Paul Walker

Senior Lecturer in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations

Pick 201

(773) 702-4619

Ph.D. University of Chicago, 1974



  • Early Philosophical Shiism: The Ismaili Neoplatonism of Abū Yaʿqūb al-Sijistānī. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.
  • The Wellsprings of Wisdom: A study of Abū Yaʿqūb al-Sijistānī’s Kitāb al-yanābīʿ, Including a complete English translation with commentary and notes on the Arabic text. Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah Press, 1994.
  • Abu Yaʿqub al-Sijistani: Intellectual Missionary. London: I. B. Tauris and the Institute of Ismaili Studies, 1996. Persian translation, Tehran, 1998; Arabic trans., Damascus, 1998.
  • An Ismaili Heresiography: The “Bāb al-Shayṭān” from Abū Tammām’s Kitāb al-Shajara. Critical edition of the Arabic text (with Wilferd Madelung) and English translation and introduction. Leiden: Brill, 1998.
  • Ḥamīd al-Dīn al-Kirmānī: Ismaili Thought in the Age of al-Ḥākim. London: I. B. Tauris, 1999. Persian trans. Tehran, 2001; Arabic trans., Damascus, 2000.
  • The Advent of the Fatimids: A Contemporary Shiʿi Witness. (with Wilferd Madelung) London: I. B. Tauris, 2000.
  • A Guide to Conclusive Proofs for the Principles of Belief: Kitāb al-irshād ilā qawāṭiʿ al-adilla fī uṣūl ali ʿtiqād by Imām al-Ḥaramayn al-Juwaynī, Eng. trans. with introduction. Great Books of Islamic Civilization. Reading: Garnet Publishing, 2000.
  • Exploring an Islamic Empire: Fatimid History and Its Sources. London: I. B. Tauris; and the Institute of Ismaili Studies, 2002. Persian trans., Tehran, 2005.
  • Master of the Age: An Islamic Treatise on the Necessity of the Imamate, with a critical edition of the Arabic of Ḥamīd al-Dīn al-Kirmānī’s al-Maṣābīḥ fī ithbāt al-imāma (Lights to Illuminate the Proof of the Imamate), full translation, introduction and notes. London: I. B. Tauris, 2007.
  • Fatimid History and Ismaili Doctrine. Ashgate, Variorum, 2008. 
  • Orations of the Fatimid Caliphs: Festival Sermons of the Ismaili Imams. London, I. B. Tauris, 2009.
  • Caliph of Cairo: al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, 996-1021. Cairo: AUC Press, 2009.
  • A Code of Conduct: the Mūjaza al-kāfiya of al-Naysābūrī, critical ed. of the Arabic and English trans. with notes and introduction (with Verena Klemm). London, I. B. Tauris, 2011.
  • Ithbāt al-nubuwwāt, by Abū Yaʿqūb al-Sijistānī, critical edition of the Arabic text by Wilferd Madelung and Paul E. Walker, Tehran, (forthcoming 2015).
  • Epistles of the Brethren of Purity: Sciences of the Soul and Intellect, Part I, An Arabic Critical Edition and English Translation of Epistles 32-36, ed. and trans. Paul E. Walker, Ismail K. Poonawala, David Simonowitz, Godefroid de Callatay. (Oxford, 2015).

