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R. Brian Siebeking



  • University of Virginia - PhD in Religious Studies (2015 - expected)
  • University of Virginia - MA in Religious Studies (2013)
  • Georgetown University - MA in Arab Studies (2008)
  • Messiah College - BA in Politics (2004)


Tales of the Prophets (Qiṣaṣ al-anbiyāʾ): Anatomy of an Islamic Literary Genre

Research Interests

My research interests include classical Arabic literature and Islamic literary genres (especially moral and hagiographic literature), Qurʾānic studies, Islamic ethics (historical and contemporary, tradition-focused and comparative), Sufism, Muslim-Christian relations, and Arabic Christianity.


  • Islamic Theology, University of Virginia (Spring 2012) - Instructor
  • Sufism: Islamic Mysticism, University of Virginia (Fall 2011) - Instructor
  • Islam in the Modern Age, University of Virginia (Spring 2011, Spring 2010, Spring 2009) - Teaching Assistant
  • Classical Islam, University of Virginia (Fall 2010, Fall 2009, Fall 2008) - Teaching Assistant

Conference Presentations:

  • “‘David Guessed that We had Tested him’ (Q 38:24): A Pious Sin in the Tales of the Prophets,” American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA, November 2014
  • “The Grammar of Muʿtazilism: The Relationship between Qurʾānic Language and Muslim (Muʿtazilite) Theology in the Commentary of Jār Allāh al-Zamakhsharī (d. 538/1144),” Scripture, Interpretation, and Practice (SIP) Graduate Colloquium, University of Virginia, March 2014
  • “The Courage of Jirjīs (St. George): A Literary Study of a Muslim Passio,” Southeastern Commission for the Study of Religion (SECSOR), Atlanta, GA, March 2014
  • “Religious Challenges to Human Rights: Bringing Christians and Muslim into Conversation,” Symposium on Humanitarianism and Human Rights in the 21st Century (co-presented with Laura Alexander), Poynter Center for the Study of Ethics and American Institutions, Indiana University, October 2012

Fellowships/Grants/Awards (selected):

  • Research Workshop Grant, Virginia Center for the Study of Religion, 2013-2014
  • Graduate Teaching Award, University of Virginia, 2011
  • Summer Fellowship for Language Instruction, University of Virginia, 2009
  • Hanna Batatu Scholarship, Georgetown University, 2007-2008
  • Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship, Georgetown University, 2006-2007