Rodrigo Adem

Increase font size
Decrease font size

Rodrigo Adem

Postdoctoral Fellow


Ph.D. (with honors), University of Chicago, 2015
M.A., University of Chicago, 2009
B.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2006

Research Interests

  • Early Islam
  • Intellectual, social, and urban formations of the Muslim world
  • Scholarly genealogies of Islamic thought
  • Classical Islamic hermeneutics

Professional Biography

Rodrigo Adem is a postdoctoral fellow in Islamic Studies at the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He specializes in early Islamic intellectual history.

In 2014 Brill published his translation of Ulrich Rudolphs’s Al-Māturīdī und die Sunnitische Theologie in Samarkand, and he has forthcoming articles in Shii Studies Review and Muslim World.

He is currently writing his first monograph, titled Necessary Proof: The Great Epistemic Shift in Classical Islam. This book argues that the Muʿtazilite school played a pivotal, but hitherto unappreciated role in kickstarting an “epistemic shift” felt in all major schools of Islam over the 8th to 11th centuries via the problematization of “traditional authority” (taqlīd) and a call to the “necessity of investigation” (wujūb al-naẓar). This was responsible for the widespread and radical reconstitution of epistemic authority within influential scholarly networks otherwise viewed as representing primordial sects or schools of Islam. With direct ramifications for the intellectual history of Muslim scholarship, the political ideology underpinning the Abbasid, Fatimid, and Almohad caliphates, as well as the historical genesis of philosophical Sufism and ideological Salafism, this book aims to make a bold but necessary intervention in the study of early Muslim civilization and the periodization of Islamic thought.