Zarate, Arthur

Arthur S. Zárate

Lecturer, Humanities Department
Comparative Religious Studies Program



Office Hours

My advising hours are by appointment. To make one, please send me an email.


  • Columbia University, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), History, 2018
  • Columbia University, Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.), History, 2015
  • Columbia University, Master of Arts (M.A.), History, 2013
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison, Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Double Major, History and Languages and Cultures of Asia, 2010
  • University of Wisconsin, Waukesha, 2005-2006  


Arthur Shiwa Zárate is an interdisciplinary scholar of religion whose research explores the intersection of science, ethics, and politics in contemporary Islamic thought. He has lived and travelled extensively throughout the Middle East and speaks Arabic. He is currently a lecturer in the Comparative Religious Studies Program at San José State University, where he teaches World Religions and Middle East Traditions. His classes aim to introduce students to the diversity of human religious forms and expressions, highlighting specifically how religious traditions interact with each other, as well as their relevance contemporary politics. At San José State University, he particularly enjoys teaching first generation college students and students interested in applying the critical thinking skills they learn in the classroom to their lives outside the classroom.

He is currently turning his 2018 dissertation into a book titled, Islam and the Subject of Modernity: Sufism, Ethics and the Unseen, which considers mid-twentieth century Islamic thought in postcolonial Egypt to highlight the centrality to modern Islamic politics of a range of elements conventionally depicted as marginal to them, including Sufi mystical traditions, Islamic philosophical ethics, and discourses pertaining to miraculous occurrences and human encounters with supernatural beings. More broadly, his research considers the relationship between modernity and enchantment and critically scrutinizes the construction of normative understandings of “religion.” His published work has appeared in Comparative Studies in Society History and he has a forthcoming article in The Journal of the American Academy of Religion. His research has been supported by the Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation.

Prior to teaching at SJSU, he taught Islamic History and Modern Middle East History at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, where he also served as the Associate Director of the Cultures and Communities Program.


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