Dr Alessandro Cancian
Senior Research Associate
Area of focus:
  1. Shi'i Sufism
  2. Twelver Shi'ism
  3. Mystical exegesis of the Qur'an
  4. Intellectual history of Iran
  5. Qur'anic Exegesis
  6. Sufism
  7. Anthropology
  8. Anthropology of Islam
  9. Iran
  10. Shi 'i religious education


Alessandro Cancian is a Senior Research Associate in the Qur’anic Studies unit at The Institute of Ismaili Studies, London. He completed a PhD at the University of Siena in Anthropology, concentrating on the Cultural Anthropology of Muslim Societies and the Anthropology of Religion. His dissertation was on the Shi‘i theological colleges (hawza, ilmiyyas) in Syria. He is a review editor for the Journal of Shi‘ainfo-icon Islamic Studies, has edited and published articles and papers, contributed book chapters and encyclopaedia entries, and delivered numerous lectures. Dr Cancian’s areas of interest and expertise are the intellectual history of Shi‘isminfo-icon, Shi‘i Sufisminfo-icon in early modern times and the anthropology of Islam, and Shi‘ism and modern Iran. He is currently working on Shi‘i mystical exegesis of the Qur’aninfo-icon, its influences and reception in modern times, and is writing a monograph on Sultan Ali Shah’s Tafsir Bayan al-sa'aada.