Alex Matthews


Alex Matthews is a social and intellectual historian whose work investigates Islamic engagements with the occult sciences—astrology, alchemy, magic, and divination—through the lenses of history of science and history of religion. She received her Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from the University of Chicago Divinity School in 2023. Her dissertation, Authority, Astrology, and Alphanumericism in Fatimid Thought examines the role of the occult sciences in the missionary texts of the Fatimid caliphate and how the state religion of Ismaili Islam mediated engagement with the occult sciences among the religious elite. Her research bridges philosophical, scientific, religious, and socio-political approaches to understanding the Islamic world, past and present. In 2023-24, her courses include Religion: Cosmos, Conscience, and Community I and II, and Divination in the Islamic World.