Biography

Seyyed Hossein Nasr is an Iranian University Professor of Islamic studies at George Washington University, and a prominent Islamic philosopher. Nasr is a Muslim Persian philosopher and renowned scholar of comparative religion, a lifelong student and follower of Frithjof Schuon, and writes in the fields of Islamic esoterism, Sufism, philosophy of science, and metaphysics.

Professor Nasr speaks and writes based on the doctrine and the viewpoints of the perennial philosophy on subjects such as philosophy, religion, spirituality, music, art, architecture, science, literature, civilizational dialogues, and the natural environment.

A scholarship offered by MIT in physics made Nasr the first Iranian undergraduate to attend that university. Upon his graduation from MIT, Nasr obtained a Master's degree in geology and geophysics in 1956, and went on to pursue his PhD degree in the History of Science and Learning at Harvard University. At the age of twenty-five, Nasr graduated with his PhD from Harvard completing his first book, Science and Civilization in Islam. His doctoral dissertation entitled "Conceptions of Nature in Islamic Thought" was published in 1964 by Harvard University Press as An Introduction to Islamic Cosmological Doctrines.

Nasr began his teaching career in 1955 when he was still a young doctoral student at Harvard University. He became a full professor by the age of 30. After Harvard, Nasr returned to Iran as a professor at Tehran University, and then at Arya Mehr University (Sharif University) where he was appointed president. Before that, he served as Dean of The Faculty of Letters, and Academic Vice-Chancellor of Tehran University. In the 1970s, Farah Pahlavi of Iran appointed professor Nasr as head of the Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy, the first academic institution to be conducted in accordance with the intellectual principles of the Traditionalist School.

Upon his return to the west, Nasr took up positions at University of Edinburgh, Temple University, and since 1984 has been at The George Washington University where he is now a full-time University Professor of Islamic Studies.

Nasr received the Templeton Religion and Science Award and was made an Honorary Doctor of Uppsala University in Sweden. Nasr was the first Muslim to deliver the prestigious Gifford Lectures, and in year 2000, a volume was devoted to him in the Library of Living Philosophers.