Dr Aydogan Kars

Lecturer in Islamic and Interreligious Studies
Centre for Religious Studies

Aydogan received his B.S. in Economics at Hacettepe University and an M.A. in Philosophy at the Middle East Technical University, both in Ankara, Turkey. He worked four years for the Scientific & Technological Research Council of Turkey in the Social Science and Humanities Research Grant Committee. He earned an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Religion at Vanderbilt University in the United States. He worked four years for the Divinity Library at Vanderbilt as the bibliographer in the fields of Islamic Studies and World Religions. During the 2015-2016 academic year Aydogan served as a Visiting Faculty and Dissertation Fellow in the Department of Philosophy at the Middle Tennessee State University. In July 2016 he began serving in the Centre for Religious Studies at Monash University as a Lecturer in Islamic and Interreligious Studies.

The primary research field of Aydogan is medieval Islamicate intellectual history with a focus on mysticism and theology. He is particularly interested in medieval negative theologies and negative speech performances (apophaticism). Currently he is preparing a book manuscript tentatively titled Negative Theology in Islam: Unsaying God in Medieval Sufism. The book examines the intellectual formations and historical developments of negative speech performances in medieval Islam, specifically negative theological paths that flourished among Sufis. While Aydogan has published widely in the study of religion, his publication record concentrates on medieval Islamic and Jewish intellectual history.

Aydogan has taught various courses at Vanderbilt and Middle Tennessee State, including “Comparative Mysticism,” “Encountering Religious Diversity,” “Introduction to Islam,” “Religion and Culture of Morocco,” “Culture, Religion and Politics of Contemporary Arab Societies,” “Islam in Historical Perspective,” “Ethics of Encounter,” and “Otherness and Identity in Ethics.” He also gave lectures on medieval philosophy, Islam and religious diversity at various schools and institutions around Tennessee.

Academic Appointments

  • Visiting Faculty and Dissertation Fellow at Middle Tennessee State University, Department of Philosophy (July 2015 – July 2016)
  • Teaching Assistant & Instructor at Vanderbilt University (2011-2015)

Academic Areas of Interest

  • Medieval mysticism (focus: Sufism)
  • Medieval philosophy (focus: Arabic and Islamic philosophy)
  • Apophasis, negative theology and discourse
  • Islamic theology
  • Comparative philosophy and religion
  • Hermeneutics, phenomenology

Research profile