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David Pinault

David Pinault



David Pinault received his B.A. in French literature from Georgetown University and his M.A. and Ph.D in Arabic & Islamic Studies from the Department of Oriental Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. His research involves the nexus of religion, popular culture, and communal identity in Muslim societies, as reflected in ritual and literary sources. Among the countries in which he has done fieldwork are Yemen, Egypt, Pakistan, India, and Indonesia. He is also interested in wildlife rescue and environmental issues in Southeast Asia and is a member of the advisory board of ProFauna Indonesia.

Among his recent publications is the novel Museum of Seraphs in Torment.


RSOC 007 South Asian Religious Traditions
RSOC 019 Egyptian Religious Traditions
RSOC 081 Islam
RSOC 140 Animals, the Environment, and World Religions
RSOC 154 The Islamic Jesus
RSOC 182 Shia Islam in the Contemporary World
RSOC 190 Islam: Reformation & Modernity
SCTR 126 Sufi Mysticism


"'Pray Only to Allah!': Indonesia's Threatened Religious Pluralism."  Commonweal: A Review of Religion, Politics, and Culture, September 28, 2012.

"'Ready to Be Martyrs': Egyptian Christians Claim Their Ancient Roots."  America: The National Catholic Weekly, December 17, 2012.

“Sunni, Shia, Zaydi: Religious Identity and Sectarian Proselytizing in Contemporary Yemen.” Journal of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies 33.1 (Fall 2009).

“Creatures Great and Small: Viewing Animal Suffering with Interfaith Eyes.” America: A Jesuit Magazine. April 28, 2008.

Notes from the Fortune-Telling Parrot: Islam and the Struggle for Religious Pluralism in Pakistan. London: Equinox Publishing, 2008.

Horse of Karbala: Muslim Devotional Life in India. New York: Palgrave, 2001.

The Shiites: Ritual and Popular Piety in a Muslim Community. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1992.

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