75-89 15 p. Research output: Contribution to journal › Article