Dr Feras Hamza, Head of the School of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Health at UOWD since 2018, oversees the transformative education approach in Media, Education, International Relations, and Health Sciences. His leadership fosters critical thinking in a diverse academic landscape, preparing students to excel as innovators and leaders. With a DPhil from the University of Oxford and a focus on the relationship between early Islamic Arabian society and Graeco-Roman late antiquity, Dr. Hamza's recent monograph challenges existing notions of Qur’anic law, ethics and piety. Active in international conferences and a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Ismaili Studies, his dedication to academic excellence has defined his role at UOWD since 2012.
- University of Oxford. Oriental Studies: Classical Islamic History, Thesis: “To Hell and Back: A study of the concepts of temporary Hell and intercession in early Islam” (1997-2002)
- British Academy Doctoral Scholarship (1997-2001)
- University of Oxford. Oriental Studies: Medieval Islamic History and Thought (1995-1997)
- (“A Critical Edition of the 2nd Letter of Ibn Ibāḍ to ʿAbd al-Malik b. Marwān”)
- University of London. Hispanic Studies and Russian (1st Class Hons.) (1991-1995)
- Drapers Company Prize for Outstanding Academic Achievement (1995); Spanish Language Prize for Outstanding Language Achievement (1995)
Dr Feras Hamza's research interests encompass the historical dynamics of early Arabian society during the rise of Islam and its connection to Graeco-Roman late antiquity. Utilizing the Qur’an as a historical source, his recent monograph, "Women, Households and the Hereafter in the Qur’an: A Patronage of Piety" (Oxford University Press, 2023), offers a groundbreaking historical-critical study that challenges traditional perspectives on Qur’anic law, ethics and piety. This work contributes to understanding women’s roles in the Qur’an and early Muslim society, fostering discourse on contemporary Muslim women’s rights. Dr. Hamza's research significantly contributes to the understanding of 7th-century Arabian social structures by comparing them to those of the wider Graeco-Roman society in the Near East.
- (With Karen Bauer) Women, Households and the Hereafter in the Qur’an: A Patronage of Piety (Oxford University Press, 2023)
- A Sufi Commentary on the Qur’an: Ta’wilat al Qur’an of ʿAbd al-Razzāq al-Kāshānī Vol. I (Cambridge, Islamic Texts Society 2021).
- (With Karen Bauer) An Anthology of Qur’anic Commentaries Vol II: On Women (Oxford University Press, 2021).
- (With Sajjad Rizvi) An Anthology of Qur’anic Commentaries Vol I: On the Nature of the Divine (Oxford University Press, 2008).
- Tafsir Al-Jalalayn: Great Commentaries on the Qur’an (Louisville, KY: Fons Vitae, 2008)
Articles, Book Chapters, Encyclopedia Entries & Reviews
- ‘Qur’anic Plot and the Practice of Emotional Virtue, with the Example of Al-Aʿrāf (Q. 7)’, (with Karen Bauer) for the volume Exploring Feelings: Approaches to Emotions in Interreligious and Interdisciplinary Discourse (Religiöse Positionierungen in Judentum, Christentum und Islam), Berlin u.a. 2023., ed. Melanie Peetz, Ute Eisen, and Heidrun Mader. (Dec. 2023).
- (with Payyazhi Jayashree and May El Barachi), "Practice of Sustainability Leadership: A Multi-Stakeholder Inclusive Framework", Accepted for publication in The MDPI Sustainability Journal, Vol. 14, No. 10, 2022. (Impact Factor 3.251 – Grade A* Journal)
- ‘Inclusion as an Enabler to Sustainable Innovations in Smart Cities: A Multi-Level Framework’ (with P. Jayashree, M. El Barachi), SpliTech 2019, IEEE, 53-61 United States.
- Payyazhi Jayashree, Feras Hamza, May El Barachi, and Ghazaleh Gholami, “Inclusivity as an enabler to sustainable innovations in smart cities: A multi-level framework”, In proceedings of SplitTech19 (the 4th International Conference on Smart and Sustainable Technologies), June 2019, 10.23919/SpliTech.2019.8783013.
