Springe direkt zu Inhalt

Dr. Roman Seidel


Postdoctoral Fellow POINT (2015-2017)

Reading al-Ghazali from a modern perspective. Towards an integrated ‘intellectual history’ and ‘comparative philosophy’ approach in the study of contemporary philosophy in the Middle East

Roman Seidel is a postdoctoral fellow at the Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies. His primary research interest is the study of philosophy in the modern Middle East. He earned a PhD in Islamic Studies in 2011 from the University of Zurich, where he was Lecturer for Islamic Studies focussing on Persian and Modern Iran at the Institute for Asian and Oriental Studies from 2011 to 2014. He is involved in the Ueberweg-History of Philosophy project (Philosophy in the Islamic World, nineteenth- and twentieth- century) and serves on the editorial board of the Philosophie in der nahöstlichen Moderne / Philosophy in the Modern Middle East book series published by Klaus-Schwarz Verlag (Berlin) and on the advisory board of the World Philosophies book series published by Mimesis International. His doctoral dissertation, Kant in Teheran: Anfänge, Ansätze und Kontexte der Kantrezeption in Iran, was published by De Gruyter (Berlin) in 2014.


Roman Seidels Profil auf der Seite der Universität Zürich

WS 2015/2016

Critical Texts and Practices Seminar (Organized by Schirin Amir-Moazami) (Veranstaltung für DoktorandInnen der BGSMCS), Konzeption und Leitung einer Doppelsitzung „Intellectual History and the Problem of Contextualizing Ideas“ (10.Feb. 2016)

Friday-Seminars in combination with the lecture series "Engaging with Contemporary Philosophy in the Middle East and Muslim South Asia: Themes, Approaches, and New Perspectives" (organised by Roman Seidel and Nils Riecken; Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies (BGSMCS), Winter term 2015/2016, Veranstaltung für DoktorandInnen der BGSMCS, 4 Termine (20. Nov./11.Dez/29. Jan/ 12. Feb.)


Reading al-Ġazālī from a modern perspective.

Towards an integrated “intellectual history” and “comparative philosophy” approach to the study of contemporary philosophy in the Middle East

In contrast to a still widespread opinion, philosophy in the Islamicate World did not come to an end after Averroes (d.1198), rather the various traditions of philosophy did indeed continue and underwent further development up to modern times. Although scholars of intellectual History of the Islamicate World opened up new horizons on these post-classical developments in the last two decades, philosophy in Muslim countries is not merely a historical phenomenon, it is also a vital component of present day intellectual and academic discourse in the Middle East. The scholarly evaluation of this phenomenon in which, from the 19th century onwards, modern European strands of philosophy also play a significant role, is still in its infancy. One major issue in contemporary philosophical discussion in the Middle East is the reconsideration of the intellectual heritage of eminent Islamic philosophers from the perspective of modern philosophy, among which al-Ġazālī (d. 1111) constitutes a specific challenge, since he is regarded as a staunch critic of philosophy and a promoter of Ašʿarite traditionalism as well as a highly sophisticated philosopher in his own right.

This projects intends to contribute to the wider scholarly understanding of the phenomenon of contemporary philosophy in the Islamicate World and examines a specific approach that combines the diachronic perspective of intellectual history with the synchronic and systematic emphasis of comparative philosophy.


Kant in Teheran. Anfänge, Ansätze und Kontexte der Kantrezeption in Iran. (de Gruyter) Berlin et.al. 2014.


SGMOIK-Bulletin „Philosophie“ (eds. Kata Moser und Roman Seidel), Frühjahr 2016, 15 - 20.


“The Reception of European Philosophy in Qajar Iran” (in Pourjavady, R. (ed.), Philosophical Traditions in Qajar Iran, Leiden: Brill 2018, forthcoming (in print).

"Philosophie im Iran im 19./20. Jahrhundert“ in Handbuchs der Iranistik , Bd. 2 Hrsg. Ludwig Paul (Wiesbaden: Reichert 2017), 484-493.

“Early Translations of Modern European Philosophy. On the Significance of an under-researched Phenomenon for the Study of Modern Iranian Intellectual History”, in Ali Ansari (ed.) Irans Constitutional Revolution and Narratives of the Enlightenment, London: Gingko Library 2016, 200-222.


„Übersetzung als Aneignung. Iranische Intellektuelle des 19. Jahrhunderts und die Übertragung moderner europäischer Philosophie ins Persische. Überlegungen zu einer transregionalen Ideengeschichte der Aufklärung“ (Vortrag Deutsch/Persisch auf der Tagung Übersetzen im interkulturellen Kontext, ʿAllāme Ṭabātabāʾī Univ. Teheran, 5. März 2017)

 “Apologetic Comparison and Alternative Designs. Methodological Considerations on Contemporary Philosophical Discourse in Iran.” (Paper presented at the panel: The Reception of Modern ‘Western Philosophy’ and Methods of Philosophical Comparison in Iran”, 11th Biannual Iranian Studies Conference of the International Society for Iranian Studies, Wien, 2.-5. August 2016).

“Comparing Now and Then. How to engage with Middle Eastern Philosophy from a comparative perspective, and Why.” (Paper presented at the Workshop “Time(s) in Comparison: Transregional Approaches to Contemporary Philosophical Thought in the Middle East and South Asia” (Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies, 3./4. Juni 2016).

“Der philosophische Gottesbeweis zwischen Europa und der islamischen Welt. Überlegungen zur einer verflochtenen Ideengeschichte und ihrer Relevanz heute”, Vortrag zusammen mit Ulrich Rudolph, Institut für Philosophie, FU-Berlin / Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies, 25.04.2016. Hier zum Podcast (Gottesbeweise in einer verflochtenen Philosophiegeschichte. DRadio Sein und Streit. Radiobeitrag von Étienne Roeder im Deutschlandradio Kultur vom 01.05.2016)

"Zwischen Asien und Europa. Zur Geschichte der Philosophie in und um die islamische Welt",
Vortrag von Dr. Roman Seidel und Prof. Dr. Ulrich Rudolph, Ringvorlesung "'Asien und Europa': Akteure, Konzepte, Narrative", Universität Zürich, November 2015.

"Early Translations of Modern European Philosophy"
2015 Gingko Library – British Institute of Persian Studies Conference, September 2015.

"Towards an integrated 'Intellectual History' and 'Comparative Philosophy' approach to the Study of Contemporary Philosophy in the Modern Middle East"
School of African and Oriental Studies, Juni 2015.

"What is, and to what End shall we study the reception of Kantian Philosophy in Iran", Mai 2015.

"Kant in Iran: On the Significance of a Multifaceted Phenomenon"
Symposia Iranica, April 2015.