Keynote Address - Evil, Suffering, and the Global Pandemic

Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr

About the Presenter

Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr is an Iranian philosopher and University Professor of Islamic studies at George Washington University.


Born in Tehran, Nasr completed his education in Iran and the United States, earning a bachelor's degree in physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a master's in geology and geophysics, and a doctorate in the history of science from Harvard University. He returned to his homeland in 1958 and was appointed a professor of philosophy and Islamic sciences at Tehran University. He held various academic positions in Iran, including vice-chancellor at Tehran University and President of Aryamehr University, and established the Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy at the request of Empress Farah Pahlavi, which soon became one of the most prominent centers of philosophical activity in the Islamic world. During his time in Iran, he also studied with several traditional masters of Islamic philosophy and sciences.


The 1979 revolution forced him to exile with his family to the United States, where he has lived and taught Islamic sciences and philosophy ever since, establishing himself as one of the world's leading representatives of the Islamic philosophical tradition and the perennialist school of thought.


Nasr writes and speaks from the viewpoint of perennial philosophy, which is based in metaphysics. Although Islam and Sufism are major influences on his writings, his perennialist approach inquires into the essence of all orthodox religions, regardless of their formal particularities. He is considered a key thinker in the areas of islamic environmentalism and resacralization of nature. He is the author of over fifty books and more than five hundred articles.