John is a PhD student in Islamic Thought. His research interests include Islamic Law, particularly medieval and early modern legal reasoning, as well as Sufism and its role in the construction of religious orthodoxy in the medieval period. John received his undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia in Foreign Affairs, and his Master of Philosophy in Islamic Studies and History at the University of Oxford. His graduate thesis, entitled “The ‘Real’ Uṣūl al-Fiqh? The Role of Qawāʿid Fiqhiyya in Late Medieval and Early Modern Islamic Legal Reasoning,” explores the function of Islamic legal maxims in the interpretation and extension of legal precedents identified in canonical handbooks of positive law.
John has worked, studied and travelled throughout the MENA region. He spent a year working at the Casablanca American School in Morocco, followed by two summers studying Classical Arabic at Qasid Arabic Institute in Amman, Jordan. He has also worked for a peace-building NGO in Israel/Palestine. At UChicago, he is a Neubauer Family Distinguished Doctoral Fellow.