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Nora Jacobsen Ben Hammed

Lecturer in Philosophy

Nora Jacobsen Ben Hammed’s work focuses on the relationship between philosophy and religion in the medieval Islamic world primarily as manifested in the continued life of Islamic philosophy as it was absorbed and transformed in Islamic theology and mysticism. Her dissertation, “Knowledge and the Soul in Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī,” argues that the highly influential 12th century Ashʿarite theologian who has been traditionally understood in scholarship as one of the greatest critics of the philosophical movement in Islam (falsafa) in fact absorbed much of Avicenna’s concepts and methodology in addition to critiquing Avicenna to form his own innovative philosophical system. As she moves forward in her research, she will explore the possibility of a wider trend of Illuminationism (ishrāqī thought) beyond Suhrawardī in the 12th century Islamic world, thus continuing to look to trends of philosophical mysticism and philosophical theology as they both absorb aspects of the Islamic philosophical movement and innovate their own creative and syncretic theories of epistemology and metaphysics. 

More About Me

At Purchase, Jacobsen Ben Hammed has taught courses on Islamic Philosophy, Buddhist Philosophy, Aristotelian logic, and theories of race. In each of her courses, she seeks to foster a dynamic classroom in which students are actively engaged in the process of forming intellectual connections by employing small and large group discussions, simulations, role playing, and innovative presentation tools.