Principal Teacher

Dr. Timothy J. Gianotti is a scholar of classical Islamic theology, philosophy, and spirituality with strong interests in Islamic Psychology, Ethics, Moral Theology, Education, Political Thought, and comparative mysticism; he is also a theologian and committed interfaith advocate with hands-on experience promoting interfaith engagement around the globe. With more than twenty years of university-level teaching experience in the US and Canada, he has served as an associate professor at the University of Waterloo in Canada, the Director of Islamic Studies at the American Islamic College in Chicago, the York-Noor Chair of Islamic Studies at York University and the Noor Cultural Centre (Canada), and as an assistant professor of Arabic & Islamic Thought at the University of Virginia, the University of Oregon, and Penn State University. He currently lives in Toronto, where he serves as the founder and principal teacher of the Islamic Institute for Spiritual Formation.

He is the author of Al-Ghazali’s Unspeakable Doctrine of the Soul (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 2001) and In the Light of a Blessed Tree: Illuminations of Islamic Belief, Practice, and History (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2011), in addition to scholarly articles, book chapters, and theological essays considering contemporary questions as well as traditional topics, such as spiritual direction and the inner (psycho-spiritual) processes of moral beautification (iḥsān) and character formation.