Select Articles

  • “A Byzantine Victory over the Fatimids at Alexandretta (971),” Byzantion 42 (1974): 431-440. 
  • “An Ismāʿīli Answer to the Problem of Worshiping the Unknowable, Neoplatonic God,” American Journal of Arabic Studies (Leiden, Brill) 2 (1974): 7-21. Revised version in Ishraq: Islamic philosophy yearbook (Russian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Philosophy). Moscow, 2013, pp. 186-98.
  • “The Ismaili Vocabulary of Creation,” Studia Islamica 40 (1974): 75-85.
  • “An Early Ismaili Interpretation of Man, History and Salvation,” Ohio Journal of Religious Studies 2 (1975): 29-35.
  • “Cosmic Hierarchies in Early Ismāʿīlī Thought: The View of Abū Yaʿqūb al-Sijistānī,” The Muslim World 116 (1976): 14-28.
  • “The ‘Crusade’ of John Tzimisces in the Light of New Arabic Evidence,” Byzantion 47 (1977): 301-327.
  • “Eternal Cosmos and the Womb of History: Time in Early Ismaili Thought,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 9 (1978): 355-366.
  • “The Doctrine of Metempsychosis in Islam,” Islamic Studies Presented to Charles J. Adams, eds W. Hallaq and D. Little, Leiden, E. J. Brill, 1991, pp. 219-238.
  • “The Political Implications of al-Rāzī’s Philosophy,” Chapter Two in The Political Aspects of Islamic Philosophy, ed. C. Butterworth, Boston, Harvard University Press, 1992, pp. 61-94.
  • “al-Kindi,” “Ibn Bajja,” “Ibn Tufayl,” “kalam,” “Islamic Neoplatonism,” The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, ed. Robert Audi, Cambridge, 1995, 2nd ed. 1999.
  • “The Ismaili Daʿwa in the Reign of the Fatimid Caliph al-Ḥākim,” Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt, XXX (1993): 161-182.
  • “Platonisms in Islamic Philosophy,” Studia Islamica. Fasc. 79, 1994, pp. 5-25.
  • “Alfarabi on Religion and Practical Reason,” in Religion and Practical Reason: New Essays in the Comparative Philosophy of Religion, ed. by Frank Reynolds and David Tracy, SUNY Press, 1994, pp. 89-120.
  • “Abū Tammām and His Kitāb al-shajara: A New Ismaili Treatise from Tenth Century Khurasan,” in JAOS, vol. 114 (1994): 343-352.
  • “Daʿwah: Quranic Concepts,” and “Taqiyah,” Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World. Oxford University Press, 1995.
  • “An Ismaʿili Version of the Heresiography of the Seventy-two Erring Sects” in Medieval Ismaʿili History and Thought, ed. F. Daftary, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1996, pp. 161-177. (Arabic translation by Seif el-Din al-Qassir, Nicosia: al-Madā, 1998, pp. 165-82.)
  • “Succession to Rule in the Shiite Caliphate,” JARCE XXXII (1995), pp. 239-264.
  • “The Resolution of the Shīʿa,” in L. Clarke, ed., Shīʿite Heritage: Essays on Classical and Modern Traditions (Binghamton, NY: Global Publications, 2001), pp. 75-90.
  • “The Ismaili Daʿwa and the Fatimid Caliphate,” chapter for the Cambridge History of Egypt, ed. by Carl Petry (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1998), pp. 120-50.
  • “Fatimid Institutions of Learning,” JARCE XXXIV (1997): 179-200. 
  • “Purloined Symbols of the Past: The Theft of Souvenirs and Sacred Relics in the Rivalry between the Abbasids and Fatimids” in F. Daftary and J. Meri, eds. Culture and Memory in Medieval Islam: Essays in Honour of Wilferd Madelung (London: I. B. Tauris, 2003), pp. 364-87.
  • “Walāya,” Encyclopaedia of Islam, New Edition
  • “Impeccability,” “Knowledge and Learning,” Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān.
  • “Another Family of Fatimid Chief Qadis: The al-Fariqis,” Journal of Druse Studies. Vol. 1, no. 1 (2000): 49-69.
  • “Philosophy of Religion in al-Fārābī, Ibn Sīna and Ibn Tufayl” in Todd Lawson, ed. Reason and Inspiration in Islam: Theology, Philosophy and Mysticism in Muslim Thought (London, I. B. Tauris, 2005), pp. 85-101.
