1985 …2015
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Personal profile

Research Interests

Valerie Hoffman is Professor and Head of the Department of Religion at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and specializes in Islamic thought and practice.  She received her BA in Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania and her MA and PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago.  She has a broad range of research interests, including classical theology, Islamic philosophy, Sufism, gender ideology, and modern Islamic thought, and she has used diverse methodologies, ranging from anthropological-style fieldwork to the study of manuscripts.  She is the author of Sufism, Mystics and Saints in Modern Egypt (University of South Carolina Press, 1995) and The Essentials of Ibāḍī Islam (Syracuse University Press, 2012), as well as numerous articles on Sufism, Islamic gender ideology, Ibāḍī Islam, human rights, and contemporary Islamic movements. She was a Fulbright research fellow in Egypt (1987-1988) and in Oman and Yemen (2000-2001) and was a Carnegie scholar in 2009-2010.  She has served on the Board of Directors of the Middle East Studies Association of North America and on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Middle East Studies and the Journal of the American Academy of Religion.  Her current book project is Islamic Sectarianism Reconsidered: Ibāḍī Islam in the Modern Age.

Education/Academic qualification

Arabic and Islamic Studies, Ph.D., The University of Chicago

Arabic and Islamic Studies, M.A., The University of Chicago

Anthropology, B.A., The University of Pennsylvania


  • B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
  • Islam
  • H Social Sciences
  • Anthropology

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the expert's scholarly documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

Islam Social Sciences
god Social Sciences
puritanism Social Sciences
Muslim Social Sciences
Egypt Social Sciences
reformism Social Sciences
mysticism Social Sciences
Oman Social Sciences

Research Output 1985 2015

Ibadi Scholars on Association and Dissociation, from the Tenth to the Twenty-First Century

Hoffman, V. J., 2015, Ibadi Jurisprudence: Origins, Developments and Cases. Michalak-Pikulska, B. & Eisener, R. (eds.). Hildesheim; Zurich; New York: Georg Olms Verlag, p. 185-194 10 p. (Studies in Ibadism and Oman).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Ibadism: History, Doctrines and Recent Scholarship

Hoffman, V. J., 2015, In : Religion Compass. 9, 9, p. 297-307 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Mysticism, rationalism and puritanism in modern Omani Ibadism (18th-early 20th century)

Hoffman, V. J., Apr 1 2015, In : Muslim World. 105, 2, p. 251-265 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Refuting the Vision of God in Ibadi Theology

Hoffman, V. J., 2015, Ibadi Theology: Rereading Sources and Scholarly Works. Francesca, E. (ed.). Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlag, p. 245-253 9 p. (Studies in Ibadism and Oman).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Refuting the vision of God in Ibāḍī theology

Hoffman, V. J., 2015, p. 245-255. 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther

Activities 1982 2015

  • 39 Invited talk
  • 1 Participation in conference

Where are the Women? Spirituality and Gender in Islamic Sacred Space

Valerie J Hoffman (Speaker)
Apr 8 2002

Activity: Talk typesInvited talk

Women in Islam, Women in Afghanistan

Valerie J Hoffman (Speaker)
Mar 1 2000

Activity: Talk typesInvited talk

Femmes et sexualité dans la mystique musulmane

Valerie J Hoffman (Speaker)
Jun 7 1993

Activity: Talk typesInvited talk

Women in the Arab World

Valerie J Hoffman (Speaker)
Mar 28 1991

Activity: Talk typesInvited talk

Celebrating the Prophet in the Remembrance of God: Sufi Dhikr in Egypt

Valerie J Hoffman (Speaker)
Apr 30 1998

Activity: Talk typesInvited talk