Derryl MacLean

Associate Professor
Office: AQ 6224
Telephone: 778-782-4437



This instructor is currently not teaching any courses.


Derryl MacLean is a social historian of religion with a focus on Islamic studies. Trained at Aligarh Muslim University and McGill University, he centres his research on the social consequences of religious contact and change, especially in issues of conversion and millennialism, and uses for this purpose data primarily from South and Central Asia. His current research concerns early modern Islamic millennialism, orientalism, and diaspora Muslim communities in the West. Born in Nova Scotia, he has resided and carried out research in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Lebanon, and Morocco.

Research Interests

Islamics, Comparative History of Religions



  • Ismailism, Conversion, and Syncretism in Arab Sind." Bulletin of the Henry Martyn Institute of Islamic Studies 11 (1992): 5-13.
  • "Real Men and False Men at the Court of Akbar: The Majalis of Shaykh Mustafa Gujarati." In Beyond Turk and Hindu: Rethinking Religious Identities in Islamicate South Asia, ed. Bruce Lawrence and David Gilmartin, 199-215. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2000.
  • "La sociologie de l'engagement politique: le Mahdawiya indien et l'Etat." Revue des mondes musulmans et de la mediterranee: Mahdisme et millenarisme en Islam, ed. Mercedes Garcia-Arenal, 239-256. Paris: Edisud, 2000.
  • "The Sociology of Political Engagement: The Mahdaviyah and the State." In India's Islamic Traditions, 711-1750, ed. Richard M. Eaton, 150-168. Themes in Indian History; Oxford in India Readings. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2003.
  • "Realizing the Ummah in British Columbia: Religion, Ethnicity, and the Double Diaspora of Asian Muslims." In Asian Religions in British Columbia, ed. Donald Baker, Larry de Vries, and Dan Overmyer. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, in press.

Multi-media Communication

  • Cultural and Religious Artifacts and Artifact Types of the Montreal Muslim Community. Ottawa: Canadian Centre for Folk Culture Studies, National Museum of Man, 1985. A collection and description of artifacts and photographs of artifacts of the Muslim communities of Montreal.

Encyclopedia articles

  • "Cac-nama," in Encyclopaedia Iranica, 1st edition, 1990.
  • "'Ala'i, Shaykh," in Encyclopaedia of Islam, 3d edition, 2007.
  • "Arur," in Encyclopaedia of Islam, 3d edition, 2007.

Book reviews

  • In Indian Economic and Social History Review, International History Review, Journal of the Muhyiddin Ibn -Arabi Society, Pacific Affairs, Religious Studies Review.

Graduate Supervision

Current Graduate Students:


Canada Research Fellowship (1988-1991)