- ‘Locating the Esoteric in Islamic Studies’, in Islamic Studies Today: Essays in Honor of Andrew Rippin, eds. Majid Daneshgar and Walid Saleh, 354-366 (Leiden: Brill, 2017).
- ‘Human Freedom and Divine Sovereignty: Muslim Perspectives’, in God's Creativity and Human Action: Christian and Muslim Perspectives, eds. Lucinda Mosher and David Marshall, 131-138 (Washington DC: Georgetown University Press 2017).
- ‘Temporary Hellfire Punishment and the Making of Sunni Orthodoxy’, in Roads to Paradise: Eschatology and Concepts of the Hereafter in Islam, Vol 1: Foundations and Formation of a Tradition, eds. Sebastian Günther and Todd Lawson, 371-406 (Leiden: Brill, 2016).
- ‘Islam’, Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World, 2nd edn., ed. R. C. Martin, 537-549 (Detroit: Gale Macmillan 2016).
- ‘Unity and Disunity in the Life of the Muslim Community’, in The Community of Believers: Christian and Muslim Perspectives, eds. L. Mosher and D. Marshall, 65-77 (Washington DC: Georgetown University Press 2015).
- ‘Sunna’, in Muhammad in History, Thought and Culture: An Encyclopedia of the Prophet of God, Vol. 2 N-Z, eds. Coeli Fitzpatrick and Adam Walker, 610-620 (Santa Barbara: ABC – Clio, 2014).
- ‘Rite, Spirit, and Art in Islam’, Tarīqah, eds. Greta Anderson-Finn and Basil Hatim, 8-16 (Sharjah: Barjeel Art Foundation, 2014).
- Review of Paradise and Hell in Islamic Traditions, by Christian Lange (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016), xvii + 365pp. ISBN 978-0-521-50637-3 (hardback). ISBN 978-0-521-73815-6 (paperback).
- ‘Tafsir and Unlocking the Historical Qur’an: Back to Basics?’, in Aims, Methods and Contexts of Qur’anic Exegesis (2nd/8th- 9th/15thc.), ed. Karen Bauer, 19-37 (Oxford University Press, 2013).
- ‘The Advent of Islam’, in The Ismailis: An Illustrated History, 14-57 (London: Azimuth Editions, 2008).
- ‘Afterlife: Islamic Concepts’, Encyclopedia of Religion vol. 1, 2nd edn., Chicago: Macmillan 2005, 159-163.
- ‘Razi, Fakhr al-Din Al-’, Encyclopedia of Religion vol. 11, 2nd edn., Chicago: Macmillan 2005, 7632-34.
- ‘Patrons and Patronage in the Qur’an’ (accepted), 2023 International Meeting of the Qur’anic Studies Association (IQSA), San Antonio, USA, (upcoming) 17-21st Nov., 2023.
- ‘Patronage and Households in the Qur’an”, Arabic Pasts: Histories and Historiographies, Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisation (with SOAS/Agha Khan Centre/European Research Council), London, Oct. 5th – 6th, 2023.
- ‘Time and Qur’anic Eschatology’, 2022 International Meeting of the International Qur’anic Studies Association (IQSA), Palermo, Sicily, 5th-7th Sept., 2022.
- Convenor (with Karen Bauer): ‘Qur’anic Coherence: A Roundtable Discussion’ IQSA, Palermo, Sicily, 5th-7th Sept., 2022.
- ‘Women in the Qur’an: A Historical-Critical Approach’ with Feras Hamza. 2021 International meeting of the International Qur’anic Studies Association (IQSA), 4-11th July, 2021 (Online- COVID).
- Convenor (with Karen Bauer): ‘Bias and Identity Politics in the Western Academic Study of the Qur’an: A Roundtable Discussion, International meeting of the International Qur’anic Studies Association’ (IQSA), Denver, USA, 17th-20th Nov., 2018.
