An advocate of human rights and scholar of Islamic theology and philosophy, Villanova University Professor Shams Inati emphasizes the work of Ibn Sina in her teaching and writing. Ibn Sina, also known as Avicenna, was a famous Islamic polymath who lived at the end of the first millennium. Many of his writings on philosophy, medicine, theology, and other subjects have not only survived, but also have relevance in the modern world. For instance, one of the issues on which Professor Shams Inati concentrates her research is theodicy, or the understanding of God’s goodness despite the presence of evil in the world. In 2000, she published a book titled The Problem of Evil: Ibn Sina’s Theodicy.Awarded her doctorate in Philosophy by the State University of New York at Buffalo, Shams Inati has always focused on clarifying and enhancing an understanding of Islamic thought. Of her six published books, four are explorations of Islamic philosophical issues or analysis and translation of Islamic philosophical works and two are about history, politics, and culture: one on Lebanon, and one on Iraq. In addition, she was the General Editor of the 2004 series Introducing Islam, published by Mason Crest Publishers of Broomhall, Pennsylvania. Professor Shams Inati is currently researching several issues, including the concept of justice in Islam and contemporary Islamic movements in Lebanon.Through the courses she teaches at Villanova, which bear such titles as The Problem of Evil, Islamic Political Thought, Ibn Sina, and The Concept of Happiness in Islamic Philosophy, Professor Inati strives for a greater understanding of Islamic thought. In addition, she has been involved in organizing a series of conferences focusing on the Arab and Islamic world, with special attention to Syria’s and Lebanon’s place in history.The focus of the several special events that Professor Shams Inati has organized throughout the years has been to improve Western understanding of Islam and Arabs. One of the first of these events was “The Influence of Arabic Music on Spanish Melody,” a lecture accompanied by a performance. A recent symposium, “Islam and the West,” brought together US State Department officials with Middle Eastern religious scholars at Villanova.

Work History

Work History
2001 - Present

Professor Theology and Religious Studies

Villanova University


1974 - 1979


State University of New York at Buffalo
1968 - 1974


University of Texas
1964 - 1968


University of Beirut