Jason Zaborowski

Associate Professor

    Bradley Hall 271
    (309) 677-2444


Ph.D., Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literatures, The Catholic University of America
M.A., Religious Studies, Arizona State University
B.A., Sociology of Religion, Messiah College


Dr. Jason Zaborowski is a scholar of Christianity and Islam in the Middle East. His most current service to the field was co-directing the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute: Middle Eastern Christianity: A Historic and Living Tradition, held at Bradley University in June of 2022. He and his colleague Nelly van Doorn-Harder (Wake Forest University) led this Summer Institute, which was funded by a major grant from the NEH. For many years Dr. Zaborowski also served as co-chair of the Middle Eastern Christianity Unit of the American Academy of Religion.

His long-term research involves interpreting Arabic recensions of ancient Christian wisdom literature.  He has worked on this topic extensively with colleagues at Lund University, Sweden, where he served as the Arabist on the team of the Early Monasticism and Classical Paideia project in 2013-14.

Dr. Zaborowski teaches courses in Arabic Christianity, Church History, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Christian Monasticism, and World Religions. He earned his Ph.D. from Catholic University's department of Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literatures, where he focused on Arabic, Coptic, and Syriac literature of the Middle East.

He teaches Christianity and Islamic studies from a historical and linguistic perspective, introducing students to culture and language (such as Greek, Arabic, Coptic, etc.) by guiding them through primary source literature. His teaching and research is particularly attentive to the Coptic Christian community of Egypt, studying their Coptic and Arabic literature, through which he examines their history of cultural interchange with Muslims. Dr. Zaborowski's research often deals with social change of religions in the Middle East generally, from early Christian times through various periods of Islamic history, including modernity.


  • RLS 101 – Comparative Religion
  • RLS 105 – Church History
  • RLS 121 – Islamic Civilization
  • RLS 225 – Arabic Christianity
  • RLS 305 – Early Christianity: Monasticism
  • RLS 320 – Muslim-Christian Relations
  • RLS 321 – Islam and the West: Clash of Civilizations?
  • RLS 497 – Problems in Religious Studies
  • RLS 498 – Problems in Religious Studies



  • The Coptic Martyrdom of John of Phanijoit: Assimilation and Conversion to Islam in Thirteenth-Century Egypt (Brill, 2005)

Selected Articles

  • "Coptic Christianity,” in Wiley-Blackwell Companion to African Religions, ed. Elias K. Bongmba (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012)
  • “Arab Christian Physicians as Interreligious Mediators: Abū Shākir as a Model Christian Expert,” Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations 22, 2 (April 2011)
  • “From Coptic to Arabic in Medieval Egypt,” Medieval Encounters 14 (2008)
  • “Shenoute’s Sermon The Lord Thundered: An Introduction and Translation,” Oriens Christianus 90 (2006) with Janet A. Timbie.
  • “The Coptic Martyrdom of John of Phanijoit: Assimilation and Restoration from Salah al-Din to the Writing of the Martyrdom: 1169-1211 (565-607 A.H.),” in Actes du huitième Congrès international d’études coptes: Paris, 28 juin – 3 juillet 2004 vol. 2 (Peeters, 2007).
  • “Egyptian Christians Implicating Chalcedonians in the Arab Takeover of Egypt: The Arabic Apocalypse of Samuel of Qalamun,” Oriens Christianus (2003)