SOAS University of London

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

Religions and Philosophies Staff

Head of the School of History, Religions and Philosophies

Professor Richard Reid

Learning & Teaching Coordinator

Dr Andrea Janku

Research Coordinator

Professor Catherine Hezser

Deputy Head of Department 

Dr Ulrich Pagel

Undergraduate Admissions Tutor, BA Programme Convenor

Dr Sarah Stewart

Undergraduate Tutor

Dr Jan-Peter Hartung

MA Convenor, MA Dissertations Coordinator

Dr Peter Flugel

PGT Admissions Tutor
Dr Peter Flugel

Research Tutor 

Professor Catherine Hezser

Research Admissions Tutor

Professor Catherine Hezser

Departmental Research Centre Chairs:

Centre for Buddhist Studies: Dr Vincent Tournier
Centre for World Christianity: Dr Erica Hunter & Dr Jörg Haustein
Centre for Jaina Studies: Dr Peter Flügel
Centre for the Study of Japanese Religions: Dr Tatsuma Padoan

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.

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
  • On Sabbatical:All year 2015/16

Peter Flügel
Reader in the Study of Religions
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
  • Office Hours: Mondays 3-4pm
Andrew R George
Professor of Babylonian
Andrew George
Cuneiform and Ancient Mesopotamian studies
  • Tel: +44(0)20 7898 4335
  • Email: ag5@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 414
  • Office Hours: Tuesday 4-5pm/Friday 2-3pm

Jörg Haustein
Senior Lecturer in Religions in Africa
Jörg Haustein

Pentecostalism in Africa and worldwide, Christianity in Ethiopia; Christian missions in Africa; Islam in Africa, esp. East Africa; colonialism and religions in Africa, post-colonial and post-structuralist philosophy.

Sian Hawthorne
Lecturer in Critical Theory and the Study of Religions
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
  • Office Hours: Thursdays 11am-12pm

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
  • Office Hours: Tuesdays 10-11am & Thursdays 10-11am
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: 334
  • Office Hours: Tuesdays 12-1pm (and by Appointment)

Erica Hunter
Senior Lecturer in Eastern Christianity
Erica Hunter

Eastern Christianity; Syriac Christianity in the Middle East, with particular reference to Iraq; Syriac Christianity in medieval Central Asia and China

  • Tel: 020 7898 4663
  • Email: eh9@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 333
  • Office Hours: By Email Appointment

Tatsuma Padoan
Temporary Lecturer in Japanese Religions
Tatsuma Padoan

Japanese religions; pilgrimage studies; ritual enunciation, religious materiality and spirit possession; design practices and politics of urban space; generative semiotics, linguistic anthropology and actor-network-theory.

Ulrich Pagel
Reader, Languages and Religions of Tibet and Central Asia
Ulrich Pagel

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

  • Tel: 020 7898 4782
  • Email: up1@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: Room 338
  • Office Hours: Mondays 4-5.30pm

Antonello Palumbo
Senior Lecturer in the Religions of China
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

  • Tel: 020 7898 4768
  • Email: ap47@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 345
  • Office Hours: Fridays 2-4pm

Ayman Shihadeh
Reader in Arabic Intellectual History
Ayman Shihadeh

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


Gurharpal Singh
Professor in Sikh and Punjab Studies
Gurharpal Singh

Professor Gurharpal Singh is the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and Professor in Inter-Religious Relation and Development in the Department of Study of Religions.

  • Tel: +44(0) 20 7898 4108
  • Email: gs41@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 319
  • Office Hours: Tuesdays 3-4pm
Sarah Stewart
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
  • On Sabbatical:2015/16

Vincent Tournier
Seiyu Kiriyama Lecturer in Buddhist Studies
Vincent Tournier

Buddhism in Ancient and Early Medieval South Asia

  • Tel: 020 7898 4753
  • Email: vt6@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 343
  • Office Hours: Mondays 1-3pm or by email appointment

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.


Teaching Fellows/Graduate Teaching Assistants

Graham Burns
Graduate Teaching Assistant
Graham Burns

A survey of the ways in which ideas of ultimate reality changed and developed in the Upanisads.





Post-Doctoral Fellows

Leon Goldman
Postdoctoral Researcher in Avestan Studies
Leon Goldman

Zoroastrianism; Avestan; Sanskrit; Middle Persian (Pahlavi).


Research Associates


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

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.




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

T H Barrett
Emeritus Professor
T H Barrett
History of Chinese religion, notably Taoism and Buddhism; pre-modern Chinese history, especially the Tang period

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

Nicholas Sims-Williams
Emeritus Professor of Iranian and Central Asian Studies
Nicholas Sims-Williams
Iranian and Central Asian philology; Christian and Manichaean texts from Central Asia.