| John O. Voll

John O. Voll


Professor of Islamic History and Associate Director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding


Georgetown University


John O. Voll is professor of Islamic history and associate director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University. He taught Middle Eastern, Islamic, and world history at the University of New Hampshire for thirty years before moving to Georgetown in 1995. He graduated from Dartmouth College and received his Ph.D. degree from Harvard University. He has lived in Cairo, Beirut, and Sudan and has traveled widely in the Muslim world. The second edition of his book Islam: Continuity and Change in the Modern World appeared in 1994. He is co-author, with John L. Esposito, of Islam and Democracy and Makers of Contemporary Islam and is editor, author, or co-author of six additional books.

He is a past president of the Middle East Studies Association and also of the New England Historical Association. He has served on the Boards of Directors of the American Council of Learned Societies, the New Hampshire Humanities Council, the New Hampshire Council on World Affairs, and the Sudan Studies Association. He was the chair of the program committee for the 1999 annual meeting of the American Historical Association. In 1991 he received a Presidential Medal in recognition for scholarship on Islam from President Husni Mubarak of Egypt. He has published numerous articles and book chapters on modern Islamic and Sudanese history.

Selected Publications

“Islam as Community of Discourse and a World-System,” in The Sage Handbook of Islamic Studies, ed. Akbar Ahmed and Tamara Sonn, London: Sage, 2010, pp. 3-16.

“Reform and Modernism in the middle twentieth century,” in The New Cambridge History of Islam, volume 6: Muslims and Modernity, Culture and Society since 1800, ed. Robert Hefner. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010, pp. 148-172.

Islam: Continuity and Change in the Modern World. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1982. (2nd ed., Syracuse University Press, 1994)

and John Esposito and Osman Bakar, Asian Islam in the 21st Century. Oxford University Press, 2007.

and John L. Esposito, Makers of Contemporary Islam. Oxford University Press, 2001.

and John L. Esposito, Islam and Democracy. Oxford University Press, 1996.

and Yvonne Y. Haddad and John L. Esposito, The Contemporary Islamic Revival: A Critical Survey and Bibliography. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing, 1991.

Guest editor, special issue on “Pluralism and Religions in Iranian History,” Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations 14, No. 4 (October 2003).

editor, Sudan: State and Society in Crisis. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991.

and Nehemia Levtzion, editors, Eighteenth Century Renewal and Reform in Islam. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1987.

Historical Dictionary of the Sudan. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1978. Second edition, with Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban and Richard Lobban, 1992.

and Sarah Potts Voll, The Sudan: Unity and Diversity in a Multicultural Society. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1985.

“Sufi Brotherhoods: Transcultural/ Transstate Networks in the Muslim World,” in Interactions: Transregional Perspectives on World History, ed. Jerry Bentley, Renate Bridenthal, and Anand Yang (Honolulu: University of Hawaii, 2005).

“African Muslims and Christians in World History: The Irrelevance of the ‘Clash of Civilizations’,” in Muslim-Christian Encounters in Africa, ed. Benjamin Soares (Leiden: Brill, 2006), pp.17-38.

“Transnational Islamic Trends,” in From Baghdad to Beirut… Studies in Honor of John J. Donohue, s.j., ed. Leslie Tramontini and Chibli Mallat. Beirut 2007.


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