Dr. Eric Winkel joined IAIS as Principal Research Fellow in May 2010. After earning his Ph.D. in Government and International Studies from the University of South Carolina, he worked with IIIT in Herndon, Virginia and then at the International Islamic University Malaysia on ideas of Islamisation. He has taught at the University of New Mexico, Universidad del Valle de Mexico, at the Quaid-i-Azam University in Pakistan as a Senior Fulbright Scholar, and again recently at the National College of Arts in Lahore.
His primary study for over twenty years is the Futuḥāt of Ibn ʿArabī. He has addressed the Muhyiddin Ibn ʿArabī Society in Berkeley, in Santa Barbara, as well as Oxford in 2008. Dr. Winkel has made great efforts to understand quantum mechanics and absorbed the fascination with chaos, fractals, and complexity emanating from Los Alamos and the Santa Fe Institute. He believes the greatly expanded interest in and study of Ibn ʿArabī corresponds to the last four decades of interest in complexity. / From 2000–2008 Dr. Winkel co-founded a small public high school in rural New Mexico (USA) with grants from the U.S. Department of Education. His school introduced students to languages and cultures, culminating in a ‘global experience’ for a total of thirty-five students travelling to nine countries.
Current Projects focus on bridging this world of the new sciences to civilisational renewal—with projects on ‘Islamic Affinities with New Science’, and ‘Finding Islam in Math’. Dr. Winkel has also been reflecting on the process of translation portrayed by Ibn ʿArabī and is preparing what shall be an unusual translation of passages from the Futuḥāt. These ideas on translation scale up to the civilisational level, where one asks how societies “read” and “interpret” their worlds. It involves asking Muslim societies how they are demonstrating and manifesting the maqāsid/higher goals of Islam.
Publications include the following books: Mysteries of Purity (Notre Dame: Cross-Cultural Publications, 1995), translated as Menghampiri Sang Mahakudus: Rahasia-rahasia Bersuci, (Jakarta: Mizan Press, 2002). Islam and the Living Law (Oxford University Press, 1997). & his novel Damascus Steel (CAR&D, 2001).
Articles include: “The Battle over niqab”, 2009 at: theamericanmuslim.org . “Holding On and Letting Go”, in Journal of the Muhyiddin Ibn `Arabi Society (Fall 1998). “Female Circumcision”, in Women and Health (v. 23, 1995).