Islam, Muslim History, Islamic Studies, Religion & Science, Environmental Ethics, World History, Theories of Religion & Secularism, Just War Theory


Born in Seattle, WA, Khalid Yahya Blankinship obtained his BA in History in 1973 from the University of Washington, an MA in Teaching English as a Foreign Language in 1975 from the American University in Cairo, and an MA in Islamic History in 1983 from Cairo University. His Ph.D. in History is from the University of Washington in 1988. After traveling extensively in Europe and the Middle East, Blankinship long resided in Egypt (11 years) and in Saudi Arabia at Makkah (1 year), becoming fluent in both classical and colloquial Arabic. He also resided for shorter periods in Jerusalem, Lebanon, Houston, TX, and most recently Amman, Jordan.

Blankinship taught English for several years at the American University in Cairo, and then History at the University of Washington. In 1990, Blankinship moved to Philadelphia, where he was appointed in the Department of Religion at Temple University. He has served as Chair of the Department of Religion 1998-2002, Departmental Graduate Director 2003-2013, and Chair again 2013-2017. His specializations in teaching and academic research include world history, Islam both classical and modern, religion and science, and religious and secular ethics.

In his career at Temple, Blankinship has supervised 23 doctoral dissertations and served on the committees of many more. He has regularly presented papers at the annual meetings of the American Academy of Religion (AAR) and the American Oriental Society (AOS), and has also participated in meetings of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA). He has delivered lectures in many places, including Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, India, and Malaysia.

Also, Blankinship studied with a number of Muslim religious scholars, especially Shaykh Ismâ‘îl Sâdiq al-‘Adawî (1934-1998), the Imâm of Masjid al-Azhar in Cairo, and he has made the acquaintance of many well-known scholars of the Muslim world. He has posted a number of his responses to questions on Muslim law (on-line). He also participated in the series of religious lectures in the Arabic language called al-Durûs al-Hasaniyyah (Hasanian Lectures) presented before the king in Morocco during Ramadân 1989-2000.

Curriculum Vitae

Selected Publications


  • Murshid al-Qârî: A Reader’s Guide to Classical Muslim Religious Literature in English: The Qur’ân and Tafsîr. Berkeley, CA: Lamppost Educational Initiative, forthcoming 2021.
  • The Inimitable Qur’ân: Some Problems in English Translations of the Qur’ân with Reference to Rhetorical Problems. Leiden, The Netherlands: E. J. Brill, 2019.
  • The End of the Jihâd State: The Reign of Hishâm ibn ‘Abd al-Malik (724-743 CE) and the Collapse of the Umayyads, Albany: State University of New York Press, 1994.
  • The History of al-Tabarî, Vol. XI, The Challenge to the Empires: A.D. 633-635/A.H. 12-13, a translation including introduction, commentary, and notes. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1993.
  • The History of al-Tabarî, Vol. XXV, The End of Expansion: The Caliphate of Hishâm A.D. 724-738/A.H. 105-120, a translation, including introduction, commentary, and notes, Albany: State University of New York Press, 1989.

Research Articles

  • “Muslim ‘Fundamentalism,’ Salafism, Sufism, and Other Trends.” In Fundamentalism: Perspectives on a Contested History. Ed. by Simon A. Wood and David Harrington Watt. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2014, pp. 144-162.
  • “Parity of Muslim and Western Concepts of Just War.” The Muslim World, 101 (2011), No. 3, 412-426.
  • “Imârah, Khilâfah, and Imâmah: The Origins of the Succession to the Prophet Muhammad.” In Shî‘ite Heritage: Essays on Classical and Modern Traditions. Ed. by L. Clarke. Binghamton: Global Publications, 2001, pp. 19-43.
  • “Al-Islâm wa-al-ta’rîkh al-‘âlamî: nahw taqsîm jadîd li-al-‘usûr al-ta’rîkhiyyah,” Islâmiyyat al-Ma‘rifah, 1(1995), 95-132.
  • “Islam and World History: Towards a New Periodization,” The American Journal of Islamic Social Science, 8 (1991), 423-452.
  • “An Islamic Theory and Methodology of History,” in The Journal of Objective Studies, 1 (1989), 55-64.
  • “The Tribal Factor in the ‘Abbâsid Revolution: an Analysis of the Betrayal of the Imam Ibrâhîm b. Muhammad,” Journal of the American Oriental Society, 108 (1988), 589-603.

Courses Taught


  • Rel. 0833 – Race and Poverty in the Americas
  • Rel. 0863/Asian Sts. 0863 – Religion in the World
  • Rel. 2606 – Introduction to Islam
  • Rel. 3001/Environmental Studies 3001 – Earth Ethics
  • Rel. 3004 – Religion and Science
  • Rel. 3601 – The Islamic State
  • Rel. 3603 – Islamic Mysticism
  • Rel. 4096 – Theories of Religion & Secularism (Capstone Seminar in Religion)


  • Rel. 5601 – Foundations in Islam
  • Rel. 8006 – Methodological Options in Religion
  • Rel. 8600 – Topics in Islamic History
  • Rel. 8601 – Islamic Jurisprudence
  • Rel. 8602 – Islamic Mysticism