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Dr Annabel Keeler

Dr Annabel Keeler

Affiliated Researcher, Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

College Research Associate, Wolfson College


Annabel obtained a BA in Persian from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London in 1981, after which she came to Cambridge to read for a PhD in Islamic Studies, the subject of her thesis being a 12th century Persian Sufi commentary on the Qur’an. In 2002, she became a Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson College, concurrently holding a Research Fellowship in Qur’anic Studies at the Institute of Ismaili Studies in London. She regularly assists with the teaching of classical Persian literature at the Faculty.

Subject groups/Research projects

Arabic & Persian Studies:

Research Interests

Her research interests are largely centred on the hermeneutics of Sufi Qur’an commentaries, those composed in both Arabic and Persian, and the investigation of ways in which mystics have expounded their doctrines through the interpretation of the Qur’anic verses. This has led her more widely to research doctrinal developments in the formative period of Islamic mysticism (between 9th and 12th centuries CE).

Her overall interests include: Sufism, Qurʾanic Studies, Scriptural Hermeneutics and Prophetology.

Key Publications

The Esoteric Interpretation of the Qurʾān, ed. with Sajjad Rizvi, probably with Oxford University Press/Institute of Isma’ili Studies, forthcoming late 2014/early 2015.


Tafsīr al-Tustarī, translated by Annabel Keeler and Ali Keeler, annotated and with an introduction by Annabel Keeler, Louisville Fons Vitae, April 2011.


Sufi Hermeneutics:  Maybudi’s Persian Commentary on the Qur’an, the Kashf al-asrar, Oxford University Press, in association with the Institute of Ismaili Studies, December, 2006. This book was awarded ‘Book of the year’ prize in Iran, 2008, and is currently being translated into Persian.


‘Rumi and Bayazid: Hagiographical Moments in the Masnavī-ye Maʿnavi’ in the Proceedings of the Symposium of Mawlana Rumi, Istanbul, May 2007, Istanbul, 2010.


See more here (link to PDF of publications)