- ‘Temporary Hellfire and the formation of early Sunnism’, INTERNATIONAL COLLOQUIUM LOCATING HELL IN ISLAMIC TRADITIONS, University of Utrecht, Netherlands, 28-29th April, 2012.
- ‘The Unwritten Tafsir and the Lingering Elusiveness of the Qur'anic Text’, at the inauguration of Ali Vural AK (now, AbuSulayman) Center for Global Islamic Studies, George Mason University, USA, Oct. 23rd, 2010.
- ‘Kāshānī, Sufi tafsir and the taxonomy of tafsir’, Tafsīr. The Evolution of a Genre in the Framework of Islamic Intellectual History, Freie Universität Berlin and the Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel in cooperation with the Corpus Coranicum Project at the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften and funded by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation (Sept. 15-17th, 2010).
- ‘The exoteric vs. esoteric in Muslim Tafsir’, International Conference on Methods and Sources of Tafsir, Institute of Ismaili Studies, London, Oct. 2009.
Seminars and Academic Talks
- ‘Memories of China: A Brief History of China in Islam’, seminar for Chinese Multinational Johnson Controls, UOWD, May 2023.
- Three international seminar sessions (with Karen Bauer) for the ‘reading circles’ book group for the global Ismaili community, one on An Anthology of Qur’anic Commentaries, Vol. 1: On the Nature of the Divine; and two on An Anthology of Qur’anic Commentaries, Vol. 2: On Women: June 2021, Nov., 2021, and Jan. 2022.
- ‘The future of Education’, Live Discussion on Radio 100.3, Dubai, UAE, Dec. 2022.
- ‘Transnational Education’, New South Wales Govt. Education Panel Discussion, Australian Pavilion, EXPO2020, March 2022.
- Monday Majlis seminar at Exeter University, on An Anthology of Qur’anic Commentaries, Vol. II: On Women, via Zoom, convened by Robert Gleave (invited, presented with Karen Bauer), March 2022.
- ‘Understanding the Middle East’, seminar with UOW Global Leaders Program, UOWD, Oct. 2019.
- ‘The Arabs from the 8th to the 21st Century’, seminar for UOW Solar Decathlon Team, Dubai, UAE, Oct. 2018.
- ‘Connecting Islamicate Spaces: Arabs, Islamic History and Identity’, Seminars for Michigan State University Dubai Campus, UAE, Jan. 2017 and Jan. 2018.
- ‘The Charismatic Community: Early Muslim Identity’, seminar at NYUAbu Dhabi, UAE, Apr. 2015.
- ‘Tafsīr and the Contemporary Challenge’, seminar at Ismaili Centre, Dubai, UAE, May 2014.
- ‘Women in Islam’, seminar at Ismaili Centre, Dubai, UAE, Apr. 2013.
- In 2013 established (with Professor Roberto Tottoli, University of Naples) a new series for academic publishing house, E. J. Brill (Leiden, Netherlands): Islamic Literatures: Texts and Studies. The full editorial board: Roberto Tottoli, Walid Saleh, and Jamal Elias. The series has since published 5 monographs
- Since 2016– Humanities and Social Sciences external reviewer for the Qatar National Research Foundation.
- 2021 Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Ismaili Studies, Agha Khan Centre, London; and coordinator of the Anthologies of Qur’anic Commentaries project (3 vols)
- 2018 to 2020 co-chair of the Program Unit Methodology & Hermeneutics for the International Qur’anic Studies Association (IQSA)
- 2022–2025 3-year term for the Publication and Research Committee (PRC) of IQSA to source and review monographs for the new series with De Gruyter Press.
- 2022 CAA Certified Reviewer
- ARTS317 Muslim Societies Across the Ages: Tradition, Secularism and Modernity
Postgraduate (Master of International Relations):
- Transforming MENA: Trends, Issues, and Problems
- Research Methods
- Globalisation and Citizenship
Other courses previously taught:
- Islam: Historical and Societal Aspects
- Comparative Middle Eastern Cultures
- History of the Middle East in the 20th Century
- Iraq: Reinventing a nation
- The Levant: internal and external influences
- Religions of the Middle East