SOAS University of London

Department of Religions & Philosophies, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

Religions and Philosophies Staff

Subject Head (Religions & Philosophies)
Dr Sian Hawthorne
BA and MA Programme Convenors and Admission Tutors

BA World Philosophies

Dr Sian Hawthorne

BA Religions, Culture and Society

Dr Sarah Stewart

MA Buddhist Studies

Dr Lucia Dolce

MA Religion in Global Politics

Dr Sian Hawthorne

MA Traditions of Yoga and Meditation

Prof Ulrich Pagel

Dr James Caron
Lecturer in Islamicate South Asia
James Caron

Islam in South Asia; Afghanistan and Pakistan; Indo-Persianate sociocultural history; transnational non-Western history; activism and social movements.

  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4295
  • Email: jc84@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 316
  • Academic Support Hours: Wednesdays 17:00-18:30
Dr Lucia Dolce
Numata Reader in Japanese Buddhism
Lucia Dolce
Japanese religious history, especially the medieval period; Japanese Tantric Buddhism and the esotericisation of religious practice; Millenarian writings and prophecy; Kami-Buddhas associations
  • Tel: 020 7898 4217
  • Email: ld16@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 342
  • Academic Support Hours: Thursdays 3:00-4:00

Professor Peter Flügel
Professor in the Study of Religions and Philosophies
Peter Flügel

Jaina Studies; South Asian History & Culture; Anthropology & Sociology of Religion

  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4776
  • Email: pf8@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 341
  • Academic Support Hours: By email appointment only
Dr Sian Hawthorne
Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, Religion and Politics
Subject Head/Representative (Religions & Philosophies)
Sian Hawthorne

Narrativity; Cultural Memory; Religion and Gender; Feminist Historiography; Postcolonial theory; Postsecularism and gender; Intellectual history in the study of religions.

  • Tel: 020 7898 4215
  • Email: sh79@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 337
  • Academic Support Hours: Mondays 11:00 - 13:00

Professor Catherine Hezser
Professor of Jewish Studies
Catherine Hezser

Judaism in Hellenistic and Roman times; rabbinic literature; social history of Jews in late antiquity; American Jewish history and literature, Jewish identity, gender studies

  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4633
  • Email: ch12@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 335
  • Academic Support Hours: Thursdays 11:00 - 12:00

Professor Almut Hintze
Zartoshty Brothers Professor of Zoroastrianism
Almut Hintze

Professor Hintze takes an interest in all aspects of Zoroastrianism, the religion of pre-Islamic Iran.

  • Tel: 020 7898 4598
  • Email: ah69@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 329
  • Academic Support Hours: By email appointment
Dr Elvis Imafidon
Lecturer
Elvis Imafidon

Comparative philosophy, African philosophy (esp. ethics, ontology and epistemology), African philosophy of disability, philosophy of alterity, philosophy of the body, African feminist philosophy, philosophy of music, postcolonial and decolonial philosophy.

  • Email: ei4@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 338
  • Academic Support Hours: Tuesdays 12:00-14:00

Professor Ulrich Pagel
Professor, Languages and Religions of Tibet and Central Asia
UG Research/ISP Tutor (Religions & Philosophies)
Ulrich Pagel-REL IMG 485 186 56

History of Buddhism in Tibet, Mahāyāna Buddhism, Kanjur Studies, Vinaya, Religions of Central Asia, Tibetan, Sanskrit. 

  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4782
  • Email: up1@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: Room 343
  • Academic Support Hours: Mondays 16:00- 17:00 and Tuesdays by appointment

Dr Ayman Shihadeh
Reader in Arabic Intellectual History
Ayman Shihadeh-IMG 485 186 56

Medieval Arabic Intellectual History; medieval Arabic philosophy; medieval Islamic theology, especially kalam; ethical theory; the Islamic manuscript tradition.

  • Tel: +44(0) 20 7898 4343
  • Email: a.shihadeh@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 320
  • Academic Support Hours: On Research Leave 2020-21
Dr Sarah Stewart
Shapoorji Pallonji Senior Lecturer in Zoroastrianism
Sarah Stewart

Lecturer in Zoroastrianism, with particular reference to the living tradition in Iran and India.

  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4270
  • Email: ss7@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 331
  • Academic Support Hours: Mondays 14:00-16:00

Dr Stefania Travagnin
Senior Teaching Fellow in Buddhist Studies and Chinese Religions
Stefania Travagnin -REL IMG 485 185 56
  • Email: st8@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 345
  • Academic Support Hours: Thursdays 15:00 - 16:00 or by appointment
Dr Mark Weeden
Senior Lecturer in Ancient Near Eastern Studies
Mark Weeden

Hittite, Akkadian language and literature in Syria

  • Tel: +44(0)20 7898 4328
  • Email: mw41@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 304
  • Academic Support Hours: Mondays 11:00 0 13:00

Teaching Fellows/Graduate Teaching Assistants



Dr Ralph Lee
Dr Ralph Lee

Orthodox Christianity, Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Ethiopian thought, Ge’ez, Amharic

  • Email: rl26@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 333
  • Academic Support Hours: Monday 5-6pm and by appointment

Post-Doctoral Fellows




Dr Céline Redard
Postdoctoral Researcher in Avestan Studies
Dr Céline Redard

Zoroastrianism; Avestan; Middle Persian (Pahlavi)

  • Email: cr45@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 334
  • Academic Support Hours: Tuesday 10-12 or by appointment

Research Associates


Professor Jonardon Ganeri FBA
Professorial Research Associate
Jonardon Ganeri

Cosmopolitan philosophy and cultural cognition; polycentric modernities in Asia and Europe; philosophy in Sanskrit, especially philosophy of mind

Professor John Healey
Professorial Research Associate
John Healey

Syriac-speaking Christianity, especially its earlier history and its emergence from the Aramaic-speaking environment of the Roman/Byzantine Near East; the development of the Syriac scripts and language; early contacts between Syriac Christians and Muslims; other religious minorities in the Middle East (Jews, Mandaeans, Gnostics); the present situation of the Middle East Christians; Syriac liturgy. In addition, Professor Healey has worked extensively in the early alphabet, Hebrew Bible, Nabataea and Palmyra.



Dr Antonello Palumbo
Research Associate
Staff Silhouette

Ideological history of pre-modern China; Chinese religions, notably Taoism and Buddhism; history of the Buddhist canon in China; Manichaeism and Iranian influences in medieval China; Chinese cultural relations with Central Asia


Professor D Seyfort Ruegg
Professorial Research Associate
D Seyfort Ruegg

The philosophy of the buddha-nature (tathagatagarbha) and the philosophy of the middle way


Emeritus Staff

Professor Paul Gifford
Emeritus Professor
Paul Gifford
Christianity; recent developments in African Christianity; the socio-political role of religion in Africa Socio-political role of Christianity in Africa; Africa's new charismatic churches


Dr Tadeusz Skorupski
Emeritus Reader
Tadeusz Skorupski
Buddhist Studies; philosophical and religious doctrines; literature; iconography Buddhist iconography; Buddhist rituals; Buddhist doctrines; Buddhist history

Professor Cosimo Zene
Professor in the Study of Religions and World Philosophies
Cosimo Zene

Anthropology of religion, theory in the study of religions, continental philosophy, Gramsci and religion, intercultural and inter-religious dialogue, minorities (Dalits), mysticism and heresy, non-Western Christianities, Mediterranean anthropology; South-Asia (India, Bangladesh), Sardinia, world philosophies.


Administrative Staff