SOAS University of London

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

Religions and Philosophies Staff

Subject Head (Religions & Philosophies)
Dr Sian Hawthorne
Undergraduate Admissions/Programme Tutor (Study of Religions)

Dr Erica Hunter

Undergraduate Admissions/Programme Tutor (World Philosophies)

Dr Ted Proferes

PGT Admissions Tutor
Dr Peter Flugel

Research Tutor  

Dr Ted Proferes - Term 1 (Religions and Philosophies)  Prof Almut Hintze - Term 2/3

Research Admissions Tutor

Dr Ted Proferes - Term 1  Prof Almut Hintze -  Term 2/3

Departmental Research Centre Chairs:

Centre for Buddhist Studies: Dr Antonello Palumbo - Term 1,  Dr Lucia Dolce -  Term 2/3     

Centre for World Christianity: Dr Erica Hunter 

Centre for Jaina Studies: Dr Peter Flügel

Centre for the Study of Japanese Religions: Dr Lucia Dolce

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: Monday 3:00-5:00p.m
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 of 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 appointment only
Dr Sian Hawthorne
Lecturer in Critical Theory and the Study of Religions
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: Tuesdays 11:00- 1:00pm

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: Wednesday 10:00-11:00 / Thursday 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: Academic support hours: by 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: Tuesday - 12:00-14:00

Professor Ulrich Pagel
Professor, Languages and Religions of Tibet and Central Asia
UG Research/ISP Tutor (Religions & Philosophies)
Ulrich Pagel

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 3:30-5:00 p.m

Dr 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.

  • Tel: +44(0) 20 7898 4343
  • Email: a.shihadeh@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 320
  • Academic Support Hours: On Research Leave 2019-20
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: Thursday 2:00-4:00 pm

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: Monday 3-5pm or by appointment

Teaching Fellows/Graduate Teaching Assistants



Dr Ralph Lee
Senior Teaching Fellow
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
Dr Sam Mirelman
British Academy - Postdoctoral Fellow
Sam Mirelman

Music and performance in the ancient Near East, Sumerian liturgical texts, Mesopotamian rituals, Sumerian-Akkadian language contact, Mesopotamian intellectual history

  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4283
  • Email: sm106@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 302
  • Academic Support Hours: Mondays 2:00-3:00


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
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: +44 (0)20 7898 4768
  • Email: ap47@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 345
  • Academic Support Hours: Friday 12:00-2:00pm - Term 2
Dr John Parker
John Parker
Early modern and modern West African history, especially social and political history of Ghana
  • Tel: 020 7898 4635
  • Email: jp23@soas.ac.uk
  • Room: 305
  • Academic Support Hours: Tuesday & Wednesday 11-12pm

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

Professor 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: 312
  • Academic Support Hours: On research leave 2018-2021
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