  • “Al-Maqrīzī and the Fatimids,” Mamluk Studies Review 7.2 (2003): 83-97.
  • “The Ismailis,” chapter in R. Taylor and P. Adamson, eds. Cambridge Companion to Arabic Philosophy (Cambridge, 2005), pp. 72-91.
  • “The Relationship between Chief Qadi and Chief Dāʿī under the Fatimids” in G. Kraemer and S. Schmidtke, eds. Religious Authorities in Muslim Societies (Leiden: Brill, 2006), 70-94.
  • “ ‘In Praise of al-Ḥākim’: Greek Elements in Ismaili Writings on the Imamate” in Emma Gannagé, et al eds. The Greek Strand in Islamic Political Thought: Proceedings of the Conference at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, 16-27 Jume 2003 (special issue of Mélanges de l’Université Saint-Joseph, vol. 57 (2004), pp. 367-392.
  • “Abū Yaʿqūb al-Sijistānī”, “Abū ʿAbdallāh al-Shīʿī”, “al-Āmir bi-aḥkām Allāh”, “al-ʿAzīz bi-llāh”, “al-Afḍal b. Badr al-Jamālī”, “al-ʿAbbās b. Abi’l-Futūḥ”, “Bāṭiniyya”, “Barjawān”, Bayān b. Samʿān”, “Dāʿī (in Ismāʿīlī Islam)”, “al-Bajalī”, “al-Bustī, Abu l-Qāsim”, “Abu ʿAbdallāh al-Baṭāʾiḥī,” “Ḍirghām” “Ibn Killis”, al-Ḥāfiẓ”, for the Encyclopaedia of Islam, Three.
  • “The Responsibilities of Political Office in a Shiʿi Caliphate and the Delineation of Public Duties under the Fatimids” in Asma Afsaruddin, ed., Islam, the State, and Political Authority: Medieval Issues and Modern Concerns (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2011), pp. 93-110.
  • “Social Elites at the Fatimid Court,” in Jan-Peter Hartung and Albrecht Fuess, eds. Court Cultures of the Muslim World. (London: Routledge, 2011), pp. 105-22.
  • “The Kitāb al-Izdiwāj attributed to ʿAbdān,” (an edition of the Arabic with complete translation and introduction by Madelung and Walker) in Omar Ali de Unzaga, ed., Fortress of the Intellect: Ismaili and Other Studies in Honour of Farhad Daftary. (London, 2011), pp. 103-166.
  • “Kutāma, Kalbids and Other Westerners: The Maghāriba in Cairo” in proceedings of Convegno Internazionale di Studi I Fatimidi e Il Mediterraneo (Palermo, 3-6 December 2008). Alifbâ: Studi arabo-islamici e mediterranei 22 (2008): 45-56. 
  • “The Fatimid Caliph al-ʿAziz and His Daughter Sitt Al-Mulk: A Case of Delayed but Eventual Succession to Rule by a Woman,” Journal of Persianate Studies 4 (2011): 30-44.
  • “The Abbasid-Fatimid Rivalry for Control of the Holy Cities and the Hijazi Response,” in Hinrich Biesterfeldt and Verena Klemm, eds., Difference and Dynamism in Islam: Festschrift for Heinz Halm on his 70th Birthday (Wurzburg, ERGON VERLAG, 2012), pp. 145-62.
  • “Islamic Ritual Preaching (Khuṭbas) in a Contested Arena: Shīʿīs and Sunnīs, Fatimids and Abbasids,” Anuario de Estudios Medievales 42 (2012), pp 119-140.
  • “The Role of the Imam-caliph as Depicted in Official Treatises and Documents Issued by the Fatimids,” chapter 15 in F. Daftary and G. Miskinzoda, eds, The Study of Shiʿi Islam (London, 2014), pp. 411-432.
  • “Fāṭimid Alexandria as an Entrepôt in the East-West Exchange of Islamic Scholarship” al-Masāq, 26 (2014): 36-48.
  • “Intellectual Traditions”, chapter five in Farhad Daftary, Amyn Sanjoo and Shainool Jiwa, eds. The Shi’i World: Pathways in Tradition and Modernity (London, 2015), pp. 94-110. 
  • “Egyptian Popular Festivals in the Fatimid Period” in Obada Kohela, ed. History and Islamic Civilization: Essays in Honour of Ayman Fu’ād Sayyid (Cairo, 2014), pp. 69-91.
  • “Philosophy of Religion in the Islamic World”, “Sijistani, Abu Ya’qub al-,” “Kirmani, Hamid al-Din al-“, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Science, and Technology in Islam (Oxford, 2014).