Home Community: Qom
born 3 May, 1953 in New York City, New York graduated from Holy Child Jesus School 1967 graduated from Archbishop Molloy High School 1971 graduated from the State University of New York at Albany 1974 with a B.A. in Philosophy. M.A. in Philosophy — Rice University, Houston, Texas, 1979 Ph.D. in Philosophy — Rice University, Houston, Texas, 1983. Thesis: Matters of Substance. From 1979 to 1989 Iwas employed by Texas Southern University, Houston, Texas, to teach the following courses: introduction to logic, symbolic logic, introduction to philosophy, aesthetics, philosophy of science, ethics, philosophy of religion. In 1979 I also taught a course on Metaphysics at Rice University. Although I was brought up Catholic and was given a religious education, I abandoned Christianity shortly after beginning my studies at the University. My philosophical outlook after that was influenced by atheistic existentialism and logical positivism, while in morals I was most impressed with such writers as Pierre Proudhon and Peter Kropotkin. In 1979 I became acquainted with Islam through my Muslim students at Texas Southern University. The first student with whom I had extended conversations about Islam was Shahíd Akbar Maliki Nouchdehi, who gave me translations of some works by Dr. Shariati, Allamah Tabataba’i, Shahid Mutahhari, and most important of all, a translation of Nahj al–Balaghah. Over the course of the next three or four years I found myself increasingly attracted to Islam. I was particularly impressed with translations of stories from Mawlana Jalal al–Din Rumi, Sa‘di, Attar, and others from the Sufi tradition, while I admired the intense desire for justice and political activism combined with genuine spirituality in Imam Khomeini and others who sacrificed so much to bring about the victory of the Islamic Revolution of Iran. I also came to respect the courage of Malcolm X, as well as the traditionalism of Dr. Nasr. Finally, in 1983, in the parking lot of a mosque in Houston, I recited the shahadatayn. After that I became one of the founders of the Muslim Students’ Association of Texas Southern University. In 1985, I had the opportunity to visit Iran for the celebration of the 6th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, and in 1989, I was invited to teach philosophy of religion at the Islamic Iranian Academy of Philosophy in Tehran. About a year after I started teaching in Tehran, I was invited to teach philosophy and to study at the Bàqir al–‘Ulum Foundation in Qom by Ayatullah Misbàh Yazdi. I am presently teaching and doing research at the Imam Khomeini Education and Research Institute in Qom. Among my published writings are: Islam and Religious Pluralism (London: Al–Hoda, 1999) translated as: اسلام و كثرت گرايى دينى (قم: مؤسسه طه, 1379 ) (تلفن طه: 7744624 ) Contemporary Topics of Islamic Thought (Tehran: Al–Hoda, 2000). Translations of my writings have also been published by معرفت and نقد و نظر.