3092B Foreign Languages Building
707 S. Mathews Avenue
Urbana, IL 61801
I am a specialist in Islamic thought and practice. I have worked on many aspects of Islam, from the time of the Prophet to the contemporary period; I have conducted textual studies and have done fieldwork. I did two major fieldwork projects in Egypt, one on Muslim women's religious lives in contemporary Egypt (1980-81) and another on Sufism in modern Egypt (1987-89). Then I studied Swahili and spent two summers in Zanzibar, where I became aware that two distinct strands of Arabian Islam had impacted the Swahili coast: the Sultanate of Oman and the Hadramawt region of Yemen. I spent the 2000-2001 academic year in Oman and the Hadramawt, and became particularly interested in the Ibadi sect of Islam, an ancient and small sect that is neither Sunni nor Shiite and is practiced in Oman and small pockets of North Africa. I have since written the first English-language study of Ibadi theology and have become a specialist in Ibadism in the modern period, especially in Oman and Zanzibar.
Islamic thought and practice, Muslim sects, medieval and contemporary Islamic thought and movements, Sufism, Islamic gender ideology, Muslim women’s religious lives, Islam in Oman, Yemen, Egypt and East Africa
Current Research Project: Islamic Sectarianism Reconsidered: Ibadi Islam in the Modern Age
Ph.D. University of Chicago, 1986
M.A. University of Chicago, 1979
B.A. University of Pennsylvania, 1975
Fulbright Research Fellowships, 2000-2001; 1987-1988
Carnegie Scholarship, 2009-2010
National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship, 1991-1992
Awards and Honors
Carnegie Scholarship, 2009-2010
Alumni Discretionary Award for Service to the University of Illinois, 2008
University Scholar, University of Illinois, October 1996
Faculty Fellow, Center for Advanced Study, 2003
REL 260/SAME 260, Mystics and Saints in Islam
REL 481/SAME 481, Muslim Ethics in the Global Age
RLST 403/ANTH 403/GLBL 403/GWS 403/HIST 434/SAME 403, Women in Muslim Societies
RLST 482, Muslim-Christian Interactions
REL 514/SAME 514, Islamic Theology
REL 214/SAME 214, Introduction to Islam
REL 408/PS 408/SAME 408, Islam and Politics in the Middle East
Additional Campus Affiliations
Professor, Gender and Women's Studies
Professor, Program in Medieval Studies
Hoffman, V. J. (2009). Sufism, mystics, and saints in modern Egypt. (Pbk. ed. ed.) (Studies in comparative religion). University of South Carolina Press.
Hoffman, V. J. (2011). The essentials of Ibadi Islam. Syracuse University Press.
Hoffman, V. J. (2015). Ibadi Scholars on Association and Dissociation, from the Tenth to the Twenty-First Century. In B. Michalak-Pikulska, & R. Eisener (Eds.), Ibadi Jurisprudence: Origins, Developments and Cases (pp. 185-194). (Studies in Ibadism and Oman). Georg Olms Verlag.
Hoffman, V. J. (2015). Ibadism: History, Doctrines and Recent Scholarship. Religion Compass, 9(9), 297-307. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/
Hoffman, V. J. (2015). Mysticism, rationalism and puritanism in modern Omani Ibadism (18th-early 20th century). Muslim World, 105(2), 251-265. https://doi.org/10.1111/muwo.12091
Hoffman, V. J. (2015). Refuting the vision of God in Ibāḍī theology. 245-255.
Hoffman, V. J. (2015). Refuting the Vision of God in Ibadi Theology. In E. Francesca (Ed.), Ibadi Theology: Rereading Sources and Scholarly Works (pp. 245-253). (Studies in Ibadism and Oman). Georg Olms Verlag.